How to get a part time job as an exam proctor?
June 2, 2009 6:31 PM   Subscribe

How to get a part time job as an exam proctor?

I've heard this can be a good, easy part time gig. How and where can I get into this? Thanks!
posted by mintchip to Work & Money (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think it's all in who you know. If you know anyone who works at a university, law school, or med school, that'd be a good angle to work- see if they know how to get you in. My mom's a proctor sometimes through a connection with a friend who works at a university. She likes it- sometimes verifying ID photos and attendance; other times scrutineering, I guess you'd call it. Money's not bad at all, for an easy gig.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 6:41 PM on June 2, 2009

My university uses graduate students as exam proctors and they're not paid very well. You might look into something like the SATs or GREs but I suspect those proctors are usually employees of ETS.
posted by proj at 6:44 PM on June 2, 2009

I've done this. As pseudostrabismus says, it is often a factor of who you know. I got my first gig because I knew a guy who got it from a guy he knew, and then, when I left, I passed it along to another friend of mine. The second time, I saw an advertisement posted on campus.

The work is easy, for sure, but can sometimes be extraordinarily tedious. LSATs and MCATs could be brutal: sitting in a room watching people write, and making sure everything is precisely by the book. Plus, you have to be there to set up before the people start, and stay afterward to process everything. It made for a long day. Other tests were less stringent and I could read or write while I was proctoring. I actually got a lot of work done doing some of these exams. It really depends on the kind of test. The second job I had took everything very seriously; the other proctors seemed to assume that everyone was just waiting for a chance to cheat and they were the last best hope to prevent this. We were expected to circulate the room almost constantly, accompany students to the bathroom, everything. It seemed a bit overkill to me, but maybe I have a trustworthy nature.

The pay varies, too. It's never anything spectacular but I think at one I got something like $12 an hour and the other $15, decent compensation for standing around for a few hours. It can vary greatly, though. I was told that before I got the first job, LSATs and MCATs paid quite well (the pay rate for each proctor, and there are different roles to play in these big tests, varied), but the university somehow managed to get rid of the set pay and make it hourly, which meant less take-home pay for the proctors.

Oh, and by the way: if you do get such a job, it will sound much cooler if you tell people you are an INVIGILATOR.
posted by synecdoche at 6:58 PM on June 2, 2009

Try inquiring at Kaplan or The Princeton Review. I'm not sure if only trained instructors are allowed to take on proctoring, but having been an instructor for both companies, I know they were always scrambling to find people willing to proctor practice exams (because they're usually on Saturday/Sunday mornings, and at off-site locations). It is pretty easy work, especially since people paying for test-prep courses are not likely to want to cheat on the practice tests.
posted by estherbester at 7:17 PM on June 2, 2009

I proctored for Kaplan at one point, and I wasn't a trained instructor. So, at least some branches will sometimes allow it. It was sporadic work, and usually meant driving a fair way, but it was money for sitting and reading.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:20 PM on June 2, 2009

I was a SAT prep teacher for Princeton Review and they certainly needed more proctors than they had teachers. I was asked several times if I knew anyone willing to proctor, so Nthing Princeton Review and Kaplan type places as places to check.
posted by DanielDManiel at 10:28 PM on June 2, 2009

I supervise exams at my University (I'm a PhD student). To get the job I just contacted the examinations department, they're listed on the University website. Anyone can do this and be considered. I had a really easy interview, filled in the contract and done. Now that I'm in the system I get a letter twice a year asking which exams (if any) I'd like to supervise. Some of the older people who supervise also do high school exams and other things and can give contact details for this, so once you're in one place other doors can open up.

It's very easy money but not overly well paid and very dull. No reading or other fun distractions, just three hours of standing around watching students write.

So yeah. Near the end of the next semester ring your local University's switch board and ask to be put through to whoever deals with student exams, then ask them if they have any supervisor (or proctor or whatever you call it there) positions going. That's the fastest way to get in.
posted by shelleycat at 11:43 PM on June 2, 2009

I proctor the ACT/SAT several times a year. At that level, knowing someone is what gets you in(my sibling is a teacher).

How much you're paid for these two depends on whether you're monitoring hallways or actually proctoring, and how many students are in your room. For me, it comes out to a bit over $100, for administering a test and making sure none of the kids cheat(happens almost every time). But it's mostly easy money. Nice little side gig if you can get it.
posted by spirit72 at 8:13 AM on June 3, 2009

Distance ed degree programs frequently suggest that students find a librarian to proctor exams. My library doesn't have the space or personnel to accommodate requests from students who are not part of our program, and we also don't have good alternatives to suggest to these students, but we get approached by them regularly.

You might see what kind of proctoring services are available from local public and academic libraries, then leave a business card with those who don't have a system in place.
posted by zepheria at 9:08 AM on June 3, 2009

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