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Invigilation training

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Minimum standards (C)



Word Processors


Rest breaks

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Quiz (C)

Additional Reading

Compulsory (C)


  • Ensure that all candidates have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities
  • Ensure the security of the examination before, during and after the examination
  • Prevent possible candidate malpractice
  • Prevent possible administrative failures in the examination room
To ensure that the examination is conducted according to the JCQ “Instructions for conducting examinations” (ICE) in order to:

Purpose of an invigilator

Minimum standards

You will receive your invigilation allocation by email up to a week before the first exam and the third exam - these can be subject to change, so check your room when you sign in on the morning of each examArrive at your allocated room an hour before the exam starts - a lead invigilator will bring your pack and papers to youTake time to familiarise yourself with the pack content and any access arrangements in your roomBefore the students arrive, be sure to switch your phone off or on silent mode

before the exam

Minimum standards

All display materials (including maps, diagrams) should not be visible to any candidatesA reliable clock must be visible to all candidatesA board/flip chart should be visible to all candidatesDesks should be minimum 1.25m from centre to centre, so that no student can overlook another's work

When you arrive, the room should be set up for you, but you should check...

Seting up the room

Minimum standards

Best practice is to put the students' candidate slips on the desks before they enter, ensuring those likely to finish first (i.e. least or no extra time) are nearest the door. If all students' exams are the same length then they should be seated in a manner that makes it easiest for you to collect their scripts in candidate number order. If you are running a room on one of the main campuses, it's often easiest to complete the seating plan at this point, and mark absentees when the exam is in progress

For the biggest rooms, you will be given a seating plan in 'snake order'. For all other rooms...

Organising Seating

Minimum standards

Note: it is the actual start and finish times which get written up. You will not know these until the exam has started. 9:32 is a much more common start time than 9:30!

  • The Date
  • Centre Number
  • Subject Title
  • Paper Number
  • Actual Start time
  • Actual finish time (including for those with extra time or breaks)
There are six pieces of information to go on the whiteboardAll the information will be at the top of your front sheet

Writing on the board

Minimum standards

  • Students should show their college identification or an ID Verification form on entering the exam room
  • If they do not have either, send them to the exams office to get an ID Verification form
  • Students should leave their identification on the corner of their desks for you to check against their candidate slips
  • Check identification of candidate and that ID information matches the candidate slips. You should do this when collecting slips to complete the seating plan and attendance register
  • Remember, students ID badges show their preferred name. The register will show both preferred name and legal name. If you have any student with a preferred name, try to remind them that it is their legal name which must go on the exam paper
It is essential to check that the candidates in the room match those on the register you have been given

id badges/names

Minimum standards

  • No headphones (inc airpods), coats, food or watches are allowed. No watches refers to both smart and ordinary watches
  • Mobile phones are also not allowed and should be either switched off in the students’ bags, or switched off and handed in to the invigilator
  • As best practice, candidates should prove to you that their phone is switched off before entering the room (not just on silent/airplane mode) ask them to check any alarms are switch off too
  • Pencil cases must be clear and contain only stationary
  • Water bottles are allowed only with no labels or writing on the bottle. It is no longer just clear liquid allowed, so they could have squash. Fizzy drinks are discouraged because of the noise made opening the bottles
Candidates have been informed of unauthorised materials before they get to the exam room, but you will need to be vigilant

Unauthorised Materials

Minimum standards

  • Access arrangements will be shown at the top of the front sheet and the Exams Officer or Lead Invigilator will also draw your attention to them on giving you your pack
  • Students with access arrangements must be identified on the seating plan
  • Where appropriate, there will be guides in your exam pack to help identify what assistance you can and cannot give
  • If a student does not use one or more of their access arrangements, clearly state this on the space available on the front sheet
Some students have additional requirements which allow them to access the exam and give them equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities

Access Arrangements

Minimum standards

  • Allow any student to leave the room unsupervised unless they have finished
  • Engage in other things which will take your attention from the exam - work, marking, your phone, a book...
  • Ensure you can see all students at all times
  • Be on the lookout for students trying to draw your attention
  • Move around the room quietly and at frequent intervals
  • Be vigilant at all times

Do/don'ts of an exam

Minimum standards

JCQ Malpractice Guidance

  • Where a candidate is being disruptive, the invigilator must warn the candidate that they may be removed from the examination room
  • If a student has any unauthorised material on them (notes, phone, watch, food, etc), even if not using it, you should remove it from their possession as soon as possible and for the duration of the exam
  • At the end of the exam, inform the candidate that their behaviour will be reported to the awarding body and they may decide to penalise them. The student should be given the opportunity to write a statement about what happened. You must write one too.
Students commit malpractice if they are being disruptive or bring unauthorised materials into the exam


Minimum standards

Statement information

MKC Incident Statement

Incidents must be handled time-sensitively, and if an incident occurs involving a student, an Incident Statement form should either be filled in before they leave the exam room, or the student should be brought to the Exams Office to complete a statement and see an Exams Officer.

It helps the Exams Team greatly if the statement is obtained while the student is present and while the incident is fresh in everybody’s mind. Any staff member involved should also fill out an incident statement form, to be sent to the awarding body.

JCQ Maladministration Guidance

  • Exam papers left unattended, outside of secure storage
  • Leaving candidates unattended once they have been in the same room as live exam materials
  • Paperwork, such as; a register, seating plan or incident records are not completed or completed incorrectly
  • Invigilators advantaging candidates, for example; by telling them which questions to answer, reading parts of the paper they are not permitted to, explaining words or questions
It is also possible for us as an exams centre to commit malpractice if we violate the JCQ rules. Some examples would be...


Minimum standards

Emergency Procedures

  • Once candidates have entered the exam room, they must remain under exam conditions, even if they are evacuated from the building
  • It is essential that, under exam conditions, candidates do not communicate with each other or anyone other than the invigilators or Exam Team staff
  • While the exam is paused, candidates should have no access to their scripts. Papers should be closed on their desks
  • Once the incident is dealt with, be sure to give a full written report to the Exams Officers – no detail too small
In the event of either an evacuation or medical emergency, you should follow the bright yellow emergency procedures document in your pack


Minimum standards

  • All parts of the paper must be collected before the students leave the room: question papers, answer papers, additional answer sheets and any inserts
  • Use the register to check you have all scripts and put them in candidate number order
  • Your paperwork will come with separate wallets for scripts, paperwork and superfluous materials. When these are split out, it is extremely helpful to the Exams Office
  • Return all scripts, exam materials, paperwork and invigilator packs to the Exams Office

after the exam

Minimum standards

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Minimum standards

JCQ ICE book

Click on the icon below

MKC Exams Policies

MKC Invigilator Resources

MKC Invigilator Checklist

Exams Sharepoint Page

MKC Incident Statement

To access the memory aid click the icon >


When it comes to acting as a reader, the most important thing to remember is that the Reading section of a question paper cannot be read by an invigilator/reader. Students are still permitted to use a reading pen in that section, since it can be used independently. But a human reader may only read the rubric on the front of the question paper, and the questions in the Writing section. They can read back a student’s answers to the Reading and Writing sections, if asked by the candidate, without emphasis on any errors

< To access the memory aid click the icon


The scribe should produce a clear, accurate and legible script by writing down exactly what the student dictatesThe scribe should follow the instructions of the student and can read their answers back to them, if requestedA scribe can either hand write the answers or ask the exams office for a laptop to type the answersRemember, SPaG marks (spelling, punctuation & grammar) are not given when a scribe is used, so there is no pressure on your spelling!

The instructions for formatting the document will be included in your pack, but you can ask your lead invigilator for help

Word Processors

Each candidate has an individual user name (ExamXXX) and password (four short words separated by a dash – the dash will need to be typed as part of the password)

The username and password for each candidate can be found on the back of their candidate slip

Students will complete the exam using a word document, which the invigilator will need to set up for them

Students must be accompanied back to the Exams Office so they can verify the work printed off

To access the Word Processor set up guide click the iconV

To access the memory aid click the icon


Students who lose focus easily or struggle with time management (e.g. getting stuck on one question) are entitled to a prompt.For students requiring a prompt, we recommend that invigilators have a quick chat with them at the start of the exam to confirm whether they would like their prompts to take the form of a tap on the shoulder, or on the desk, or verbal time prompt (“there are 40 minutes left” or “Joe, focus on the question”). A discreet word at the start of the exam is the best way forward

The difference between extra time and rest breaks:Namely, that extra time is added on to the end of an exam and is a fixed amount of time relating to the exam’s duration and the student’s need i.e. 25%Whereas rest breaks entitle the student to request a break for a specific reason during the exam, and the length of that rest break is added on to the endMore than one rest break may be taken and it is possible for a student to be entitled to extra time and rest breaks Students without rest breaks who need to leave the room (e.g. for the toilet) do not have any time added onApart from having finished their exam, any student leaving the room for any reason MUST be supervisedA form will be be in your pack to record any rest breaks for any candidate entitled to them

rest breaks


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