Cirrus Hidden Gems: Keycode Access

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Welcome to May! As we say goodbye to spring and welcome summer, we thought it was the perfect time to introduce an easy Hidden Gem that suits the laid-back vibe of the season. Today, we spotlight a new feature designed to simplify exam access at test centers: Keycode. This unique, single-use keycode provides candidates direct access to their exams in Cirrus, enhancing both convenience and security.

What It Is

Keycode is a single-use, easy-to-enter login method that gives candidates direct access to their exams. This code can be easily distributed to candidates on a paper slip or digitally, and it eliminates the need for traditional, cumbersome login methods.

After a candidate logs in to Cirrus with a keycode, the system validates the login and redirects the candidate directly to the exam, skipping the candidate dashboard entirely.

The Perks

Simplified access

One of the primary advantages of keycodes is the simplicity they bring to the login process. Candidates no longer need to remember complex usernames and passwords. Instead, they receive a straightforward keycode that grants them instant access to their exam. This is particularly beneficial in test centres, where the goal is to get candidates settled and ready to start their exams with minimal fuss, or where time limitations are a factor.


Keycodes provide an additional layer of security by being single-use and time-sensitive. Once a keycode is used, it cannot be reused, which prevents unauthorised access. Keycodes can also be combined with other security measures, such as requiring a username or PIN, to further enhance the protection of exam content.


For test centre administrators, the keycode system simplifies the distribution and management of exam access. Rather than managing a list of usernames and passwords, administrators can quickly generate and print keycodes for all candidates sitting an exam. This reduces the administrative burden and minimises the risk of errors or forgotten passwords, disrupting the exam process.

Improved candidate experience

By using keycodes, candidates can avoid the stress and confusion of navigating multiple login steps. Instead, they can focus immediately on the exam at hand. This streamlined process helps reduce anxiety and allows candidates to perform at their best.

How it Works in Cirrus

Admins enable Keycodes in Cirrus settings (Admin > Global Settings > General > Keycode). During exam scheduling, Keycodes can be toggled on or off. Invigilators print keycode slips from the invigilator dashboard before the exam, including the URL, keycode, and other details. Candidates use the URL on their slip to access their exams directly, skipping the dashboard. If they end up on the regular login page, an extra link allows them to use the Keycode.

Curious to know more about exactly how keycodes work in Cirrus? Check out our Knowledge Base
Not a Cirrus customer yet? Let’s talk about how we can simplify the exam process for you – both in test centres and remotely.

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Cristina Gilbert
Copywriter and digital content enthusiast, Cristina is motivated by the fast-paced world of e-assessment and the opportunities online exams give students to thrive.
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