Examination Invigilation: The Role Of An Invigilator

Examination invigilation as a crucial component of academic assessment has remained a problem in the examination administration since it affects not only its validity but also the morale of the institution. Hence its re-visitation.

However, in this article, we will be talking about examination invigilation together with the role of an invigilator.

According to Chamber’s twentieth-century dictionary, invigilation is supervision, especially at the examination.

An examination invigilator is therefore someone whose function is to enforce laid down rules governing an examination. One may ask who in our circumstances is an invigilator. Well, any staff (academic and non-academic, scheduled and rescheduled to invigilate) around any hall where the examination is being taken is an invigilator.

Such non-academic and other staff not-scheduled to invigilate must be duty-bound to report any unorthodox conduct inside and around an examination hall to the scheduled invigilator.

Before we talk about the role of an invigilator, let’s look at the regulations guiding the invigilator.

1. There shall be a chief invigilator for each examination who shall collect examination material from the Registry.

2. There shall be at least two invigilators for every examination hall.

3. Invigilator shall collect and sign for examination materials from the chief invigilator.

4. Invigilators shall normally be appointed from members of the academic staff.

5. An examiner must be available during the first and last thirty minutes of the examination for attention to the question paper and to collect answer scripts at the end of the examination.

The Role Of An Invigilator

1. The invigilator shall report at the examination hall half an hour before the commencement of the examination and shall receive from the chief invigilator question papers in sealed packets, answer scripts, and other materials relevant to the good conduct of the examination.

2. The primary duty of the Invigilator is to exercise constant and vigilant supervision over candidates during the examination. Under no circumstance shall an Invigilator indulge in reading newspapers, books, marking scripts; or anything that could reduce his concentration or vigilance during the examination.

3. The time stipulated for an examination as indicated on the question paper must be strictly adhered to.

4. Each of the sealed packets of examination papers must be opened in the presence of the candidates after the seals on the packets have been certified as being intact.

5. Before the commencement of any examination, the chief invigilator or invigilator shall ensure that all candidates have appropriate question papers. Candidates shall be made to write their Registration Numbers on their question papers.

6. Invigilator shall announce the time, at appropriate intervals during the period of an examination.

7. Invigilator shall provide an attendance register, which must be duly completed in duplicate and signed by every candidate who writes the examination.

8. At the close of each examination, candidates shall be asked to hand over their answers scripts to Invigilator. The Invigilator shall count these answer scripts, arrange them in order and hand them over with unused question papers, to the chief invigilator who shall verify the count and sign as having received the answer scripts.

9. No candidate shall be allowed to leave the examination hall without handing in his answer scripts and signing the attendance register.

10. Any staff or student who sees anything wrong in the examination hall shall draw the attention of the Invigilator. It is their role to be consulted.

11. Another role of an Invigilator is reserving the right at any point in time to search any candidate he suspects to have materials unauthorized or likely to result in examination misconduct.

12. At the end of the examination, the Invigilator shall instruct the students to cross out all blank spaces in the answer scripts, Failure to do this on the part of students shall attract the loss of marks.

The listed above is the role of an invigilator. Meanwhile, invigilators should arrive at least 30 minutes before the examination and should be there until the end of the examination to check for ID cards.

4 Added Recommendation To The Role Of An Invigilator

1. Given the alarming rate of prearranged seating, the invigilator should check students into the examination halls.

2. Students should not be allowed out of the hall until they have submitted their answer scripts.

3. Invigilators should be made to account for every answer booklet issued to them for any given examination.

4. Enough invigilators should be assigned to each hall and they should ensure that people don’t hang around the examination halls. Midway into each examination, the Invigilator should endorse all the scripts in the hall.

Examination Invigilation

Proposed Sanctions For Delinquent Invigilators

1. Offences Like:

1. Leaving the exam hall while the exam is in progress.

2. Reading of books/newspapers

3. Marking of scripts instead of Invigilation.

Penalties: Query from the registrar.

2. Lateness:

The penalties include: Verbal query from the dean of staff/school management, a query from the registrar, and forfeiting of 1 month’s Invigilation allowance.

3. Absenteeism:

Same penalty as lateness.

Observed Lapses In Examination Invigilation

1. Lateness and absenteeism

2. Indifferent to incidents in the examination hall.

3. Abrupt termination of examination.

4. Poor collection of answer scripts.

5. High-handedness on the part of Invigilators.

6. Students sign in and out at the same time.

7. Carless handling of answer booklets.


The standard of examination Invigilation needs to be improved. Many invigilators have been guilty of serious omissions in the discharge of their examination Invigilation roles. That is why this article has outlined the roles of an Invigilator. They should know the roles assigned to them, and probably, they should abide by them. Invigilator has a corporate and personal image to protect. And this should make them perform their duties professionally.

Another important point they should consider is the point of insisting on the students wear their ID cards. In this aspect, the students are expected to get their IDs to make work easier for the Invigilators. The school should as well endeavor to provide ID cards for students and as well as making them affordable or even free for students.

Additionally, there are numerous mistakes some invigilators make while performing their roles. That is the careless handling of answer scripts. This has resulted in missing scripts across various schools. However, it is very important and necessary for any Invigilator to handle the scripts of students carefully. Invigilation is not all about supervising, but as well having a meek spirit to perform their roles efficiently.

To sum it up, the role of an invigilator should be bound to academic excellence and not by bribery. This means that they should perform their duties with all diligence, and avoid any other form of misconduct through bribery.

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