Becoming an examiner

Other relevant job titles: Senior or principal examiner, moderator

The vast majority of examiners are practising teachers looking to earn extra cash in their spare time, although a few examiners are employed directly by the exam boards.  There is a career path for examiners with possible promotions to team leader and a range of senior examiner positions.

Teachers who can endure the intensity of marking scripts, and the ongoing controversy surrounding exam boards, find the role of the examiner financially and intellectually rewarding: it’s a great way of enhancing your subject knowledge.

Salary

Fees are per script or item and are determined by the size of the paper. Expect to earn £700 - £1,000 per examination series.

Senior examiners are also paid for every exam they manage plus a daily rate of around £175 for meetings they have to attend.

Hours

This depends on how you take on but the work can be very intensive and has to be done outside school hours.

Senior Examiners are also expected to attend question paper evaluation meetings, teacher training and development events, and all the key exam series meetings. At Edexcel this tots up to  a minimum of between 10 -15 days  a year

Examiner duties  

  • Marking scripts, online or using pen and paper, to a set standard
  • Attending a standardisation meeting
  • Attending a one day training course to go through question papers, learn about the marking scheme and establish the marking standard. 
  • Liaise with your team lead, especially with any problem papers

Senior examiner duties

  • Managing remote team to meet marking milestones
  • Supporting members of the team
  • Attending standardisation meetings
  • Training and report back days

Qualifications needed to become an examiner

Usually candidates are expected to have the following…

  • A minimum of one year’s full time teaching experience of the relevant subject and level
  • A degree or equivalent
  • To be a qualified teacher

Skills and knowledge needed

  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • The ability to meet deadlines
  • A high level of subject knowledge in order to apply the mark scheme.

Who should consider becoming an examiner?

Anyone who loves their subject and wants to improve their teaching. Being an examiner helps you to focus on the aims and objectives in teaching, which are embedded in the assessment model. The development of another skill will add to your repertoire and being an examiner will look good on your CV.

The upsides

You’ll get further insight into your specific subject area. Being an examiner can also help your employment prospects and if you become a team leader then you get to work with colleagues who are also passionate about their subject.

The downsides

It can be difficult to maintain the same standard of marking when you’re working to a tight deadline. Some examiners have also commented on the boredom aspect of marking such a lot of scripts in a short space of time.

More information on becoming an examiner

Read more on examiner roles from Edexcel
FAQS on senior examiner roles from Edexcel

Apply to become an AQA examiner

How to become an OCR examiner