What Does an Examination Supervisor Do?

B. Miller

An examination supervisor is an individual in charge of monitoring students when they take exams to be sure cheating does not take place, and that someone is available to answer any questions. Though teachers often proctor exams for students, some schools hire an outside examination supervisor for larger testing events, such as when an entire school is taking an exam. Students who pursue online or distance learning may also need to get an individual to independently proctor exams, depending on whether the school requires it or not. It is a fairly simple position, but it does require a high level of integrity.

In many schools, the teachers serve as exam supervisors.
In many schools, the teachers serve as exam supervisors.

Initially, the examination supervisor might need to make sure that all the materials students need are available to them, such as writing materials or calculators. He or she will also need to ensure that enough exams are available, and that they have not been altered in any way. When students come in to take the test, the examination supervisor will need to take attendance and make sure that everyone is accounted for. Depending on the type of test, this might even involve checking identification to be sure the correct students are taking the test.

The examination supervisor will then distribute the tests, explain the directions, and monitor the students while they complete the exams to be sure no one is cheating. This is the most important part of an examination supervisor's job description, to be sure that all the students are behaving honestly. If students have questions regarding the exam, or if they need to leave the room for any reason, they will need to ask the examination supervisor to determine if it is allowable. Again, depending on the test, students may not be allowed to leave for the duration without invalidating their scores.

It is then the supervisor's responsibility to inform students when time is up and collect the exams, being sure to handle them properly -- if they must be sealed in an envelope, for example. Until the exams are submitted to whomever is supposed to get them, they are the responsibility of the examination supervisor, and should not be left out of sight. Anyone who wants to supervise exams should be very responsible and able to work independently, since no one else will be supervising him or her directly. Again, it is not a challenging job, but it does require certain important qualities in order to be successful.

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