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Become an examiner for the fall Family Medicine virtual SOO examination. Learn about the benefits and how you can make an impact.
This step-by-step guide will help you prepare for your virtual simulated office oral (SOO) examination and ensure you have the information you need for your computer to be set up correctly.

It is important you complete all checks using the same laptop or desktop computer you will use on the day of the exam, and in the same location.

General Guidelines:
  • The exam can only be taken on a PC or Mac laptop/desktop computer. The guidelines mentioned below are for these electronic devices only. The word ‘device’ will be used interchangeably for laptop/desktop in the instructions below. Wherever specific instructions are required for Mac or PC, it will be mentioned as such.
  • Chromebooks, iPads, tablets, mobile phones, or smartphones do not meet test requirements. Please do not use any of these electronic devices for the virtual SOO examination.
  • It is important to test your computer and Internet connection ahead of time to ensure your set-up is appropriate. You must complete checks on the same device you will be using to take your exam and in the same location.
  • If you are using a work device, please check the firewall settings before the exam to ensure you can use the webcam, screen share, and video conference with an external party.
  • To ensure your device meets the specifications, please complete the Amazon Chime Readiness check ahead of time. We suggest you do this as soon as possible and at least twice in the days leading up to your examination. On the day of the exam, repeat the Amazon Chime Readiness check on the browsers you have on your computer.
  • If you still have concerns about your set-up, your device, or access to a stable Internet connection after reading the guide and completing your checks, please contact the Certification and Examination department at [email protected] as soon as possible.
Some common terminologies used in this guide are:
  • Practique: Virtual SOO platform used for conducting the exam
  • OS: Operating system
  • RAM: Random access memory
  • Computer: laptop or desktop computer
  • Device: The PC or Mac laptop/desktop you are going to use on exam day. (Do not use Chromebooks/tablets/notebook computers/smartphones/mobile phones)

Minimum Requirements and System Checks

Device Requirements

Candidates must ensure their device is ready and they carry out the relevant system checks in advance of the examination.
  1. Required equipment
    • Practique works well on a PC or Mac laptop or desktop. If using a laptop, always ensure the device is fully charged and connected to a power source
    • A webcam and audio access are essential for video calls. You need a working internal or external webcam and a microphone
  2. Operating system and storage
    • Candidates’ computers should have an up-to-date OS installed and sufficient disk space
      • Windows: minimum Windows 8 or 10
      • macOS 10.15: Catalina – 7 October 2019
      • macOS 11: Big Sur – 12 November 2020
        Note: There is further information about how to check these below.
  • Hard drive storage space
    • Minimum 20 GB free space on the desktop/laptop
  • RAM requirements
    • Desktop and laptop, 4 GB minimum and 8 GB recommended

Browser requirements

  1. Browser version
    • You must have the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari installed on the device you are using
  2. Internet connection requirements
    • A stable Internet connection and sufficient bandwidth are required
      • Minimum of - 500 kbps ( 0.5Mbps) upload and 1.6 Mbps download
      • You can test your connection speeds at Speedtest.
        Note: Do not use a hotspot connection.
Note: Candidates who intend to take their examination in the workplace must check with their IT department to ensure external web links can be accessed and are not blocked by the network firewall. In this event, Practique will need to be whitelisted (allow the Practique website/URL to be accessed by the candidate while using workplace Internet connection and weblinks) by your IT support team. If you are using a work laptop, please check the firewall settings before the exam and ensure you can use the webcam, screen share, and video conference with an external party.
 

Amazon Chime readiness check

Practique utilizes Amazon Chime to deliver the video streaming connection for the examination. Use the link below to perform a system test, which must be completed successfully before your examination.

We strongly recommend you do this as soon as possible and again at least twice in the days leading up to your examination. On the day of the exam, repeat the Amazon Chime readiness check on the browsers you have on your computer.
 
  1. Go to Amazon Chime System Test to open the readiness check
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions
  3. You should see a completion screen with 0 errors. If there are any errors, then check your set-up and run the test again
    Note: You do not need to download Chime at the end of the test. Close the browser window when you have completed the test
Amazon Chime screenshot
Amazon Chime success screenshot

Checking your Set-up and Device Guide

 

Clearing Website Data

Clearing data, or your browser cache, should help ensure the latest pages on a website are loaded, speed up your browser performance, and free up some space on your computer.
 

Safari – Mac

  1. Open the Safari app on your Mac, choose ‘History’ from the menu bar
  2. Scroll down and at the end, select ‘Clear History’, then click the pop-up menu
  3. Choose how far back you want your browsing history cleared. We recommend clearing all
  4. Select ‘Clear History

Chrome – Computer

  1. On your computer, open Chrome
  2. In the upper right corner of your screen, click on the three vertical dots (‘Customize and Control Google Chrome’ when you hover over them)
  3. Click ‘More tools’ and select ‘Clear browsing data’
  4. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select ‘All time’ (recommended)
  5. Ensure that ‘Cookies and other site data’ and ‘Cached images and files’ are both checked
  6. Click ‘Clear data’

Firefox – Computer

  1. Click the Library button (four vertical lines in the top right), click ‘History’, and then click ‘Clear Recent History’
  2. Select how much history you want to clear. We recommend you clear all data
  3. Use the check boxes to select what information you want to clear from your history. We recommend you clear all data
  4. Click ‘Clear Now’. The window will close and the items you've selected will be cleared from your history

Allowing Pop-ups

Pop-up windows can be helpful or distracting. Some websites like the Practique browser require you to allow pop-ups. Important notes and error messages are included in those pop-ups. You can allow or block pop-ups on individual websites or all websites. If you’re not sure whether you want to block pop-ups, you can choose to block and be notified when the site wants to display a pop-up. At that time, you can decide if you want to show the pop-up.
 

Safari – Mac

  1. From the Safari menu, select Preferences
  2. Select Pop-up Windows from the left side menu
  3. From the when visiting other websites drop-down menu at the bottom right corner, select Allow to permit all pop-ups from all websites
  4. Alternatively, you can select Block and Notify to receive a notification whenever a pop-up has been blocked. From there, you'll have the option to allow exceptions as needed

Chrome – Computer

  1. On your computer, open Chrome
  2. In the upper right corner of your screen click on the three vertical dots (‘Customize and control Google Chrome’ when you hover over them). Click on ‘Settings’
  3. Select Privacy and Security in the left side menu
  4. Select Site Settings
  5. Scroll down to the bottom and select ‘Pop-ups and redirects’
  6. Select Add next to ‘Allowed to send pop-ups and use redirects’
  7. Input the specific page URL and select Add

Firefox – Computer

  1. On your computer, open Firefox
  2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click ‘Firefox’ and select ‘Preferences’
  3. Select the ‘Privacy & Security’ panel and go to the ‘Permissions’ section
  4. Make sure that ‘Block pop-up windows’ is not checked. Unchecking this option will allow pop-ups

Updating the Browser

 

A Few Days Before the Exam:

Ensure you have the latest version of at least two of the following browsers on your computer: Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Follow the instructions below to check if your browsers are up to date and update them if needed.
 

Safari – Mac

There are two ways you can update your browser:
  • For newer Macs (OS Mojave or newer), you can update your Safari by simply updating your OS.
  • For older Macs (OS High Sierra or OS Sierra), you will need to update Safari through the App Store.

Newer Macs

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left of the screen. Then select ‘System Preferences’
  2. Click ‘Software Update’, which is represented with a gear icon. Your computer will automatically check for any available updates
  3. If there are any upgrades available, click ‘Upgrade Now’ to make the updates. If there is an OS update, it will automatically update your Safari browser.

Older Macs

  1. Go to the App Store by clicking on the Apple icon on your computer screen in the top left corner
  2. Click ‘Updates’ to see all the apps that have updates available
  3. Look for Safari in the list and click on ‘Update’. If Safari does not appear on the list, then there is no update currently available.

Chrome - PC

  1. On your computer, open Chrome
  2. In the upper right corner of your screen click on the three vertical dots (‘Customize and control Google Chrome’ when you hover over them). From the drop-down menu that appears, select ‘Help’, then select ‘About Google Chrome’
  3. The window that appears will automatically check for updates and show you the current version of Chrome. It will also let you know if an update is available

Firefox - PC

  1. Open the Firefox browser
  2. Click the menu option in the top right corner
  3. Click ‘Options’
  4. Click’ Advanced’
  5. Click ‘Update’

Updating the Operating System (OS)

 

Mac

  1. Power your computer and connect to the Internet with Wi-Fi
  2. Go to the Apple menu and choose ‘System Preferences’
  3. Click ‘Software Update’
    Tip: You can also choose Apple menu > About This Mac, then click ‘Software Update

Windows

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select ‘Search’ in the pop-up menu.
  2. Click on the standard ‘Search’ icon at the bottom left corner of the screen adjacent to the Windows icon
  3. Type ‘About’ and press enter when ‘About your PC’ appears
  4. Scroll down to Windows specifications to see which edition is currently installed
  5. If you do not have the minimum OS (Windows 8) installed, you must purchase/update it as soon as possible

Checking Hard Drive (HDD) Storage

Minimum 20GB free space on a device is required.
 

Mac

  1. Open the Apple menu, then select ‘About This Mac’
  2. Click the Storage tab in the toolbar to see how much disk space you have available. On OS X Mountain Lion or Mavericks, click the ‘More info’ button, then click ‘Storage’

Windows

  1. Open File Explorer. You can use the keyboard shortcut—Windows key + E—or click the folder icon in the task bar
  2. Click ‘This PC’ from the left pane on your screen
  3. You can see the amount of free space on your hard disk under the Windows (C:) drive, in the right pane

Checking RAM

 

Mac

  1. Open the Apple menu
  2. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen and select ‘About This Mac’. On the Overview tab, the Memory line lists the amount of RAM in GB. Ensure you have at least 4 GB; we recommend 8 GB

Windows

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select ‘Search’ in the pop-up menu
  2. Type ‘About’ and press enter when ‘About your PC’ appears
  3. Scroll down and, under device specifications, see ‘Installed RAM’. Ensure you have at least 4 GB; we recommend 8 GB

Maximizing Available RAM

 

Mac

  1. For disabling auto-start software, on your Mac go to ‘Apple’ then ‘System Preferences’
  2. Go to ‘Users & Groups’, then ‘Login Items’. Remove all items from the ‘These items will open automatically when you login’ by selecting an item and using the ‘ - ’ button underneath the box
    Note: After removing the auto-start items, you should reboot your computer

Windows

  1. Click the Start menu
  2. Select Settings > Apps > Startup
  3. Disable all apps for automatic start-up
If you do not see the Startup option in settings:
  1. Right-click ‘Start’
  2. Select ‘Task Manager’
  3. 3.    Select the ‘Startup’ tab. If you do not see the tab, select the ‘Details’ tab
FAQ about virtual simulated office oral examinations

Virtual simulated office oral candidate training resources
 

 

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