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In most schools and universities, there is a room or a center for examination tasks. In my country, it is called examination control room. This room has a number of responsibilities, such as receiving the questions from the teachers, copying exam questions, sending exam questions to the place where students will be examined and then collecting the question booklet for correction. I would like to know the name of the head or manager of these rooms and centers. A friend of mine suggested examination Officer-in-charge. Is it OK to use this term or is there a more precise word?

I am sorry for not giving details about my question when l posted it before.

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    I suspect this is the sort of job description that will vary from institution to institution. Feb 19, 2023 at 12:58
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    Most schools and universities where? I've never seen one here (in the US) that has a dedicated room for tests--they're always in the same room as the classes. As such, there's no word for anyone associated with such a room, as the room doesn't exist.
    – Hearth
    Feb 20, 2023 at 2:28
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    You mean the person responsible for administering exams, not the person responsible for the room/building? Often property is administered and maintained by a dedicated department (facilities or estates office) which looks after all the property across an institution, but has no responsibility for what happens inside the buildings. Room allocation and booking may be handled by this department, or by someone else again. The question is a little confusing.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 20, 2023 at 13:18
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    Perhaps tell us more. Is this in the UK, the US, Aurstralia, India, or ... Terminology may vary.
    – GEdgar
    Feb 20, 2023 at 14:40
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    It is important that the the future casual visitors to this page understand that educational institutions across the English-speaking world differ widely in their institutional frameworks for administering exams, which is reflected in the relevant terminology (or its absence). In the UK, and the countries whose educational systems are UK-influenced, there is a tradition of institutional separation of examining from teaching, which leads to there being people whose job is specifically to administer exams, while in the US administering exams is generally viewed as a part of the instructor's job.
    – jsw29
    Feb 20, 2023 at 16:56

7 Answers 7

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An invigilator supervises examinations. The person in charge may be the chief invigilator or head invigilator.

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    In some places. Other places (for instance, schools in the US, which has no national standards) have their own customs and names to go with them. In the US, "examination room" is not a common phrase, and if uttered would only refer to a room where an exam was being currently given (perhaps to warn someone not to enter it). Words for educational and military groups are, like food items, very, very local; that's part of building the microsociety. Feb 19, 2023 at 16:15
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    While, as Professor Lawler has pointed out, different institutions may have different official terms for this purpose, the term that is most frequently used for this purpose in the U.S. is proctor; it will be readily understood by most people in the U.S., even at the institutions where it is not the official term. Supervision of exams is, however, often carried out in the U.S. by the instructors themselves, in which case there is no need for a special term for the person performing that function. Invigilator is not used in the U.S., and may not be understood there, but is used in Canada.
    – jsw29
    Feb 19, 2023 at 17:07
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    Invigilator is also the term used in the UK when I was in school in the mid-1990s, for what it's worth. Feb 20, 2023 at 14:11
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    It is not often that I run across a contemporary English word that is brand new to me. Wow. "Invigilator" sounds like it should have a number after it and be the subject of late-night paid programming. "No matter your vigilance problem, the Invigilator 2000 has you covered!" Feb 21, 2023 at 0:49
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    As a native AmE speaker, "invigilator" sounds like some extremely obscure term that might refer to some minor military position from the 12th century or something--certainly not a word i would associate with what I would call a proctor. I wouldn't recommend this term if you want something to be understood by people in the US.
    – Hearth
    Feb 21, 2023 at 20:04
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This will vary between institutions and regions. It's not clear from your question if you want to describe someone in the room, or someone who is responsible for administration more generally. Some possibilities are:

  • (Chief/Lead/Senior) Invigilator, generally meaning someone who supervises the exam taking place and maintains the rules for exam conduct.
  • Examiner, although this would more commonly be used for the person who writes the questions, or the person who marks the papers.
  • Proctor, although this can also mean other things and is very institution-dependent.
  • Examinations Officer/Manager/Coordinator, which would usually refer to the person responsible for the general administration (entering candidates for exams, managing fees, putting out tables, the security of papers etc.) but might also be used for someone supervising in the room.

To illustrate two instances I'm familiar with:

  • A secondary school in the UK has an Examinations Officer, who is not necessarily a teacher, who manages all student entries for examinations, creates seating plans and schedules for supervision, coordinates access requirements, is responsible for the security of scripts (papers) and so on. The individual exam sittings are supervised by a set of invigilators which include a senior member of the teaching staff, a number of teachers (not of the subject being examined), and a number of extra adults hired solely as invigilators.
  • A university in the UK has dedicated venues for exams (although they may be used for other functions as well) with dedicated staff. The exam is supervised by the examiners (who write the questions and are present for the first 30 minutes in case of problems) and invigilators who enforce the exam rules.
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    I suspect "invigilator" may be a UK-specific term as I'd never seen it before today. I have personally served as an exam proctor in the US, so this would be my choice of these terms, but as you say, it can vary by region or even by school. But I think that's the closest choice for a term that would be universally understood on both sides of the pond. Feb 21, 2023 at 15:46
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    @DarrellHoffman I avoid making claims about whether a term is restricted to one area in favour of cautions about them varying between regions, because while 'invigilator' is certainly used in the UK it might well be common elsewhere too (in Australia, Canada, India and all the other places English is used). 'Proctor' is certainly not universal – it wouldn't be understood with this meaning in most of the UK, for example.
    – dbmag9
    Feb 21, 2023 at 16:33
  • Invigilator is certainly used in Australia. I have only encountered proctors in fiction (by a US author), and from the context I gathered they had a wider disciplinary role than just exam supervision.
    – Peter
    Feb 22, 2023 at 0:32
  • This is one of those posts where I learn how wildly different some words are across the pond. What else can "proctor" mean? @Peter No a proctor is just someone who happens to be supervising a test Feb 22, 2023 at 2:18
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    @AzorAhai-him-, See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proctor for other uses.
    – Peter
    Feb 22, 2023 at 2:31
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Exam Coordinator

"College Board" is probably the largest distributor of standardized exams in the US. Their website says:

The AP Program uses the term proctor to refer to any adult authorized by the AP coordinator who is present during, and accountable for, the administration of an individual AP Exam.

So the adult in any given room would be a proctor, while the person in charge of all the rooms would be the AP coordinator (for an AP exam) or SSD Coordinator (for the SATs and ACTs). In general, these positions would be Exam Coordinators.

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  • This is country-specific. As dbmag9 and deipatrous say, invigilator is used. As John Lawler says, proctor is used in the US. However, elsewhere, proctor won't be understood, or, in some institutions, will be understood to mean something else.
    – Rosie F
    Feb 21, 2023 at 8:01
  • @RosieF It is country specific. Which is why I specified that College Board operates in the US.
    – Kirt
    Feb 21, 2023 at 17:55
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Britain we have "examinations manager"

We are the Examinations Team. We manage the organisation and operation of over 2,600 invigilated examinations annually for more then 95,000 candidatures, including those delivered overseas and online, and for all King’s College London students. ... We are recruiting for a flexible and proactive Examinations Manager

https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/CXN654/examinations-manager-operations

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Invigilators help supervise candidates attempting an examination, but here the managers of the department have more responsibilities, like you mentioned. We call them Head of the Examination Department, Head of the Exam Centre or Exam Coordinator in my country, India.

My high school's Exam Coordinator would prepare the exam questions, create the test schedules and intimate fellow teachers about the details of upcoming exams. The Head would also collect the answer-sheets/booklets for correction and allot the corresponding marks.

Of course, there may be a different official term where you live, but if you find a common term from the ones mentioned here then I hope it helps you.

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The academics present and in charge of the process are called the invigilators, but the paperwork is overseen by a clerical assistant who works with the department of either undergraduate studies or postgraduate studies at the uni's administrative centre.

Formally, it is the heads of these departments that are "in charge."

The invigilators deal with academic questions, such as students who feel that a question is unclear or unfair, a student who has been seated incorrectly and served with the wrong exam paper, and so on. If required, the invigilators will communicate with the exam setter. (Opinions differ on whether an exam setter should also invigilate.)

The clerical assistant is usually absent except at the beginning and the end of the session, so invigilators in practice deal with anything that may come up.

In my own experience, the clerical person is always extremely nice and helpful to the academic invigilators. I would always follow their lead and can only imagine not doing as they advise if there was some extreme and pressing overriding concern.

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  • This is all highly country-specific, and may be institution-specific. At some places, the invigilators are not expected to have any special academic expertise, and are not supposed to answer any substantive questions about the examination; their role is solely to ensure that the rules about the conduct of examinations are followed.
    – jsw29
    Feb 20, 2023 at 16:40
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In Canada, exams are invigilated, even those outside of a classical academic setting. For example, written professional and trade exams are also invigilated. I live in a norther territory and students have to sometimes find someone to invigilate an exam they're taking and I am often contacted and asked if I will do it. There is no pay for someone like myself who volunteers but you have the satisfaction of helping someone move towards their professional certification.

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    Hi there, this is already given in another answer above. Since you've found us, please do stick around to take the tour and see the help center, and welcome.
    – livresque
    Feb 23, 2023 at 0:36

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