How to Become an IELTS Examiner

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 01/03/23 •  Teach Abroad

Working as an IELTS examiner can be a very rewarding experience. Not only will you get to use your expertise to help others achieve their goals, but you’ll also be able to travel to different countries and work with a variety of people. Plus, it’s a great way to polish your own English skills
If you’re thinking about becoming an IELTS examiner, here are a few things you should know.

First, the International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is a test that measures the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. It is widely recognized by universities, employers, and governments around the world as a reliable indicator of English language ability. This test is extremely important because effects the applicants career progress.

IELTS is offered in two versions

First is the Academic version, which is designed for people who want to study at a university or institution of higher education, and the General Training version, which is intended for people who need to demonstrate their English language skills for immigration or work purposes.

The IELTS test consists of four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It is designed to assess a wide range of English language skills, including vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and comprehension. The test is scored on a 9-band scale, with scores ranging from 0 (non-user) to 9 (expert user).

IELTS is administered by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and the University of Cambridge English Language Assessment. It is accepted by more than 10,000 organizations in over 140 countries worldwide.

So how do you become an IELTS examiner as a career?

To become an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examiner, you will need to meet certain requirements and follow a specific process. Here is an overview of the steps you can take to become an IELTS examiner:

  1. Check the eligibility requirements: IELTS examiners are required to have native-level proficiency in English, as well as a recognized teaching qualification and at least two years of full-time teaching experience.
  2. Submit an application: To apply to become an IELTS examiner, you will need to complete an online application form and provide the required documentation, including proof of your teaching qualification and experience.
  3. Attend a training course: If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend a training course to prepare you for the role of an IELTS examiner. The course will cover topics such as the IELTS assessment criteria, marking techniques, and test administration procedures.
  4. Pass an assessment: After completing the training course, you will be required to pass an assessment in order to become an IELTS examiner. This assessment may include a written test, an oral test, and a simulated marking exercise.
  5. Renew your status: IELTS examiners are required to renew their status every two years by completing additional training and assessments. This helps to ensure that examiners maintain the necessary skills and knowledge to accurately assess candidates’ English language abilities.

It is worth noting that becoming an IELTS examiner is quite a competitive process as there is a limited number of examiner positions available. It is important to be well-prepared and to meet the eligibility requirements in order to increase your chances of being selected for the role.

You’ll also be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement where you state you won’t share any test information and so forth. This is done to maintain the integrity of the test and to prevent cheating.

First, Let’s Decide if you want to be an IELTS Examiner

Becoming an IELTS Examiner is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. This role provides the opportunity to play an essential part in assessing English language proficiency of test takers which, in turn, will enable them to achieve their goals.

In this role, you will have the chance to witness first-hand how candidates grow linguistically and gain expertise in international communication by developing the required skills to become global citizens. The IELTS examiner application process is comprehensive and multi-layered but ultimately it should be a pleasure for all involved since the process highly prizes attention to detail along with due diligence and thoroughness.

Therefore, those who decide to become an IELTS Examiner must be prepared for a dynamic environment that requires excellent organizational skills, quick thinking under pressure and good evaluation of various aspects of written, spoken and listening tests. All in all, this position can offer individuals with appropriate backgrounds and expertise the opportunity to make an impactful contribution.

Travel extensively

One benefit or drawback (depending on the person) is to travel. As an examiner, you’ll be needed at various centers on foreign countries. Students in Russia, Thailand, Mexico and so forth take the text in their home country and you as the examiner need to go to where they are.

You must be strict

Examiners are expected to be strict with students with regards to time allowances, grading and expectations. 2 minutes means 2 minutes. Pencils down mean pencils down. If you have a hard time being disagreeable then becoming an IELTS examiner may not be right for you.

Everyone must get the same text experience in order for it to be reliable and if you fail in your position you will be removed.

You must recertify

Every two years you need to pass the qualification test again. You also will be required to recertify if your performance is subpar and you lose your status as an examiner for whatever reason. Last, if you don’t test any students over a 3 month period you’ll be required to recertify.

This is a part time gig

This is an excellent part time role for any professional teacher. However, the requirements and expectations are a bit high and can be time consuming. Particularly the re-certifying process.

Meet the requirements to become an IELTS Examiner

Before you can become a certified examiner, you must meet certain requirements. These include proving formal qualifications in TEFL/TESL, having experience in language teaching, scoring and/or assessment, providing two written references from people familiar with their professional ability, completing an application form and partaking in a digital interview.

As such, prospective examiners should ensure that they have all the required materials at hand prior to submitting the online application. Additionally, candidates must complete other training exams or activities before becoming eligible for employment as an IELTS Examiner.

Last, and most important, to be approved for the IELTS certification assessment, applicants must have an extensive teaching background with adult students (16 and over – 2 years minimum). After confirmation by a qualified examiner trainer, individuals will engage in face-to-face training from an authorized examiner trainer followed by their final assessment.

Apply to become an IELTS Examiner

First Go to the IELTS website and complete the online application form. You will be asked to provide information about your education, work experience, and qualifications, as well as to upload copies of supporting documents such as your teaching qualification and resume.

Next you’ll have to wait for a response. After you submit your application, it will be reviewed by the IELTS team. If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend a training course to prepare you for the role of an IELTS examiner.

This training course is straight forward and is required in order to become an IELTS examiner. The course covers topics such as the IELTS assessment criteria, marking techniques, and test administration procedures.

Finally, after completing the training course, you will be required to pass an assessment in order to become an IELTS examiner. This assessment may include a written test, an oral test, and a simulated marking exercise.

Train to become an IELTS Examiner

As an IELTS Examiner, you will be responsible for accurately grading and assessing the language skills of international test takers. A role that requires an extensive knowledge of grammar and an eye for detail. Trainees also complete extensive training to ensure that assessments are conducted according to standardized procedures and fairness.

With such rigorous requirements and responsibilities, becoming an IELTS Examiner is not only a highly sought after professional honor; it grants you the chance to genuinely influence someone’s future by offering honest results and constructive feedback.

The course is typically 2-3 days in length and are quite long days. At the end of the training, you’ll have to pass an exam both written and oral. One aspect you’ll need to do is grade sample tests and be within a certain tolerance. If you don’t pass the first time, you do get a second chance to pass. Yes, you can fail and it can be determined that you’re not a good fit to be an IELTS examiner.

Start working as an IELTS Examiner – Conclusion

Becoming an IELTS Examiner is a great way to give back to the English-learning community while also earning some extra income. It also look great on a resume as a teaching professional. If you meet the requirements and are interested in applying, you to can be on your way to becoming a certified IELTS Examiner in no time.

Editorial Staff

I'm David Unwin and I head the editorial staff here at Teach and GO. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I and my team now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more.

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