Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Becoming a TEFL Examiner

Becoming an examiner for international exams is a great way to boost your CV and earn some extra money, just make sure your employer doesn't mind. Below you can find how to become a Cambridge examiner and IELTS.

Cambridge Examiner 
I tried applying directly to the school in charge of exams and was always told that there were no openings. You could try applying directly to the schools at the Cambridge website, but then I got nominated. After you pass training you can do the real exams and mock exams. I did mock exams here in Peru and made about 450 usd for 22 hours of work.

IELTS Examiner
Being an IELTS examiner is a part-time job working for the British Council. They don't get a visa for you. You can apply via the British Council in the country where you're working. You can probably make about 40 usd an hour for the orals and about 60 usd an hour for the written exams, depending on how fast you can grade them. You will need to have the following in order to apply.
  • An undergraduate degree or a qualification which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to an undergraduate degree.
  • A recognised qualification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • At least 3 years’ full time (or the equivalent part time) relevant TESOL teaching experience (post certificate level qualification).
  • Recruitment information packs for applicants can be downloaded from The British Council.
Once you become an examiner, you can do exams anywhere provided you fill in a transfer form. The new centre will then have you sign an invitation to examine. Ask your current test centre for more details.

IELTS in China
China is a big market and they currently have 4 centres there: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chongqing. They have also been known to examine in other capital cities if the need arises. They're always hiring and often advertise on Dave's ESL Cafe.

While your income might not be stable, it's a nice source of extra income. One week you might get 10 written exams to grade, but the next you could get 60. Some people have reported getting about 3000rmb for a day and a half. 


Since many employers in China pay 4000 to 10,000rmb a month, 3000rmb for a weekend is pretty good money. Some people have been able to make an extra 10,000 to 15,000 a month. You may need permission from your current employer in order to work for someone else. Check your contract just in case.

Due to the fact that giving exams is tiring and you will probably be asked on do exams twice a month, although in Beijing some people have done exams three times a month. Exams are usually on the weekends, but they can also be held during the week. If you are required to travel the British Council will help pay for your transport, hotel, and give you some money for food. Many people enjoy giving exams as it provides a different environment than teaching, pays well, and boosts their CV.


Edit: It seems the British Council will be phasing out part-time weekend examining

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