Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Examiner Woes part 1

At this time of year, I am mostly to be found marking online scripts.

Examining is an important job, and one that I really enjoy doing - especially writing question papers.

However, at this point in the examining season, 2 weeks into electronic marking, I start to get a bit stir crazy.  So here are a few comments which, next year, you might like to pass on to your students.

1. Don't write anywhere except on the lines. If you need to write more, get additional sheets and use them.  It may be slightly different for different online marking software, but for the one I use it's a real pain to try and find the answer.  We can't flip over the page, or easily check at the bottom of page, or follow arrows and stars. Use extra paper.

2.  Get a decent pen.  The scripts are scanned, and pale inks just don't show up well.

3.  Data is plural.  That means that 'Do the data show....' is actually gramatically correct.  Your examiner  does not appreciate being told that they are wrong, or having the script corrected.  A smiley face doesn NOT make it better.

4.  If asked for 3 conclusions writing 'X does have an effect....', 'X doesn't have an effect...', and 'X could have an effect....' will not get you any marks.  Make up your mind and choose one.

5.  If you're going to write 'I can't believe you asked this' then make sure you get the answer right.