Exam Invigilator Duties

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The exam invigilator may be employed by a school, college, university or other educational centre to prepare examination rooms and monitor and assist students during the examination.

While different institutions will have their own guidelines and procedures, there are general duties which apply to all exam invigilators.


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The exam invigilator must prepare the exam room prior to the students' arrival. This typically entails placing the required paperwork on every desk, such as exam question paper, answer booklet and any supplementary material. The invigilator must make sure the clock in the room is set to the correct time and that any necessary instructions for the students are clearly displayed on a whiteboard or blackboard at the front of the room. Invigilators help students to their seats, ensuring they do not have on them any forbidden items such as bags, cell phones or text books.

During the Examination

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During the examination the invigilator must respond to queries from students as quickly as possible by taking details of the query and referring it to a senior member of the team. After the exam has been underway for around 30 minutes, the invigilator should mark the attendance record. Often this is done in duplicate; one copy is inserted with the answer booklets for marking and the other goes to the main office. All invigilators in the room should sign the attendance record. The invigilators should remain as quiet as possible during the exam.

After the Examination

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After the exam, the invigilator collects the completed answer booklets from each student, checking that the cover sheet has been filled in with the required information (for example, name, candidate number, date and number of questions answered). Generally the invigilator only releases the students after all the booklets have been collected. The booklets must then be taken to the office of the exam board or wherever has been designated. Invigilators should ensure that students leave the room in a quiet, orderly manner.

Dealing with Problems

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The exam invigilator may have to deal with students who arrive late for the exam or wish to leave early. Late arrivals should be recorded on the attendance record. Whether extra time is to be granted is a decision for the senior team member. Generally students are not permitted to leave the room during the first 15 to 30 minutes and the last 15 minutes of the exam. If it is clear to the invigilator that a student is cheating during the exam, any unauthorised material should be immediately removed and a report should be filed. In the event of a fire alarm, normal emergency procedure should be followed.