Assessment is challenging in the online context, so it’s important to prepare well. To ensure that your connectivity and technology is ready for your exam or test, follow these important tips - brought to you by ICTS and the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT).

Physical location

  • Ensure that you have a quiet place to write the assessment. If you do not have a suitable space at home or another location, book a space on campus so that you can use eduroam for the duration of your assessment.


  • Use a desktop or laptop for the exam; do not use a mobile device.


  • Use one of the recommended browsers: Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. Also, ensure that the browser is up to date before the day of your exam.
  • Close any unneeded applications before the start of the assessment.


  • If you are using mobile data, ensure that you have enough data and airtime for the day of the exam.
  • If you are able to connect via a network cable (rather than wireless), please do so. This provides better internet connectivity.
  • If your WiFi connection isn’t stable enough, set your phone as a mobile hotspot – using your mobile data for connectivity during the assessment. Search your phone’s settings for “hotspot”, or follow these instructions.


  • Please do this only if you are off campus (i.e., away from the eduroam signal). If you’re on UCT premises, you may not set up your own hotspot as it interferes with eduroam for other UCT users.
  • If your mobile data isn't working well - due to loadshedding or other outages - consider temporarily moving to an area where your mobile network is more stable.
  • Reduce data usage on your device by following these steps, and pause any software updates for the period of your assessment.
  • Reduce traffic on your network: If there are other devices connected in your location, disconnect or minimise WiFi usage as far as possible (e.g. re-scheduling video conferences, avoiding streaming videos / lowering streaming quality).

During the assessment

  • If using Vula Test and Quizzes, save regularly and DO NOT open Test and Quizzes in more than one browser tab/window. Do not navigate away from the test without saving.
  • Don't use the browser's Back and Forward buttons. Instead, use the Next / Previous button (Vula) or Next Page / Previous Page (Amathuba) to navigate between Quiz questions. 
  • Wait for the page to load before responding. Clicking multiple times can slow down the system, so rather be patient.
  • If you lose network access or experience other technical issues while taking a test and there is still time left to complete it, log out and close your browser completely. Login and return to the course site and go back into the test. You should be able to pick up where you left off.
  • Ensure that your laptop battery is fully charged, to mitigate any electricity outages.
  • For long text responses typed in Vula T&Q, consider typing these responded in a Word document first and then copy across as plain text. (Ensure you know how to do this.)
  • For assessments requiring file uploads, retain a backup copy of the submission (Word document) on your computer in case it is needed later on.
  • If you are working offline, be sure to activate the autosave function and save regularly.
  • Ensure that you verify that your submission went through successfully. For Assignments, make sure you click the final submit button and receive an email notification.

Note: Tests are set up in South African time but will display according to your personal time-zone selected under your profile:

  • Vula: Profile icon > Preferences > Time Zone
  • Amathuba: Profile icon > Account Settings

Student support

  • If you have been given contact details for a standby support person during each assessment, please ensure that you have this information on hand before the assessment.
  • For Vula or Amathuba-related issues, contact the CILT Helpdesk on or 021 650 5500 (weekdays 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
  • For IT-related issues, contact the IT Helpdesk on or 021 650 4500 (weekdays 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., except Thursdays until 3:15 p.m.) 


Download this tip sheet as a PDF