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1st time AQA exam marking GCSE English Lit.

Discussion in 'English' started by pastyprincess, May 8, 2012.

  1. pastyprincess

    pastyprincess New commenter

    Hi there,

    I've just received a letter to tell me that I've been accepted as an examiner for the GCSE AQA English Literature exam. I've never marked before and I am really anxious! I'm going to receive 300 scripts and have to participate in online standardisation.

    I do struggle with managing my marking at the best of times but I really hope this might make me more disciplined and proactive. I've thrown myself in at the deep end by volunteering to mark the paper with texts I have only taught for the first time this year. I'm hoping this will help me a lot for next year's teaching. So the first question is...am I mad? :)

    Can anyone give me any advice or what to expect from the process in general/online standardisation? I've had a read through some old threads but I can't find any recent advice.

    How many scripts is it realistic to mark per day?

    How many scripts do I have to moderate online?

    How long do I have to do this?

    Do I have to annotate every script? If so, how many annotations per script is expected?

    Is the paperwork onerous?

    This might be a stupid question but when I applied I had to specify which paper I'd prefer to mark... I noted the texts that I am familiar with, so does this mean I will only mark papers that answer questions on those texts?

    And with regards to pay, how much might I earn after tax and when/how do I receive payment?

    Sorry for the 101 questions!

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. pastyprincess

    pastyprincess New commenter

    Hi there,

    I've just received a letter to tell me that I've been accepted as an examiner for the GCSE AQA English Literature exam. I've never marked before and I am really anxious! I'm going to receive 300 scripts and have to participate in online standardisation.

    I do struggle with managing my marking at the best of times but I really hope this might make me more disciplined and proactive. I've thrown myself in at the deep end by volunteering to mark the paper with texts I have only taught for the first time this year. I'm hoping this will help me a lot for next year's teaching. So the first question is...am I mad? :)

    Can anyone give me any advice or what to expect from the process in general/online standardisation? I've had a read through some old threads but I can't find any recent advice.

    How many scripts is it realistic to mark per day?

    How many scripts do I have to moderate online?

    How long do I have to do this?

    Do I have to annotate every script? If so, how many annotations per script is expected?

    Is the paperwork onerous?

    This might be a stupid question but when I applied I had to specify which paper I'd prefer to mark... I noted the texts that I am familiar with, so does this mean I will only mark papers that answer questions on those texts?

    And with regards to pay, how much might I earn after tax and when/how do I receive payment?

    Sorry for the 101 questions!

    Thanks in advance
     
  3. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    I haven't marked for the new spec so can't tell you about that. I would be surprised if you only received scripts on specified texts because (in the past) centres send scripts directly to you and AQA wouldn't know which texts students had used. On the old Lit spec, I read all the texts but hadn't taught them all. In the end 80% were 'Of Mice and Men' or 'Lord of the Flies'.

    I hate marking and exam marking was no different. You get faster but it gets tedious, reading the same thing over and over. I used to make a timetable, giving myself days off and allotting so many scripts for each day. We had to number the scripts as we marked them and I would aim to get ahead of schedule so that I could have a couple of 'light' days if I needed them. What you mustn't do, is get behind and let it slide. From memory, I would mark about thirty a day on non-work days and half that on work days (I worked part-time).

    You will have a team leader and they are trained to be supportive and get your marking in line so don't worry if you're not marking to standard when you start. I'd be surprised if you didn't have to annotate every script.

    Before you start, get everything at home organised and be prepared to have little or no social life while you mark. Buy chocolate.
     
  4. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter


    If you have a day job as well, aim to earn about £30 a day (gross) from the examining as a rough guide.
    I always aim to gross at least £60 a day - but I don't have a proper job! Marking's all I do.
     
  5. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    (I'd never tackle literature scripts again, though - as said above, it's so tedious seeing the same answers over and over. Worst job I ever had was marking KS3 Shakespeare answers for the old NCTs. Get 200 scripts from a school where they've all done the same play and been taught the same essay.)
     
  6. pastyprincess

    pastyprincess New commenter

    Thanks for your responses guys! God I am dreading it already, maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all.

    I really don't think I'd be qualified to mark exam answers on other texts that I haven't studied. I'm doing the Shakespeare and Literary Heritage exam and I've only taught 'Macbeth' and 'Animal Farm' and even that, only for the first time this year.

    Would it be more advisable to mark English Language then?

    And annotating every script would be soul destroying :(
     
  7. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Ummmm, well it could be interesting. I don't know anyone doing Shakespeare for the exam but would think Macbeth and Romeo would be top choices and then Much Ado or Twelfth Night. Not many for JC, I'd have thought. And Hardy or Animal Farm more popular than the 'more difficult' novels. Could be wrong, though. In the old spec, they didn't need markers for Paper 1 so don't get your hopes up about changing. That said, AQA always used to be fine about moving markers across to other papers. I wouldn't panic - you could end up with a lot of Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet, so just get yourself up to speed with them or wait until the papers arrive and prepare accordingly.
     
  8. If you have a day job as well, aim to earn about £30 a day (gross) from the examining as a rough guide.[​IMG]
     
  9. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    If you're marking online, as I do, there is no paperwork anymore. If you're marking live scripts, inputting all the marks is onerous. I HATED that bit with a passion before we went fully online.
    I doubt it. If they're paper scripts, you get what you get. If they're scanned scripts, theoretically you could just get your texs but it seems unlikely. Our centre has 3 different texts in each part of the exam - and none of them are the ones you're familiar with!
    The paper I mark asks for 5, and we have 2 days.
    In my paper, every page of every script.
    I've been marking 9 years, and it's no easy task. I get up at 5 every day (getting up at 6 in the weeks before to ease myself in) mark for two hours, go to work and teach a full timetable, stay in school til about 5 doing school work, and then go home and mark until maybe ten before starting all over again the next day. You have to be disciplined about it, but I don't know that it will make you disciplined: I know plenty of people who started and then gave up! As Markuss says, the money's not great - there are easier ways to make it!
    One year, I sent a batch back to the board as I was getting tired and stressed out and felt that I was losing the standard; the following year I got 200 extra scripts because I finished early - they do understand that we're human.




     
  10. lighthouse_keeper

    lighthouse_keeper New commenter

    Hi Pasty Princess,
    I'm a first-timer as well- I'm going to be marking English language papers. I am also dreading it - when I signed up I was doing it for the money, but recently all I have done is turn around hundreds of essays for all my exam classes and I am not looking forward to receiving my 300 when they arrive!
    I'm going to a meeting about it on the 19th may - I'm not really sure how all the online stuff works and I'm feeling quite daunted like you!
     
  11. Woo another first timer here! I've just been accepted to mark an English Lit paper and have asked for paper 1. Not *too* worried about the workload as I figure it's a way better way of earning money than having to get a summer job / teach at summer school. I am interested to know how much you get shafted with tax and NI though as my gross earning from this would be nearly £1600....
     
  12. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter


    Awarding bodies don't take NI off fees (we're not employees of theirs) but do deduct tax at whatever rate you're supposed to pay it - unless you request to receive pay gross because you're self employed as far as income tax is concerned.
    And, yes, it hurts a bit to earn a grand and get only about £800 in your account.
     
  13. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    A £1,600 contract for a first timer! Gosh, that seems a lot. How many scripts at how much?
     
  14. 250 - 350 for £4.50ish per script.... so if I got 350 i'd gross about that much. Is that quite good then?
     
  15. So it's not taxed at 40% as a second job?
     
  16. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter


    That sounds like a lot of work unless the body's being generous! Is it meant to be roughly a three weeks' job?

    40% tax? No, never.
     
  17. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    My heart is breaking at the thought of that many scripts as a first timer :-(
    Mind you, after the 29th, my heart will be breaking over my allocation!
     
  18. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    You'd expect the body paymaster to be thinking that a £4 - 50 script is a not less than a twenty minute job.
    Just think, at three an hour, how long's 350 going to take you?
    Ooer!
    Or is there a generous body or a generous rate for the spec around here?
     
  19. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    There is plenty of online marking where you have to annotate every script. Believe me, it's more onerous than annotating with a pen on paper! Much, much more.
     
  20. Spassky

    Spassky New commenter

    3 an hour? You should get up to 6 an hour within a day or two and, after a while,10 on weekends when you're fresher. That's what i did first time on the old higher lit paper with long Grammar school answers and endless narrative commentaries on OMAM. On the new poetry one 10- 12 average. Love those unseen poem short responses. And they are marked very well according to all feedback. You only annotate with numbers. Get the number three out of your mind before you send them back or put pins in your eyes! That said, I've not marked the shakespeare paper but doubt it produces longer answers than omam and comparison of 4 poems.
     

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