How do Teachers Mark Exams ?

The Marking Guide

When marking an exam the teacher generally has a “Marking Guide” that they must use.

The marking guide ensures that the teacher is properly checking that the exam answers are covering the questions and sub-questions properly and that it is using the required parts of theory that have been taught in lectures.

The marking guide helps ensure that the teacher is marking each student's exam the same way.

In subjects with lots of students there will be several teachers (a "marking team") marking the exam. They use the marking guide to also help ensure that they are all considering the same things when they mark. This is to try and make the marking as equal as possible across each teacher.

There may also be a moderation system. This is where the subject coordinator goes through a system to compare the marks given by the different teachers for the different requirements of the exam. This may lead to a possible modification of marks that are very different to the norm.

Sometimes the subject coordinator will set up their marking team so that each person marks only one question. If the exam has 4 questions then there may be four people concentrating on one question each. This is one way of ensuring that each question is marked in a similar way across all papers.

The marking guide may be anything from a simple allocation of marks given to each question through to a very detailed marking matrix. It is basically a checklist and often also shows how many marks are allocated against each of the sub-questions.

The teacher will look at each requirement in the checklist and then read the student's exam answer to see if that question or sub-question has been answered properly. They will then give the marks they feel are deserved for that part.

I recommend that, in the weeks leading up to the exam, students ask their teacher for as much information as possible about the way that the exam will be structured. For example; how many questions are there ? Is the subject divided up into certain sections and will there possibly be a question on each ? How much of the marks are given for use of theory ? etc.

This is simply clarifying our customer’s needs.