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Become an exam invigilator

July 2016

It can be hard to avoid all the stories about exam results that hit our media every summer. Only a few of us will have grand children involved in big exams, but nevertheless August is the time the majority of results for both GCSEs and A levels are released.

What is interesting is that all this exam taking offers people of our age opportunity to earn extra money. This is because whenever an official exam is being held, the event has to be supervised by an authorized person who ensures there is no cheating and that the exams are carried out according to the official rules.

These people who oversee the exam taking are called invigilators and are paid to do the job. Every year education authorities and schools, colleges and universities will be recruiting people to oversee exams, mainly in January and in May and June; but the invigilators are usually booked several weeks and months in advance, so you can apply as early as you like.

The main requirement of an exam invigilator is to be a responsible adult; you don’t specific qualifications and training is given before you start. You may require a CRB check (Criminal Records Bureau check) but this is fairly straightforward and can be done on line.

The actual work does usually involve a little more than simply wandering in, sitting at a table in front of all the students, and then wandering out again to collect your money!

Sometimes invigilators are asked to set up the examination room with examination papers, stationery and any other required equipment at the desks.

You may well be asked to also direct the students to their desks; checking attendance and dealing with any late arrivals. You will also need to check no unauthorized items are brought into the examination room.

During the actual exam, you need to check there is no communication between the candidates or any access to electronic or other aids, and it is often best to patrol the room carefully to ensure no cheating is taking place.

During the exam, you may be required to sort out water or urgent bathroom requests or other matters but you will have been fully informed of what the correct procedures are and the support available before the exam starts. These instructions also cover what to do in case of an emergency such as fire.

Timing may well be your responsibility, ensuring everyone stops when the allocated exam period is finished and then you may need to collect the papers and supervise everyone to leave the exam room. You may even be asked to check the exam papers when you collect them to check everyone has included their name and candidate number.

Once you have done it a few times, it is not an arduous job and many people love the involvement in young people.  Pay is around £10 an hour – universities can pay more - but varies from authority to authority.

There is no central department that handles invigilators; the only way to get on the local books is to apply individually to local councils, colleges and education authorities. Some recruitment agencies also handle invigilators.

There is some information on the following sites:

Money Magpie



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