Aspeq news

Interview with an Aspeq invigilator

Apr 1, 2024

Invigilator Lyn Ansell, from the remote town of Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory, is a retired primary school teacher who joined Aspeq in 2022. Lyn shares what she enjoys about being an invigilator, and her advice for others looking to get into this field.

Tell us where you’re from and why you decided to become an invigilator?

I was born in Victoria and in 1987 decided to move to Alice Springs to work on a cattle station for 12 months as a governess. At the end of the year, I stayed in Alice and got a job in tourism on a camel farm for 3 years. I had a couple of years staying at home with my son before I picked up a job teaching primary school, so I stayed a bit longer.

After 25 years of teaching, I retired and needed something to fill in my day. I saw the ad for the invigilator position and decided to apply as I was looking for something different to do that didn’t require me to go back to school and learn a new trade. As a primary school teacher, I am already quite familiar with exam protocols, so it was a good fit.

What do you find most rewarding about being an invigilator?

The most rewarding aspect of this job is the pure delight on the faces of the candidates who pass with better-than-expected results. From the time they walk into the venue as a nervous first-time candidate, you work with them to calm their nerves, de-stress, and be positive about the outcome they will get. No matter what the score, there are always positives to hang on to for the next exam. This builds a bond between you for future exams and builds stepping stones in their confidence when they walk into the room and see you there.

What do you like most about this career?

Invigilating is perfect for me as I don’t want to be tied down to a rigid timetable now that I am a retiree. I have one day a week as my exam day and the rest of the time is my own. The variety of exams, people, attitudes, experiences, etc means that it is never boring when you are invigilating a session.

What advice do you have for someone who is interested in becoming an invigilator?

As an invigilator, you need to present a professional persona about organising the session and show no knowledge of the topics, so they very quickly give up asking you what something means. You need to be able to fill in time quietly so as not to disturb their concentration however still be vigilant about what is happening.

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