Testing and feedback give constant guidance on your developing skills as an indexer.
Formal tests may only be taken one at a time because there is a time limit for completing each test. Test papers may be retaken if necessary.
The tests are split into two parts, a theory section and an index section, and the allocation of marks for each section is indicated. The tests are marked using a grading system A–E, with A–C indicating levels of pass. The overall passmark is 70%, and candidates are required to pass both sections. Resits of individual sections are permitted. The standard required is necessarily high, and not everyone completes the course successfully.
Assessment is highly organized with strict marking procedures and involves moderation of individual questions according to CIEA guidance. Test questions come with thier own instructions and requirements for the practical indexing task are given specifically for each question. It is important to follow instructions exactly.
Each of the modules, which can be purchased separately, takes about 45 - 50 hours of study and is based on British and International Standard guidelines. Whilst it is possible to complete the course in as little as one year, provided no resits are necessary, most people find that it takes between one and four years. For students enrolling on the course from 1 July 2012 onwards there is a time limit of four years for completion of the course as a whole, with an optional extension to five years on payment of an extra fee. For students who enrolled on the course before 1 July 2012 the time limit is five years. Time to undertake the three compulsory online tutorials and the MS Word embedded indexing online workshop (for students starting the course after 1st January 2016) must be allowed for; tutorials are scheduled at regular intervals, but bear in mind that there may not be one with places available exactly when you need it.
For guidance on preparing for tests, students should view the links on the assessment page and also review the marking process. Test questions come with their own instructions, and requirements for the practical indexing question are given specifically for each test. It is important to follow instructions exactly - these emulate an indexing brief from an editor.
Working indexers who are taking the Accreditation: Experience Route assessment will be tested to the same standards as are applied on the full SI course. The test paper is also split into two parts and has a similar format, but the theory paper covers in one paper a range of theoretical principles taught in the SI course. As on the main course, the passmark is 70% for both papers. More information is available here.
Once qualified, successful candidates may use the title of Accredited Indexer as long as they remain Society members.
To read reports of recent workshops, written by some of the participants, see the Workshop Reports page.