Taking OSCE and SOE online - guidance

Published: 01/10/2020

IT system requirements

To sit a FRCA clinical exam online this year, it is critically important to check that you are able to use the exam platform effectively. We have found that difficulties encountered on an exam day are often the result of a candidate's personal IT set up. We therefore strongly recommend that you check your set up well in advance of the exam to avoid any stress on the exam day.   

These pages will explain what set up you require to take the exam and how to test your IT set up to give you confidence that it works.

Let's look at system requirements first.

Selecting your device

The RCoA OSCE and SOE can be sat on PCs and on laptops. In exceptional circumstances you could use a tablet such as an iPad, however, we strongly recommend that you use a laptop or a PC as the experience on a tablet is not as good. 

DO NOT use mobile phones or small tablets for the exam, as you will not be able to participate effectively. 

You must have a webcam and audio access to sit the exam.
If you have multiple camera, microphone or speaker settings, make sure you know which is best to use for the exam.

Have a pair of headphones or earphones you can use if there are sound issues during the exam.

Minimum Device Requirements
Apple  
Operating system 
Mac – minimum 10.12 Sierra 
iPad (not recommended) – minimum iOS 12 
Hard Drive Storage Space 
At least 10GB of free space.

To check storage: 

  • On the Apple menu on the top left of your screen, select About This Mac
  • Click the Storage tab in the toolbar to see how much disk space you have available. 

RAM (Memory) 
At least 4GB of RAM, 8GB is recommended 
To check RAM: 

  • On the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen, select About This Mac
  • Click the Overview tab, the Memory line shows the amount of RAM in GB. 

To maximise your RAM: 

  • For disabling auto-start software, go to System Preferences Users & Groups – Login Items and remove all items from the “These items will open automatically when you login” by selecting an item and using the - button underneath the box.
  • Shut down your device and start it back up again.

Display 

  • To adjust the display size, hold down the cmd key and press the “+” or “-“ key to zoom in and out respectively. 
  • It is best to maximise your browser by clicking the square icon at the top right of your browser window. 

 
Windows 
Operating System 
Windows 10 (recommended), minimum Windows 7 
Hard Drive and Storage Space 
At least 10GB of free space.

To check storage: 

  • Open File Explorer, either through the shortcut ctrl+E or tap the folder icon in the taskbar. 
  • Tap or click “The PC” from the left pane. 
  • You can see the amount of free space on your hard disk under the Windows C drive. 

RAM (Memory) 
At least 4GB of RAM, 8GB is recommended. 
To check your RAM: 

  • Click on start menu
  • Type “about” and press Enter when “about your PC” appears. 
  • Scroll down and under device specification, see “installed RAM”. 

To maximise your RAM: 

  • Click on the Start Menu
  • Select Settings > Apps > Start Up
  • Disable all Apps for automatic start-up. 
  • If you do not see the Start Up Option in Settings: 
  1. Hold down ctrl+alt+delete or right-click on the Start Menu
  2. Select Task Manager
  3. Select the Start Up (if you do not see Start Up, select More Details). 

 Display 

  • To adjust the display size, hold down the ctrl key and press the “+” or “-“ key to zoom in and out respectively. 
  • It is best to maximise your browser by clicking the square icon at the top right of your browser window.

Sitting the exam in your Trust 

If you intend to sit the exam in your Trust, you must check that the Practique exam application is whitelisted to prevent any firewall issues. To do this, please share this URL with the IT team in your Trust  https://rcoa.practique.net/html5/