|101-016| How to become a Speaking Examiner?

Hello Exam Seekers,

I know most of you have reached a great level of English and have taken all the exams that were possible so far and you might be waiting for news in the ELT world for you to go after, right? Well, if you are here looking for something more, the post today is specially made for you.

If you haven’t reached a high level of English and still don’t have many certifications, make sure to read our posts on the FCE, CAE, CPE. Once you have the requirements described below, you can try and become a Speaking Examiner!

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Some people, especially English teachers who have reached a high level of English and have done all the methodology certifications there are in the market still don’t know one thing: How to become a Speaking Examiner. You have been through some speaking exams which you were the person being assessed, but you have asked yourself many times: How can I be on the other side of the table asking the questions? I know you do, because I was there beside you not too long ago. But no worries, today I have the answer for you!

In the UK
If you have sitted for many Proficency exams, you know by now that all the Cambridge English written exam papers are currently marked in the UK. So if you are UK-based and interested in becoming an examiner for either the Speaking or Writing tests, there may be opportunities for you to work with Cambridge.

Outside the UK
If you are not based in the UK, their international exam centers employ Speaking examiners for the Speaking part of many of their exams, since they have Speaking Exams happening everywhere. If you are interested in becoming a Speaking Examiner and meet their requirements, you can contact your local exam center to see whether there are any opportunities for examining.

Meeting the requirements:

The first thing you need to know is if you meet their requirements:

  • Education to first-degree level or equivalent: Have you been through college? Do you have a degree?
  • A recognized language teaching qualification: Do you have the CAE or the CPE? Do you have a CAE or CPE equivalent?
  • Proof of substantial, relevant, recent teaching experience ideally equivalent to at least 1800 hours: Have you been teaching English for more than 2 years?

If you meet the requirements you can go for the next step, if you don’t, you do have to work hard to meet the specifications above. If you still haven’t got a CPE or a college degree, these should be the things you are looking for now before becoming a Speaking Examiner.

However, if you have been teaching for a long time and you know that you have a CPE level, just not the certification, or if you have a college degree, although it’s not a formal teaching qualification, you might be excused from one of those, not both! Make sure you provide evidence of considerable relevant teaching experience (i.e. ideally 3,000 hours or more) supported by positive references. However, if I were you, I’d try to get the specific certifications, because bureaucracy might delay things!

The next steps:

Once you have met the requirements above, you should (1) look for an authorized center. In your country, there’s probably a couple of centers which you could choose from. You could even talk to the one that you used to apply for your own exams.

After expressing your desire to become a Speaking Examiner, and having your (2) requirements checked, there is the (3) induction and training process.

You will be invited to complete Induction, Training, and Certification of Procedure and Assessment modules. These Quality Assurance (QA) modules may be delivered by online self-access, by telephone and/or via face-to-face meetings. Via face-to-face is the most common. Centers usually take one day to gather all the possible Speaking examiners and do the steps with all of them together.

These procedures take all day long, sometimes the whole weekend or a whole week, especially depending on the level of Speaker Examiner you are going to become. You have to keep in mind that there are several levels from Pre-A1 to C2 and sometimes the centers don’t need to prepare Speaking Examiners for all the levels at the moment, so they might prepare you for some of the processes.

Observation from Cambridge: Please do not apply for Speaking test examining work unless you are reasonably available to undertake assignments during the week, in the evenings and on some Saturdays. Speaking test examiners will not be asked to undertake more than two sessions a day.

For people who are in the UK and want to become Written Exams, know that the majority of Cambridge English Writing tests are marked using the online marking system, RM Assessor, where you are given access to scripts to mark online. Your computer will need to meet the RM Assessor minimum system requirements.

Once you have undergone through all the steps and you have passed them with flying colors, you are a Speaking Examiner. So now it’s just wait!!! However, it’s good to keep in mind that there might not be much work many days of the year, remember that sessions take place throughout the year but the peak is in May/June and November/December.

Observations:

Each year you have to be collecting marks, to check if you are still able to be assessing people. These Marks Collections, as they are called, must be done in person with your center once a year. If you assess all the levels, you need to do that for only one of the levels in person, the others can be done from your house.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you need to assess people within a 2-year gap. I mean…. If in two years you haven’t assessed anyone, you need to undergo training again. So be aware of that and keep your exams in check!!!

If you still have questions about how to become a Speaking Examiner, or if you want to assess IELTS, leave a comment in the comment session below so that I know what you are looking for. And don’t forget to follow Exam Seekers at:

This helps me provide even more content for you.

Have a great week,
Patty

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