COMMENT by Frances Hudson

Exam season is finally over for the youths in Britain who have just completed their GCSE’s and many students have taken to twitter to complain about the overbearing and stress-inducing invigilators.
Exams are already hard enough. Do we really need to enforce the extra stress of distracting invigilators upon students trying their best to concentrate and focus?

The amount of pressure placed on students today is frankly shocking and that’s without the added worry of the harsh invigilators constantly peering over students’ shoulders, breathing heavily down their necks and then stomping off, up and down the rows of exam desks again and again.

Although invigilators do play an important part in preventing cheaters from copying other students and handing out extra stationery to those unfortunate enough to have an empty pen or an unsharpened pencil, doesn’t mean that they have to go about their job in the loudest, most disruptive way possible. Many invigilators also decide to try and be as scary as possible. Yet this is unnecessary and distracts students from what they are meant to do and makes them too afraid to ask questions that they need to ask. Perhaps a friendly smile and an investment in some quieter shoes from an invigilator wouldn’t go unappreciated from students?


  1. Have you got nothing better to do with your time than moaning about invigilators? The exam system would be completely broken without them. I don’t know why you’ve got such an axe to grind.

    And it’s stationery, not stationary.

  2. Firstly – “stationery” – assuming you’re talking about paper. Get a decent dictionary if you can’t tell the difference.

    Secondly – when was the last time you invigilated an exam, or sat an exam? At what point did you become an expert on exam procedure?

    Without invigilators exams wouldn’t run, the unions no longer allow teachers to perform this role. Perhaps your comments were meant to be humorous, I’d like to think so, otherwise it means you’re having a go at a necessary and dedicated group of people who work hard to support students through a difficult time.

  3. Do you have any idea of the job of the invigilator? They are there to manage the security and integrity of the exam. Students have to follow the rules and this criticism is completely unnecessary when they are just doing their job.

  4. Perhaps an acknowledgment that invigilation is a thankless but vital task, and that vigilance is both required by the exam board and a necessary part of the job, wouldn’t go unappreciated either.

    As in any other job, those carrying it out vary. Just as the odd journalist, for example, may be sloppy, the odd invigilator may be heavy handed. But condemning all journalists – or all invigilators – for the faults of a minority is hardly the action of a reasonable person.

  5. Dear Frances
    This is a dreadful article and shows you to be ill informed and narrow minded. You should do more research before writing your articles to better understand the subject. I would challenge you to write from the invigilator’s standpoint.

  6. As an exams officer who manages 25 invigilators who are highly dedicated members of their community who get paid a pittance, I can confirm that this article is a load of totally ill-informed nonsense.


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