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Any AQA A level team leaders out there?

Discussion in 'English' started by mangochutney, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. mangochutney

    mangochutney New commenter

    Hi,
    God its been ages since I posted on here! I've been an examiner for AQA A level LITB1 for the past 4 examining sessions, apparently I've done very well and have a good record of accurate marking which means I've been invited to train to be a team leader for the summer marking. Initially I thought absolutely not but maybe that's due to knowing very little about the role. Can anyone tell me:
    • How much more work than examining is it?
    • Do you still have your own marking quota to fulfil?
    • How much more do you get paid?
    I only work 2 days a week but I have an 18 month old to look after so fitting in the normal marking is very hard work, am I insane for considering being a team leader?!!!
    Thanks
     
  2. mangochutney

    mangochutney New commenter

    Hi,
    God its been ages since I posted on here! I've been an examiner for AQA A level LITB1 for the past 4 examining sessions, apparently I've done very well and have a good record of accurate marking which means I've been invited to train to be a team leader for the summer marking. Initially I thought absolutely not but maybe that's due to knowing very little about the role. Can anyone tell me:
    • How much more work than examining is it?
    • Do you still have your own marking quota to fulfil?
    • How much more do you get paid?
    I only work 2 days a week but I have an 18 month old to look after so fitting in the normal marking is very hard work, am I insane for considering being a team leader?!!!
    Thanks
     
  3. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Not at all. I've been a team leader for different things over many years (not AQA, though, and not "A" level). I expect you'll have a reduced quota of "own scripts".
    Supervising other examiners will pay better than just marking, as you would expect. In my lines of work, it's usually about £170 per examiner. Whether that's really good money depends, of course, on how good the examiners are and how good you are at getting them standardised. If all goes well in your team, then it is good money (in terms of examiner's pay, anyway). However, if you're unlucky, you can get people in your team who are very "high maintenance".
    Also, you can earn more through Mark Review commitment and handling Result Enquiries.
     
  4. Tangalle

    Tangalle New commenter

    Hi sorry I can't give you any advice about being a team leader but would welcome some advice from someone who has successfully marked the litb1 paper! We have recently struggled with this exam. After two successful years our students all got d and below last summer. Resist results are in now and while some students have done well, two able students got ungraded. They got their target grades in the a2 exam which they took at the same time. Any insights?
     
  5. mangochutney

    mangochutney New commenter

    Hi
    Without seeing the papers its hard to say. The main areas students fall down are; not answering the questions fully, especially section B and not quoting enough. Some centres seem to be teaching classes that you don't need to quote in part 2 of section A since it is a 'bigger' picture question but that is not the case. It is almost like there is too much emphasis in some teahcing on the AO's and what each question really hits but in reality all the AO's are relevant in some way in each question. Where interpretations are looked for, students fall down on having been taught about critics; they quote useless statements which are meaningless, similarly those who have been taught to write conclusions waste valuable writing time repeating themselves, clearly there is a lot of mechanical teaching which I don't blame teachers for, particularly with wearker classes.
    In section B the wording of the questions is very, very sublte and students need to be taught how to read between the lines about what examiners are looking for eg 'significance' does not mean 'importance'. There was a question in January about the 'way characters are referred to' which meant names which was stated below in the detail, yet probably 85% of those I marked had interpreted it as characterisation, and, as such could achieve very few marks since mostly their answers were irrelevant. Also the other section B question on genres and conventions, was really misunderstood too and tricky to mark since there are blurred boundaries between genres and conventions especially in some texts such as curious incident.
    A01 does count and poor written ability is penalised a little. You would also be surprised by the amount of rubric infringement; not answering the right questions, doing too mny questions etc In 4 marking sessions I may have been unlucky with the centres I've marked but I have awarded very few band 5 and 6 marks and seen very little real flair. Perhaps students are being taught to play it safe but interesting interpretations that are supported and convincing would easily achieve high marks.
    Incidentally I thought the questions on the jan paper were very, very hard even though we are told by AQA ro be lenient and generous particularly with the harder poetry (Auden/Hardy)
    Sorry turned into a bit of a rant, I hope some of that makes sense at this late hour!

     
  6. Tangalle

    Tangalle New commenter

    Thanks for taking the time to reply - your comments were useful and backed up some of the things we were already thinking. It seems a bit strange that any student achieving 63 marks or higher was awarded 100%UMS - maybe they are making the exam too hard? We are looking into getting someone from the exam board in to school to get us fully on track. I thought the Jan Qs were hard too! Good luck with the team leading!
     
  7. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    Thank you for such a comprehensive reply re: the problematic LitB1. In return, some response to your question regarding Team Leader, based on my experience as a moderator for AQA A level (for a different subject).
    If you go to your examiner area on the AQA site and log into your account you may well find that all of the admin details for your Team Leader role are already in there. This will include the expenses claim form, so you can see how much you'll get. You will probably get two days rather than one at standardisation - the first with the senior examiner and the other team leaders going through the scripts selected for standardisation so that you can then give feedback to your own team the next day. You'll get paid a fee for every member of your team, with additional money if any of your team are newbies to marking. When they send you their first 10 scripts you should get paid for looking at them as well, plus any further scripts you call for if they aren't cleared for marking first time around / problem scripts they send you etc. On top of that of course, you will have your own marking quota. So, as another poster has said, it does depend on your team, how efficient they are and how quickly they conform to the required standard. At the end you'll also have to write the report on each member of your team. You'll probably also be expected to keep your Senior Examiner (ie. your own team leader) up-to-date on a regular basis, on how your team are doing / whether they are getting through their allocations, any problems etc.
    Lots of additional work, especially admin for you, compared to "just" getting your own scripts, sending first 10 off for marking and then ploughing through them at X scripts per day! But it DOES increase your pay fairly dramatically, and personally, I love the Team Leader aspect - the pre-standardisation day is such a wonderful time to get together with colleagues who are as passionate about the subject and getting the marking right for every student as you are; I find my teams a joy to work with - yes, some can be less efficient than others, some a little more needy, some go awfully quiet and need checking up on, but that's part of the variety of the role, and I always remember what I feel like waiting for clearance to mark / moderate, or when I have problems scripts / centres etc. etc.
    Hope this helps.
     
  8. mangochutney

    mangochutney New commenter

    Thanks, you confirm what I expected. I think it will be a massive undertaking but once which will result in good pay and higher responsibility. Its looking like I may not have a job in September so I need all the money making opportunities I can get! I suspect it will be a month of absolute hell!
     
  9. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    You take it on, then. Relax and enjoy. If you were recommended to team lead, it wouldn't just be because of accurate marking - it would also be because of personality qualities that your TL saw in you. Team Leaders are not just ace markers - they're people who can get on with people and help them. So, you'll be fitting in with a bunch of people who are also good eggs (as we used to say!)
    Good luck! You'll have a rewarding time and not just financially.
     

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