The CS Pre-exam Test
The ICSI, (The Institute of Company Secretaries of India), has introduced a pre-exam test for students pursuing the new syllabus (2017) of the CS Executive and CS Professional programmes. The CS pre-exam test is a qualifying test to assess the preparation level of CS students before appearing for the main examination.
It is mandatory first step for all CS Executive/Professional students to clear before appearing for their examinations.
In this post, we will talk about the CS pre-exam test, eligibility criteria, the nature of the test, exemptions, registration and other information.
All About the CS Pre-exam Test
The CS pre-exam test: Format, Syllabus and Duration
The CS pre-exam test is an MCQ-based online examination. You can take it anywhere: from your home, cyber-café or any other location. All you need to do is to login and register on the ICSI student portal in order to take up the test. We will talk more about the registration process later.
For the CS executive level, the CS pre-exam test consists of 8 papers – each corresponding to the respective paper of the main CS Executive course. That is, the syllabus for each paper of the CS pre-exam test for the CS Executive level will cover the same portion as the syllabus for each corresponding paper of the main CS Executive exam (New Syllabus 2017).
Similarly, for the CS Professional level, the CS pre-exam test consists of 9 papers corresponding to the papers of the CS Professional course.
The duration for each paper of the CS pre-exam test is of 60 minutes. There are 50 questions worth 100 marks in total for each paper. There is negative marking of 25% for each incorrect answer. Roughly, the questions are categorized as three difficulty levels: easy, medium and hard. 30% of the questions will be of easy category, 40% medium and 30% hard. You’ll need to score a minimum of 40% in each paper in order to clear the CS pre-exam. The results will be linked to the enrollment process for the main CS examination level (CS Executive/CS Professional).
You’ll obtain the results as soon as you have completed the test. If you don’t obtain the required 40%, you can take up the test again. You can take up the test as many times as you want. But you can’t attempt the test more than once every 24 hours. That is, if you fail one attempt, you’ll have to wait 24 hours before you try again.
Note that the number of attempts, and the marks obtained will NOT be considered for the basis of computing the result of the main CS Exam. Note also that not everyone is eligible (or mandated) to take up the test. There are certain eligibility criteria that you must fulfil before taking up the test. Let’s see what those are.
Eligibility Criteria for the CS pre-exam Test
If you are a CS student and:
- you have registered on or after March 1st, 2018 to the CS Executive/Professional programme (New Syllabus 2017); or
- you have switched over from the old syllabus to the new syllabus of CS Executive/Professional progammes,
it is mandatory for you to appear and clear the CS pre-exam test before appearing for your examinations. You should be aware that if you are planning to appear in one or more modules for the CS Executive/CS Professional exams for an attempt, you need only complete the CS pre-exam test for papers of that/those module(s) only. For example, if you are planning to appear for Module 1 papers of CS Executive in the November attempt, you need only clear the CS pre-exam test for those papers only.
You can gain exemptions for each paper of the CS pre-exam test. Also, if you have failed the main examination, and have appeared and cleared the CS pre-exam test for that level before, you don’t need to attempt the CS pre-exam test again.
Let’s look at all this in detail …
Exemptions from appearing for the CS pre-exam Test
You can gain paper-wise exemptions for the CS pre-exam test on the following basis:
- If you have passed the tests conducted as part of classroom teaching batches conducted by ICSI’s regional chapter/offices
- If you have been granted exemption(s) in some paper(s) based on higher qualification/switch-over etc., you need not appear for those paper(s)
Also, if you’ve already appeared for the CS pre-exam test for one level but failed in the main CS exam, you don’t need to clear the CS pre-exam test for all future attempts. That is, the CS pre-exam test results will be valid for all future sessions of the exam for the respective subjects.
Now that we know about eligibility and exemptions, let’s look at the fee structure and registration procedure for the CS pre-exam test.
Fee Structure and Registration Procedure for the CS Pre-exam Test
You will need to pay a one-time fee of Rs. 1,000 for the CS pre-exam test. You don’t need to remit the fees again if you’ve failed the test and want to take it up again. There are concessions available for certain categories of students as shown in the table below:
Category of Student
Staff & ward of Staff
SC/ST, Wards and Widows of Martyrs
Differently abled person
ICSI Signature Award/CS Olympiad /ICLS
Students registered under Fee Waiver Scheme for North Eastern Chapters and Jammu & Kashmir
Now, to register and appear for the CS Pre-exam test, you need to carry out the following:
Step 1: Fee Payment
Case 1: Using SMASH credentials
- Login to the SMASH portal with your credentials
- Go to the Student Profile Page
- Go to the Payment Instruction Page
- Follow the Instructions in the Payment Gateway Page
- Generate Receipt
Case 2: New Syllabus Students with Registration in March and April 2018 or those who have switched over from old and new syllabus should pay the fee using this portal.
Step 2: Taking the CS pre-exam test
Here again are two cases:
Case 1: Taking pre-test:
- Login to the e-learning portal using your credentials
- Click on My Course
- Follow the pre-exam guidelines
- Choose which paper you want to take the pre-exam test
- Follow instructions to begin the test
Case 2: Exemptions for the CS pre-exam test in certain papers
- Login to the e-learning portal using your credentials
- Launch the test of such papers after
- Click on ‘I have read and understood the instructions and agree to adhere to them’
- Click on 'I am ready to begin'
- If you’ve gained an exemption for this paper, you will be marked as passed. Do the above for each paper that you’ve gained exemptions from
That’s all there is to it about fees and the registration process. If you want more information about the CS pre-exam test, have a look at this resource by ICSI.
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