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A Test-Taker's Notebook

CLM’s Claims College is using virtual exams this year. Here’s what to expect.

September 10, 2020 Photo

Due to COVID-19-related concerns, many of the schools that make up CLM’s Claims College are taking their final exams virtual this year. What’s it like to take the test virtually? What should test-takers know beforehand? Which schools and levels are offering it? Adam Carmichael, president of ProKnowledge & Ethics Counsel at The Institutes’ risk and insurance knowledge group; and Fran Clark, CLM’s programming manager, answered some of the questions that students might have before heading back to school.

The Institutes played a big role in making the jump to virtual exams. “The Institutes and CLM moved to virtual exams as a response to COVID-19 to allow our students to continue their work,” says Carmichael. “In so doing, we looked at the best practices for at-home exams and implemented many of them. We also looked at other testing organizations, such as the AP exams given by the College Board, which similarly pivoted to at-home online exams in the spring of 2020 to allow their students to complete their courses.  Fortunately, many state CE licensing departments waived the proctor requirements in order to allow students to complete their courses in a timely manner during this time.”

The switch to virtual feels intuitive. Claims College’s exams are delivered using The Institutes’ online learning management system, which means students simply log in to the exam and take it all online,” says Clark. Instructions are clear and easy to follow. The exams utilize a multiple-choice format, with five questions displaying at a time before the user is prompted to advance to the next set. Encounter a question that you want to revisit? Simply flag it, and you’ll be able to go back to it later, time permitting. “Unlike previous paper exams, students find out if they passed or not as soon as they finish the exam,” says Carmichael.

CLM and The Institutes took steps to ensure the results are legitimate. “Students are expected to follow exam ethical guidelines, so before the exam begins, they are asked to review those guidelines before beginning the test,” says Carmichael. “Additionally, there is an exam timer on the test’s home page at all times. In a non-proctored exam, having a timed test means the students will need to know the material and be able to apply it within a reasonable timeframe; they won’t be able to spend time learning the material during the exam. Lastly, and most importantly, the questions themselves were written by the Claims College’s instructors—leaders in the industry—with the intent that the answers by the students will demonstrate mastery of the course.”  

Virtual exams aren’t offered for all levels. “Claims College is offering online exams for levels one and two for all three-level schools, plus the School of Extra-Contractual Claims and the School of Litigation Management,” says Clark. “However, schools with a level three-component (plus the School of Leadership) will maintain their traditional oral exams. The School of Claims Mediation will have mock mediations as their final.”

Time is of the essence. “There are strict timeframes for taking the online exams,” says Clark. “For testing related to levels one and two for all schools, the testing window opens on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, at 9:00am ET, and closes on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, at 11:59pm ET. For the School of Extra-Contractual Claims, the testing window opens at 9:00am ET on Sept. 19, 2020, and closes at 11:59pm ET on Sept. 20, 2020. Additionally, the School of Litigation Management is doing something completely different—their testing window opens at 1:00pm ET on Sept. 17, 2020 (directly after classes are over) and remains available through 11:59pm ET on Sept. 18, 2020. The School of Claims Mediation, the School of Leadership, and all level-three schools will hold their oral exams on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, after classes have ended.”

For other questions, go to http://www.theclm.org/claimscollege.


About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is vice president of content at the CLM, and serves as executive editor of CLM magazine, the flagship publication of the CLM.  eric.gilkey@theclm.org

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