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Exam marking - how to get into it... and the positives and negatives please!

Discussion in 'English' started by happygirl1990, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I am just about to complete my NQT year and wondered if anyone could give me some advice on exam marking for English. Is there anything I need to consider? How do I get involved? What sort of money is in it?!

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Hi all,

    I am just about to complete my NQT year and wondered if anyone could give me some advice on exam marking for English. Is there anything I need to consider? How do I get involved? What sort of money is in it?!

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  3. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    I haven't marked for a year or two but have marked English Lang and English Lit; the latter used to pay better but that may not be the case now that it's two papers. Unless you positively enjoy marking, it's dull and tedious. Hundreds of papers to mark in about four weeks. Very slow to start with, but after about fifty, you start to get the mark scheme in your head and you will have had your marking checked so you feel confident that your marking is in line. I had to mark 20-30 scripts a day and there will be some days you do more and some where you can do few because you have other things to do.

    I used to earn between £1200 and £2,500. I always took more than the standard allocation and marked more than one paper sometimes (you used to be able to do Lit and KS3 SATs), but I was only working part-time so could spend whole days marking. I wouldn't do it again but it does have advantages other than the money. I found it really helped my teaching and it looks good on application forms.

    I marked for AQA and they used to ask for two years' teaching experience but they may be less fussy now. If you look on the board websites, they have links for examiner recruitment. If you google 'GCSE examiner recruitment', you'll get the links.
     
  4. Hi,
    I have been marking for a few years now AS level English Literature and GCSE English (Legacy Spec).
    First thing to be aware of is the time it takes to do. May/June marking may have to be completed before the half term holiday so you need to be really strict with yourself about time (something I discovered for January exams)
    Secondly the money can vary between exam boards but I get about £5.40 per script and can do 3 - 4 per hour. So consider whether it is worth your time. The allocation can be anything from 120 - 250 for your first time and you will be paid for training days and travel to them (AQA). £60 - £100 per day depending on exam board and location.
    I usually put my money aside and it pays for a sunshine break for me and Other Half.
    It can be great if you mark the board you teach as it gives you some insight into what is required.
    To apply, look up the boards on the internet and register your interest. Good Luck.
     
  5. Would never do it again. Sweated labour.
     
  6. It is quite useful early in your career. I found it helped my teaching. The standardisation days are also quite interesting places to share experience, especially if you're marking a paper you also teach. A point that isn't really mentioned at examiners' training days etc is whether you're expected to have read all the texts. I felt that I should, which added quite a lot of unpaid (but mostly pleasurable) reading time to the experience - only to find that almost all centres taught only a few of the most popular works on the list.
    The money's dire - bear in mind that the sum quoted per script is before tax. I can't see why a more experienced teacher, on the higher rate, would do it.
     
  7. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    There are no longer standardisation days for all units: the one that I mark did away with them about 3 years ago. It's a much more isolated experience now.
    I'm UPS 2 and a TLR holder. I don't do it for the money but for the knowledge it gives me. I've marked the new spec GCSE now in all of the series and it's VERY different from the legacy spec. It means that I've been able to to give my colleagues (some of whom think I'm making it up and choose to ignore me - more fool them) and my students a few tips about tackling the paper which come from knowing the mark scheme really well.
    It's not that bad! It pays for my summer holiday each year, but it means that I am a hermit for the best part of 5 weeks. And I do it on top of the working day, so it's exceptionally draining. It's in no way easy money.

     
  8. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Make sure you apply quickly: I wanted to mark GCSE for this summer, but didn't apply til the start of this January, when all the posts had been filled! Am doing A-Level LITB1 instead.



    Most of my department have marked at one stage or another, and they all recommended it to me for the reasons above.
     
  9. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Do it - for all the reasons stated - it's the best CPD I've ever done.
    It's like childbirth though - you forget how painful it is till you come to do it again but it's always worthwhile when it's over![​IMG]
     
  10. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    I "do it" nearly every month of the year. But, then, I don't have a "day job". I'm "just" an educational assessor these days.
    It was easier to combine with a teaching job when I started. You may not believe this, well, no, you will because I'm saying it's true - for many years of my teaching career, there were bridge schools playing in the staff room every lunchtime! True! There was more time, then, to be an external assessor as well as being a teacher.
    That was in the old days when there was an assessment system called "CSE" (with "Modes 1, 2 and 3) and there were organisations called "examination boards". My first marking job was on a comprehension paper for The West Midlands Examination Board.
    If educational assessment is something that suits you, you're lucky if you're an English specialist - (a) because it's never a boring job (not on the "language" side, anyway) and (b) because there are so many different opportunities for work even though we don't have exam boards any more. (That was just a 20th century thing.)
     
  11. Thanks very much for the advice and guidance everyone. I applied and received confirmation that I am now an examiner!
     
  12. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Well done!
    Good luck.
    Hope all goes well.
     
  13. Biibs

    Biibs New commenter

    Is marking done online? Would like to correct French...does anyone know where I would apply?
    Many thanks B
     
  14. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Nearly all my work is online now. Just a couple of contracts involve the old red pen and candidates' work on paper. There are different systems used by the bodies. OCR uses "Web Assessor" (by Research Machines) as does CIE. NFER has its own system for online marking and so has Pearson.

    Check the awarding bodies' websites for examining opportunities - you could start with OCR, Pearson and AQA.
     

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