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How to make money invigilating exams
Image: Chris Radburn - Press Association Images
Would you like to be paid to sit down? Well, to sit down and wander around a room occasionally? That's pretty much the deal for invigilating exams - you could get paid and catch up on a bit of thinking time while you're at it.
Hardly anyone who's ever taken any kind of exam can forget the tense atmosphere in the classroom during an exam. And hardly anyone misses it. However, going back to the exam room might bring you some extra cash - and without much effort.
Working as an invigilator, the watchful eye of every exam, could be an excellent opportunity to make some quick cash. What you need is the ability to sit quietly for several hours and remain alert and, if needed, strict. In most cases training is provided and you do not need to have experience.
How do you get the work?
It's really a question of getting in touch with local education establishments and seeing what they have on offer - if anything:
- Most colleges and universities recruit invigilators prior to their May-June and January exam periods.
- Check out the individual university/college websites or give them a call couple of months before and see whether you can become their invigilator.
- You can also check out your local borough council website for positions in local schools where they might need people to oversee GCSE and A-level exams. Many school exams are invigilated by the teachers, but the big ones often need people from outside.
- Gumtree can be a good source of invigilator vacancies as well. If you're out of Britain you can try to contact The British Council - they often need English speaking invigilators.
It isn't exactly a demanding job, however make sure you take it all very seriously. You may have to get a bit of training first from the college itself.
In all seriousness, if you're a noisy, fidgety kind of person (like me!), it's not likely to be a good choice of a money-earner for you.
In most cases you will have to show up half an hour or an hour before the actual exam. You will have to place booklets and question papers on each desk, make sure the seats are labeled correctly and know all the details about the exam - what equipment students are allowed to use, exam start and finishing times, etc.
Although you might feel that it could be boring in the exam room, remember you are working. You're not allowed to read, write, paint your fingernails or chat to another invigilator. Even daydreaming can be dangerous. Keep in mind you have to be alert at all times, as you have to:
- Make sure no one is cheating
- Observe students without making them feel uncomfortable
- Assist the students if they need an extra paper or leave the room to go to the toilet
- Inform them when the end of the exam time is approaching.
What money can you make?
You will usually get paid from £7 to £10 per hour. So, if you were to sit on two three-hour exams a day over a two week period you could earn up to £600. Not bad and, let's face it, it's not often you get paid cash after an exam?
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