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Study and tests

Note: if you are already a student on the SI course you will find more detailed information on tests and assessment in the Students section of the Members Area.

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. There is a time limit of four years for completion of the course as a whole. Students who have difficulty meeting the time limit due to circumstances beyond their control may apply for an extension; their case will be reviewed by a  TCC panel who will decide whether to grant a conditional extension of up to one year (an extra fee will be charged).  Students should allow at least two years to complete the various components of the course: time to undertake three compulsory online tutorials, a practice index exercise for Module C students,  and the MS Word embedded indexing online workshop for Module D students 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. The C index exercise can be taken at any time before a Module C test attempt, and the workshop can be taken at any time after moving onto Module D.

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 pass mark 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.

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 pass mark is 70% for both papers.