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How to Take Your Exams

After you’ve completed your coursework, it’s time to schedule and take your exam. Here’s everything you need to know.

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Ensure Exam Success

The College is dedicated to your success. Our comprehensive courses deliver the applied financial knowledge you need to pass your exam the first time and put your newly acquired skills into practice right away!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The American College of Financial Services partners with Pearson VUE to offer examinations for many of its courses. There are two different ways students may be able to take their exam, online using Pearson VUE’s OnVUE remote proctoring system or at a physical testing center.

Pearson VUE operates thousands of testing centers worldwide. Upon enrollment or when you have met the necessary requirements, you’ll receive an Examination On Demand® (EOD®) email, which is used for scheduling your exam at the Pearson VUE testing center of your choice. The College advises you to schedule your exam as soon as you receive your EOD email to avoid the last-minute rush and to establish a target date for completing the course. The course exam must be taken within your assigned exam window.

To schedule your final exam you must contact Pearson VUE testing center or call 866-392-6822. Once you’ve scheduled your appointment, Pearson VUE will send you a confirmation email, which lists the scheduled date and time of your exam, as well as directions to the testing center location, if applicable.

Pearson VUE provides an online-proctored exam format called OnVUE. Online-proctored exams allow you to conveniently take an exam from anywhere while being monitored by an offsite proctor. Pearson VUE offers online-proctoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering you flexibility to take your exam at a time that’s convenient for you. All communication with the proctor is done in English.

You can take exams on a desktop computer or laptop. Please note that company-issued computer equipment may have security or software restrictions that conflict with exam delivery.

Pearson VUE states that all you’ll need is a:

  • Quiet, private location
  • A reliable device with a webcam and microphone
  • Strong internet connection

In preparation for your exam, you’ll be required to perform a Pearson VUE system check to ensure your device is compatible with OnVUE. On the day of your exam, you’ll undergo an additional system check to ensure there are no background applications running on your computer which will prevent the exam from launching.

To learn more about OnVUE’s polices, examination guidelines, and a list of system requirements, please visit their website.

All courses in the CFP® Certification Education, ChFC®, CLU®, ChSNC®, RICP®, WMCP®, FSCP®, and CAP® programs are available to take online.

Due to each state’s mandated guidelines, we may not be able to fulfill your CE request if you’re taking your exam via Pearson VUE’s OnVUE online proctoring system. Students whose resident state requires a signed proctor affidavit form MUST take their exam at a Pearson VUE testing center in order to receive CE credit. Click here to see if your state requires a signed proctor affidavit form. 

If you don’t wish to receive CE credit upon completion of your course, you’re able to take your exam via OnVUE.

There are two types of VUE testing centers at which you may schedule your exam appointment: Pearson Professional Testing Centers (PPC's) and VUE Authorized Testing Centers.

The PPC's are owned and operated by Pearson VUE and offer the highest level of exam delivery. There are over 200 PPC's in the testing center network. The VUE Authorized centers include more than 3,000 centers that are independently owned and operated in over 130 countries.

When scheduling your appointment, ask if there’s a PPC in your area. The examination is "mouse" and/or "keyboard" driven. If you need instructions on how to use the computer, there’s a tutorial provided at the beginning of your exam.

Exams are not scheduled through The College, all scheduling must be done through Pearson VUE. To schedule your exam appointment(s), please contact Pearson VUE at 1-866-EXAMTAC (392-6822) (toll-free) or visit their website.

When making your exam appointment, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:

  • Enrollment name: Last name and first initial
  • Student ID number
  • Course-test series number

Pearson VUE needs 24 hours advance notice to schedule your exam. All appointments are made on a first-come, first-served basis, and are subject to seating availability. No walk-in or same-day exams are available. Check with Pearson VUE if you are interested in testing that week.

At the end of the allowed testing time at the testing center, you’ll receive a pass/fail or pending grade and a summary of your performance by assignment. The College will email an official grade report to you within 2 business days after you’ve taken the exam.

If enrolled in a program offering Personal Pathway®, a "pending" grade may appear for exams to indicate that the final course grade has yet to be calculated. The final course grade consists of the final exam score in addition to coursework and class participation.

If you’re unable to take your exam within your scheduled testing window or fail your exam, The College permits you to retake an exam for a fee. You must wait at least two business days before you reschedule another appointment at a testing center for a failed exam.

If you fail a Personal Pathway® exam resulting in a failed course grade, you will have a two (2) week grace period from the day that your final grade is calculated to purchase a 4-week retake window. (The WMCP® Program has a 3-month grace period in which you can purchase a retake.) The retake exam will be combined with your previously completed coursework. You can purchase one retake or reschedule per course.

If you fail the retake, don’t sit for the retake, or don’t exercise the option to retake within the two (2) week grace period, you’ll need to re-enroll in the course at a reduced tuition rate, and you’ll be required to complete the coursework again.

Please note, your exam score isn’t the same as your final course score. Even though you failed an exam, you may have passed the class because of the points you earned in the required coursework. Wait to see what your final course score is to know if you’ll need to retake the final exam. 

Don’t call The College to cancel an appointment. Only Pearson VUE can cancel or reschedule your appointment. Contact Pearson VUE at 1-866-392-6822 or online to cancel or reschedule your exam. Don’t leave a voicemail message when making, changing, or canceling appointments.

Once you’ve canceled your appointment, you can reschedule your exam in the same examination window with any center and without charge, provided you cancel by 7 pm Central Time the business day before your appointment. If you want to reschedule, you must do so before the expiration date on your exam ticket.

If you’re taking your exam via OnVUE, you will be able to start checking in for your exam 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled appointment time. Please make sure to clear your exam workspace, move all books and writing objects out of arm’s reach, unplug additional monitors and computers, and clear the walls of writing (e.g., on whiteboards). Also, make sure you use the restroom before your online exam begins because you’ll not be allowed to take a break during your exam.

During the check in process, you’ll be required to present one form of valid personal identification bearing your photo and/or physical description such as driver’s license, passport, employee ID card etc. Additional information on Pearson VUE’s OnVUE exam process can be found on the confirmation email you receive once your appointment is scheduled.

If you’re taking your exam at a testing center, be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment. For testing centers, you must bring one form of valid personal identification bearing your photo and/or physical description such as driver’s license, passport, employee ID card etc. with you to the testing center.

The use of a calculator is permitted during your course examination(s) whether the exam is taken via OnVUE or at a physical testing center. Scratch paper is not permitted - white boards are available at centers for your use and provided within the OnVue testing software.

You may bring one nonprinting, non-alphanumeric, battery-powered, hand-held calculator with an internal rate of return function to The College's examinations. If you’re taking your exam via OnVUE, please ensure the calculator is visible in the workstation photo you upload. There’s also an on-screen scientific calculator in the exam you may use.

The College's study materials for HS 300 and HS 328 support the HP-10BII calculator. We strongly recommend that you use a calculator supported by the course; however, you may use any financial calculator that meets the above specifications.

For HS 300 and HS 328, a calculator is required to answer some exam questions. For HS 321, HS 323, HS 326, HS 330, HS 331, and GS 811, we strongly recommend that you bring a calculator to the exams, although it’s not required to answer the questions. For other HS and GS course examinations, a calculator is neither required nor recommended.

We also recommend that you become proficient in using a financial calculator if you intend to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination, for which calculator use is required.

Exams are graded as "pass", "fail" or "pending" as soon as you complete it. However, all exams for HS courses are also assigned letter grades. You’ll receive the pass/fail/pending message as well as a printed performance analysis, which indicates assignments to review if you need to retake the exam. In several days, you’ll receive your official grade report, which will list a grade of A, B, or C if you passed the exam.

Please note, a pending grade is provided for students taking exams in the Personal Pathway® delivery model. The exam grade you receive from Pearson VUE is not your final course grade. You’ll receive your final course grade once you receive your official grade report from The College.

If you have any questions regarding the grading process, please contact an Academic Advisor at 866-313-1431.

The College can provide additional examination time if English is your second language. Requests must be made in writing to registrar@theamericancollege.edu at least two weeks prior to your desired appointment. Special accommodations can also be made if you have a physical or mental disability, and/or a learning impairment. Requests must be made by submitting a completed accommodations form at least one month prior to your desired testing appointment. You will be required to provide medical documentation of your disability.

View the Disability Accommodation Form

If you have been approved by The College to receive extra time accommodations please note that while your extra time will be honored through Pearson’s OnVUE remote proctored exams, you’ll not be able to take any breaks. If you take your exam at a physical location, you’ll receive extra time and you will be allowed one (1) break. 

The CE 128 exam is taken remotely using an online testing system called Perception. Here is additional information for accessing your exams online when your test date arrives.

Steps For Accessing Your Exam Online:

  1. Close all programs, including email.
  2. Click on "Click here" to open the exam link provided in the email from The College.
  3. Click "Log In For Your Exam Here" at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Have your Proctor enter the Username and Password provided in the email from The College and click enter.
  5. To begin the exam, click on the link to the appropriate exam listed under Online Assessments.

Before starting the exam, please verify that your last name appears correctly within the User ID box. During the exam, you may not use your textbook, course notes, or receive help from a proctor or any other outside source.

You must complete the 50-question multiple-choice exam within the 75-minute time frame allotted for the exam. You can’t stop the session and then return to it. This is especially important in the online environment where the system will "time-out" and not allow you to reenter the exam site.

What to do if your online exam is interrupted:

  • If your online exam is interrupted, click the “Back” button on your web browser to see if you can return to the exam. If not, follow the instructions below to resume taking the exam. Note: Answers are saved by the system in 10-minute intervals. If you have to log back in to complete your exam, your prior answers will remain from the last system-save.
  • Reconnect to the Internet and log back into Brightspace.
  • Follow your original instructions to access the exam login page.
  • Ask your proctor to re-enter the Username and Password, then select the checkbox "Show list of unfinished exams, only select to re-enter an exam already in progress." This will enable you to resume taking the exam, close to the point before the interruption occurred.
  • Have your Proctor enter the Username and Password provided in the email from The College and click enter.

Minimum Browser Requirements:

Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 1, or Google Chrome are required to log into the exam.

If you have any questions, please contact an academic advisor at 888-263-7265.

Login into your exam here.