Exam marking can be a busy time, especially if you are still teaching. Yes, some of your classes may have broken up already or gone on study leave, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have more spare time in the day.

In a previous post, we came up with a list of top tips to help make sure you get the most out of RM Assessor. As we reach the peak marking period for this summer, we asked members of the RM Results and Cambridge Assessment examiner user group what tips they could give to ensure a smooth, and efficient, marking period.

1) Get organised

Before you even open up your laptop, set time aside for yourself. Clear your social calendar, turn off the TV and step away from your phone. It may seem an obvious thing to do, but by dedicating time to just marking will help make sure you get through your allocation of scripts as effectively as you possibly can. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

“Set an agenda for yourself, and stick to it. If you plan on doing 10 scripts a day, make sure you do it. Be organised from the start and you’ll thank yourself later down the line”  

~ Paula Weights, OCR

2) Believe in your own judgement

If you’re a new examiner, or there has been a reform to the marking criteria, it can seem somewhat daunting. Have faith in your own judgement and expertise. To ensure that students get the best mark, quality control processes are set in place. If you are marking outside of the tolerance of the mark scheme, you will be made aware of it.

“Have confidence in yourself, and your own judgement – more often than not you are right.”

~ Fiona Jones, OCR

3) If in doubt, ask

There are times when even the most prolific and well-versed examiners get a bit stuck. Be it a question on the mark scheme or an administrative query, don’t be afraid to reach out to your team leader and ask for their help – it’s what they’re there for.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions and maintain contact with your team leader. No question is too stupid, and no question is beyond their ability to answer. Don’t just sit there and worry about it. If you have a problem communicate it.”

~ Brian Gillinder, Cambridge International Examinations

We hope that the advice given above helps you along your way to having a successful marking session. If you have any queries or need additional help, please contact your team leader, awarding body or helpdesk.