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How to Become an Exam Invigilator

Do you want to help learners in the most crucial time of their education? Become an exam invigilator!

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Step 1: Learn about an exam invigilator's role and responsibilities

As an exam invigilator you will be supporting learners in the most crucial part of their education. Depending on the needs or facilities of the organisation you may be invigilating exams in lecture theatres, classrooms or even assembly/sports halls.

Here are some of the key responsibilities you’ll likely deal with as an exam invigilator:

  • Assisting in the setting up of examination venues, laying out equipment and exam papers 
  • Responding to candidate requests during the examination
  • Escorting candidates from the location during the examination, such as for toilet breaks
  • Making sure no unauthorised material is consulted, no looking at notes or checking electrical devices 
  • Communicating the proper examination procedures to candidates and overseeing candidate behaviour 
  • Taking records on candidate attendance and absence

When you'll be working

Since exams aren’t happening all the time, working as an exam invigilator means you’ll be working seasonally or as needed.

What does an exam invigilator earn?

The average salary for an exam invigilator is around £18,730.The starting salary for an exam invigilator is around £17,550 but as an experienced exam invigilator you could earn up to around £20,925, though your wage could vary depending on the responsibilities of the role and the region you are in.

Step 2: Improve your chances of getting a position as an exam invigilator

If you’re comfortable with the responsibilities of being an exam invigilator, then you’ll need to ensure that you have all of the necessary skills and qualifications for the position and understand what exactly you can do to help yourself get started as an exam invigilator.

Which qualifications do you need to become an exam invigilator?

The Joint Council for Qualifications states quite broadly that “training must be held for new exam invigilators”. This means the qualifications required to be an exam invigilator can vary depending on the specific role. 

Some schools may hire on pure potential alone but it’s always good to get that edge on other candidates and show that you really care about the role so doing a course might help. There are many paid and funded courses and training opportunities that can be completed online or in person.

You could also need an A* to C grade at GCSE level in English and Maths or equivalent, depending on the workplaces you apply for. If you don’t have either one or both of these you should look at taking either a Level 2 Functional Skills English course or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths course. A functional skills qualification is equivalent to having your GCSE qualification at this level, and can help you get into a wide range of jobs, not just in exam invigilation. 

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Get some supporting qualifications valuable to the job

Though not essential, having supporting qualifications can really improve your chances of getting the position that you want and help you to stand out among other applicants. Getting your supporting qualifications will let you demonstrate additional knowledge that other candidates might not have.

As an exam invigilator there are a number of supporting qualifications that could be helpful. A Safeguarding and Prevent course is going to equip you with the knowledge you need to help safeguard learners, as it’s everyone in the schools responsibility. Employers are going to feel confident knowing you have the knowledge you need to support the organisation’s safeguarding responsibilities to a higher level. 

How to get experience as an exam invigilator

Already having invigilator experience can be really valuable when applying for an exam invigilator role. Volunteering as an exam invigilator can be a great way of getting the required experience and shows potential employers that you’re dedicated to the working in the role.

Experience working in a school environment can be a great asset to you when applying for an exam invigilator job as you will be more familiar with schools as organisations. Having experience in roles where you need to instruct others is also valuable as reading the exam rules and directing candidates is a vital part of being an exam invigilator.

Think about the transferable skills you’ll be bringing from other work. For example having teamworking skills is crucial when working in exam room as it will make it easier for you to collaborate with your colleagues to solve any issues that may arise. Good IT skills are another great transferable skill you could show off as they may come in useful if there is also an administrative element to the role. IT skills could also be useful if you are invigilating exams that are conducted on computers.

Checking out our jobs board is a great way to start searching for the experience you need!

Typical weekly hours

As an exam invigilator your hours are going to be dependent on when your services are required. You can expect to only work short periods of a few hours at a time.

Step 3: Make sure your exam invigilator CV is up-to-date

You should make sure your CV includes your most up-to-date information, including any relevant qualifications and work experience you might’ve gained since you last updated it. Since we all know first impressions are important, and your CV is more often than not going to be the first thing potential employers will see, it’s essential that they’re done right.

To make the best impression you can, you’ll need to convey the right information and present it well. Given how important your CV is, we’ve created a short guide to help give you the best chance of landing an interview and starting your new career.

Top exam invigilator CV writing tips

When you’re looking at a position as an exam invigilator, it’s crucial that your CV is high quality and reflects your passion for the role. An effective CV is well presented, displays relevant skills and experience, and gives your potential employers an insight into who you are. 

It’s important that you use grammar correctly, that your writing is concise but informative, and any non-relevant information is left out. Not following these rules could mean your application is rejected, since employers could see it as too unprofessional. Our exam invigilator CV writing tips are here to help you to land that position you’ve been waiting for!

1. Grab their attention with a personal profile

Your personal profile is the first section of your CV that employers will read to find out more about you. This is your chance to introduce yourself, sell your skills and outline your characteristics. Personal profiles are a perfect way to persuade recruiters, as it tells them straight off why they should hire you. 

This section can include relevant experience and achievements, but it’s important to tailor this to the job description and what’s prioritised there to show your enthusiasm for the role and that you’re a serious candidate for the position who has what they’re looking for. 

There are no set rules on the length of this section but you should aim for a few short sentences and no longer than 100 words. This way you can keep it concise and effectively highlight who you are to employers without giving them too much information, increasing the chances of them reading through the rest of your CV and considering you for the job. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and presenting the things that you think make yourself stand out.

Talk about yourself (when it's relevant)

Though your CV should be more focused on your skills and work experience rather than your personality, it can be good to include some relevant personal information such as your hobbies in your CV. What counts as relevant will vary from job to job. 

2. Sell your skills

There should be a section in your CV that outlines your relevant skills. This makes it easy for the employer to read and more easily determine if you meet the requirements of the role. You should format this section using bullet points so that it’s simple and easy for employers to read. Make sure to include relevant skills that you think make you a good candidate for the position. Such as:

  • Having good attention to detail is important as you’ll need to keep an eye on learners to watch out for even the slightest irregularity
  • Being enthusiastic and willing to learn is important if you are new to the role
  • Being a good communicator is vital in any job that involves working with others or communicating ideas to others

If you’re struggling to think of skills that are relevant to the job then it’s a good idea to check vacancy advertisements for some ideas. Start off by rereading the job you’re applying for and what might be useful to mention, but if you’re still stuck then take a look at other similar job postings. You should also think about which of your skills have been helpful in any of your past work or study. 

It’s important when talking about your skills to try and include both hard and soft skills, so that you can show some variety. Hard skills are the skills you gain through experience, knowledge, or learning such as through a qualification or after undertaking training. Soft skills refer to your personal traits and habits that determine how you work, like being an effective communicator, able to work in a team, or organisational skills.

3. Outline your experience

You should outline any past experiences in either work or volunteer positions that are relevant to becoming an exam invigilator and can best show your potential employer the value that you’d be bringing to the position. 

The most valuable experience you can have as an exam invigilator is working in that position before and, if you have it, is something you should present front and centre. Give details of where you worked, including the dates you started and finished your employment (these don’t have to be specific, usually the month and year are fine), alongside your key responsibilities within the role. 

If you have a lot of relevant experience then list it from most to least recent. Employers will want to know more of what you’ve been doing recently, rather than years ago, as it’s more relevant to the jobs you’ll be applying for now.

If you have no relevant experience then you should include any previous employment you’ve been in and the transferable skills you gained that will be useful in the role. Try and think about any similarities between your previous positions and the one you’re applying for. Is there anything listed on the job advertisement that sounds familiar?

4. List your education and qualifications

Making sure you mention your education clearly on your CV is very important, as it will show that you have the knowledge and qualifications needed for the job. When listing your qualifications you should prioritise two things: the level of the qualification (is it a degree or a GCSE?) and when you received it. Much like your experience, it’s best to list your qualifications from your most to least recent.

When you’re listing your qualifications make sure you include the name of the institution, the dates you attended them from, the subject(s) you studied or name of the qualification, as well as the final grade you received. If there’s a particular aspect of your study that is very relevant to the position you’re applying to then it would be a good idea to briefly mention it at some point.

Include your certificates and other qualifications

Don’t think you just need to include your experiences from school or university, things like standalone courses that award you with a certificate or diploma are more than relevant, especially if they cover a subject that’s relevant to your work. Add your certificates in the same way you’d add your other qualifications, providing any additional information as needed.

5. Remember to include your contact details

It might seem obvious, but having your contact details clearly signposted on your CV is extremely important, without them potential employers may have no way to contact you. You should include your up-to-date email, phone number, and address somewhere near the top of your CV so that they don’t get lost amongst the rest of your information.

Example exam invigilator CV

Exam Invigilator CV Template

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Step 4: Search for exam invigilator jobs you can apply for

Searching for an exam invigilator’s position should be simple, and shouldn’t be any different from finding other jobs you’ve applied for before. Just make sure that the positions you apply for are a good fit for you and that you have all the necessary qualifications and you should have no trouble! Checking out our job board could be a good start for your search.

Step 5: Write a job-specific exam invigilator cover letter

You should write your cover letter using the job description of the vacancy you’re applying for. Your cover letter is an important part of many job applications. 

No matter what kind of job you’re applying for, your cover letter is going to help demonstrate to potential employers the passion that you have for the role and allow you to sell yourself as a valuable candidate that they need to consider hiring. 

Top exam invigilator cover letter writing tips

Cover letters are your chance to really sell yourself to a prospective employer and progress to the next stage of the hiring process. This opportunity isn’t always fully exploited by candidates, and sometimes cover letters just become reworked CVs or are poorly planned and formatted.

1. What should a cover letter look like?

The header of your cover letter should have your up-to-date email, contact number, and the current date, as well as the recipient’s contact information. You should start your cover letter with a greeting such as “Dear [Company] Hiring Manager” or “Dear Mr/Ms Surname”, if you know who you’ll be contacting directly.

When choosing your font you need to make sure it’s not only easy to read but also looks professional, as well as the right size. Try to stick between a size 10pt-12pt font on your cover letter, as making your font size too big could come across unprofessionally, but it should still be clear and legible. 

Make sure to split the main body of text into multiple paragraphs, this not only makes it easier to read but also easier to plan the structure of your cover letter (each paragraph might have a specific topic, for example). 

It’s a good idea to sign off your cover letter using your name and a complimentary close. Using “Yours Sincerely” or “Your Faithfully” are seen as very formal, but can sometimes appear outdated, try using “Kind Regards” as a formal alternative that is still professionally acceptable.

2. What should I write in my cover letter?

Here are some suggestions for each of the paragraphs in your cover letter and what you might want to mention to your prospective employer: 

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We are interactive boxes, tap us! 

First paragraph


Start by explaining why you're writing the letter, making sure to mention the job you're interested in by its specific title, you could also mention where you saw or heard about the vacancy. Give a brief sentence stating your experience or a relevant qualification. 

Second paragraph

Experience and Qualifications

Highlight your relevant experience or qualifications. Talk about relevant responsibilities you had in previous roles, and go into more detail about how this makes you suitable for the role--is there a particular achievement you're proud of in your previous work or study that is relevant to the job? Mention it here!

Third paragraph


Discuss the skills you have that are relevant to the job and make sure that you mention how they make you well-suited for the role. Always be showing the employer what you have to offer them if they were to hire you. 

Final paragraph

Final note

Reiterate your interest in the role. Outline your motivations for not only working this type of job but why you want to work for this employer. It's a good idea to include some relevant knowledge about your potential employer, as it shows you are taking an extra interest.  

3. How can I make my cover letter unique for each role I apply for?

A good way of making your cover letter stand out from other candidates is by tailoring it to the particular role you’re applying for. It’s always easiest to look back through the job posting and pick out relevant information like the job title and employer and making sure to mention them early on. This will show your employer that your cover letter is tailored towards them, rather than being something generic you’re sending around to every employer.

When you’re going through the job posting take note of the specific skills and experience listed as desirable by the employer, you can tailor the skills and experience you mention to what they’re looking for. Try not to follow along too closely and risk looking like you’ve just copied the advertisement, but do enough to show that you’re the ideal candidate. Order your skills, experience, and qualifications in order of relevancy–what’s highlighted or mentioned first in the job posting? Is there something very specific that they’re looking for? Make sure you bring it up!

4. Finishing touches

Now that your cover letter is well-formatted, has the main body of it’s content written, and has been tailored to the job role, it’s time to put the finishing touches to your work.

Proofread what you’ve written a few times over to check for punctuation or grammar errors and how well your writing flows. Try and enlist the help of a friend or relative to give it a read over, they may spot something you missed!

Now you should go back to the job vacancy and re-read all of it. Check if there are any special instructions you should follow when applying for the position, like if they’re asking for the documents to be submitted as a particular file type or maybe want you to add a job reference number to your cover letter. Make any of the changes you need and ensure everything’s in order. Overlooking small things like this could ruin your otherwise perfect cover letter!

Example exam invigilator cover letter

Exam invigilator cover letter

Download our Cover Letter Template and Make Yours Today!

Struggling to put your cover letter together? Download our free cover letter template and get a head start on writing an amazing cover letter. Make sure to follow the rest of our tips and learn how to land that job you’ve always wanted!

Step 6: Prepare for exam invigilator interviews

We all know that job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but being well prepared for the interview will help you to appear calmer and more confident. It might seem obvious, but make sure that you always present yourself professionally at interviews, dress well, and always be polite. First impressions can make or break your chances!

Interviews can be daunting and hard to prepare for–especially if you don’t have much experience–but we’re here to help you out. 

We’ve compiled a list of common questions that you might be asked in your interview for an early years job and how you should go about answering them, as well as some questions you can ask your interviewer to help show your interest in the position!

Questions your interviewer might ask

Your motivations

The interviewer is looking for genuine reasons why you want to be an exam invigilator. You could mention why you think the job fits well around your lifestyle, maybe you have retired and are looking a job with less hours. You could also mention your enjoyment of the tasks involved in the role as another motivation. 

If you have any personal reasons for wanting to work at this organisation this is the perfect chance to mention them. Things like being close by the organisation or being a pupil of the school in the past could be good reasons. 

This would also be a good time to show off any research you have done on the organisation. Maybe you could say you saw an award they won and it impressed you or maybe they have great employee satisfaction rates.

Your personal approach to the role

The key to this question is to show discretion. Remember there will likely still be candidates taking their exams so you need to deal with the issue while mitigating any disturbance to the other candidates. Asking the suspected cheater to stay behind after the exam is a way of keeping disruption low while still giving yourself an opportunity to deal with the issue. 

If you have experience as an exam invigilator it might even be good to recall a time when you have dealt with cheating. Using the STAR method to structure your answer could be useful.

This question is the interviewer testing not only your investigative skills but also your discretion. You need to discuss how you would collect evidence and what evidence you would collect, while also not compromising the candidates privacy as they could just be using the toilet. 

This question is testing your surveillance skills as an exam invigilator. The answer to this question would change depending on if you were present in the room with the candidate or invigilating them remotely. When invigilating remotely the candidate having a webcam is key to up holding the integrity of the examination. The candidate have a mirror behind them is could also be useful in remote exams as it allows you to see the candidates desk and screen.

Qualifications and experience

You should not only make sure your answer here matches with the skills you have listed on your CV but also only mention skills that you think are relevant to being an exam invigilator. Ideas of good skills to mention for exam invigilators could be having good attention to detail, being a good communicator and being able to work well as a team.

Employers usually are going to favour those who have been qualified for longer, but this isn’t always the case, depending on the qualifications you have. The Joint Council for Qualifications states quite broadly that “training must be held for new exam invigilators”, this means the qualifications required to be an exam invigilator can vary depending on the organisation you are working for. Ensure that you’ve got the right qualifications before applying and there shouldn’t be an issue, organisations might even offer training before you start!

When applying for positions in schools it’s good to have some supporting qualifications too. Even though you won’t be teaching, it’s still important to have a robust knowledge of safeguarding.

Having good IT skills can be useful in most modern jobs but for exam invigilators, having IT skills would stand out if the exams you’ll be invigilating are conducted on computers, as you’ll find navigating the virtual invigilation process harder. 

As part of some invigilator roles you may be expected to undertake administrative duties or assist admin staff if they are unable to keep up with the workload. If you’d be carrying out this work on computers then IT skills would be vital.

Questions for you to ask your interviewer

Reading through some of our common questions should help get you in the right headspace for your interview, but don’t stop here–have a think about what kind of questions you could be facing, as well as how you might answer them on your own!

Now let's recap...

Final note

After reading through our guide, you should be ready to embark on a new career in childcare with the confidence you need to excel. If you follow our tips then you’ll be more than ready to get the job role you’ve been looking for! Good luck, and if you need any more advice on other career options, don’t forget to take a look through our career advice page

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