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The Ins and Outs on Making Money as an Exam Invigilator

Kimberly Martis is a Dutch Caribbean freelance writer. She writes about culture, beauty, tv-shows, music, movies, odd jobs, and fiction.

An exam room at an extern place.

An exam room at an extern place.

What Is an Exam Invigilator?

An exam invigilator makes sure that the students can take their exams in a safe and peaceful environment. The exam invigilator follows the rules and directions set by the exam board. And is responsible for the exams from start to finish.

The exam invigilator gets instructions on the particular exam that they are going to supervise. Upfront the exam invigilator inspects the classroom or extern place where the exam is taking place. They check to see if there is enough space for all of the students. They also make sure that there are enough exams. And that the exams are the correct exams. If the exams are being taken on computers than they also check if the computers are working.

When the student arrives, they check the student id to determine the students' identity. They also need to check the time to make sure that the exam starts on time and finishes on time. During the exam, the exam invigilator makes sure that nobody cheats. And if they do cheat the exam invigilator makes sure to take the correct steps that the exam board has set for students that cheat during exams.

After all the students have finished the exam, the exam invigilator collects the exams and makes sure they get to the right teacher(s). It would be best to deliver the exams to each teacher individually and let them sign for acceptance. This is to cover yourself in case the exams get lost or damaged. This way you can prove to the exam board that you handed off the exams just as how you collected them from the students. This is not a requirement but as exams often get lost or damaged this is a great way to ensure that you can’t be blamed for the loss of exams.

  • Tip: as an exam invigilator it would be horrible if your phone would go off during the exam and disturb the peace. Therefore, it would be best to turn your phone off or put it on silence.

How Do You Become an Exam Invigilator?

There are different ways to get a job as an exam invigilator. You can apply for the job through a temp agency. They often have a pool with people who are interested in working as an exam invigilator. When the exams are coming up, they contact everybody in the pool and you can start working as an exam invigilator. Another way to become an exam invigilator is by applying for the job directly at the school. Getting in through the school is easier when you have a personal connection within the school. Having a sibling or (grand)child attending the school is a way to enter. Or if you know someone that teaches or works at the school. (Of course, you would not be working during the exams of your sibling or (grand)child.) A benefit from getting in through the school is that you will get paid more (unless you’re a senior citizen) and you will get more opportunities to work as the school contacts you directly.

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Depending on the school you can become an exam invigilator at 16 years old. There is no maximum age but they do require that you're still able to perform well. A lot of schools do prefer senior citizens as exam invigilators. The reason for this is that senior citizens tend to be more flexible to schedule and are cheaper.



As an exam invigilator, you might work by yourself or with another exam invigilator and at times with a group of exam invigilators. This depends on the location that you are working at and on the number of students taking the exam. The exams can take place at the schools or at an extern location. If it's at the school than you would have to work at the school itself. Most schools don’t have special exam rooms so you will most likely work in a classroom. If the exam is taking place at an extern place than you will work there. Extern places usually have big rooms that the school rents to let their students take their exams at. If this is the case you will most likely work in a gym, warehouse or other big open space that can be set up as a big exam room.

  • Tip: bring your own lunch. Schools have cafeteria's where you can buy lunch but a lot of external places don’t. Other extern places do have a cafeteria but they (usually) are not open to people from outside of their company.


Make sure that you are dressed appropriately. As you are an authority figure you should dress accordingly. This means no short shorts, short dresses or showing (too much) cleavage. When wearing jewelry and accessories make sure that they aren't noisy. Bangle and charm bracelets are a no go. Don’t wear flipflops as the can make noises when you walk. The same goes for heels. Heels make noise when you are walking around which may distract the students.

  • Tip: if you work at an extern place then it would be smart to bring an extra jacket or sweater with you. Often the air conditioner will be on high to prevent it from being too hot as there will be a lot of students in the room. Besides this, a lot of warehouses don’t have a heater which makes it extra cold during the wintertime.


The payment differs when you work through a temp agency or directly for the school. Usually, when you work directly for the school you get paid more as there aren’t extra fees being taking away by a temp agency. If you are a senior citizen though than you will get paid less as senior citizens receive compensation instead of a salary.

© 2019 Kimberly Martis

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