Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

What is an invigilator?

What does their job have to do with timing?

How could they impact your score on Reading and Writing?

One of our listeners was in the Reading exam a few weeks ago and he got thrown off by the person who was keeping the time.

He thought that the invigilator would remind him after 20 minutes had gone by but maybe he misunderstood what this person was going to do so this caused him to get thrown off and confused.

The “invigilator” is supposed to do the following:

  • Control the morning exam by checking your passport
  • Fingerprint you
  • Check your belongings and give you a ticket
  • Give you the rules
  • Tell you what time you can enter the test room
  • Assign you a desk
  • Control the time during the test (they should give you clear instructions and write the time on the board). They should write the time remaining at 60 minutes, 40 minutes, and 20 minutes left.

What you need to know:

Sometimes these invigilators are not trained professionals.

They might be college students trying to make extra money.

They have many tasks to do.

For this reason they might not do everything right.

They might make a mistake.

They might forget to write the time warning on the board.

Don’t rely on the invigilator:

Timing is YOUR responsibility.

Keep your eye on the clock in the room.

If the invigilator makes a mistake and you don’t time your test correctly because of that then you won’t be able to do the test again. You won’t be able to blame it on anyone.

Take on some of the responsibility yourself and you will see a higher score.

How to avoid problems with timing:

It’s important to prepare under test conditions so that you know what 20 minutes feels like and what 40 minutes feels like.

You need to practice timing yourself doing each step (plan, write, check) to get a sense of the correct timing for each step.

This should become second-nature by the time you walk into the test because you need to have done it many many times before test day.

Do you have any questions about today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

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