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Exam marking rip off?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Marshall08, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Marshall08

    Marshall08 New commenter


    Recent media reports claim that exam re-marking is at an all time high and after a recept application to mark papers I'm having second thoughts as I thought it would pay more per paper.

    Do exam boards pay examiners enough and do some subject markers get paid more than others?

    Is anyone else a marking this year and would they care to share what they get per script please?

    I'll start the bids at £2.20 (!)
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Does it depend on subject and level?
  3. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    It's many years since I last did any A-level marking. The only reason I did it (like most other teachers) was for insights into how papers are marked and what examiners look for. The pay was awful.

    Now that boards publish mark-schemes and hold INSET to explain every detail of their exams, there's no point in being a marker. That's why every year we hear that exam boards can't find enough teachers to mark, and have to use students and their own office staff to get the results out on time.
  4. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Maybe it varies by subject but I've always found marking to be very profitable. I mark A-Level unit papers at around £3 a shot and comfortably match my hourly rate for teaching. SQA Higher marking is a bit more hit-and-miss because the style of marking is different so the pace can vary more but I've still made good money doing it. I think all the marking I did last year cleared about 2.5k after tax.
    wanet likes this.
  5. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    The thing for me (and everyone else on the team) that brought the rate down to less than the minimum wage was not the marking but the endless trips to the sorting office to retrieve undelivered scripts, the endless trips to the post office to send scripts to the board, sorting out frequent board errors when being sent the wrong scripts, chasing-up schools for missing items, tape recordings that had been mysteriously erased or that contained the work of other candidates ...

    I imagine that in these days of on-screen marking, many of these (unpaid) evils are a thing of the past.
  6. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    I marked papers for a few years and found it to be a complete rip-off. I was getting paid about £7.00 an hour, even though they found it difficult to recruit, when you took everything you had to do into account, yet the exam boards were so-called charitable bodies, who paid their full time staff huge sums and charged schools large amounts.

    What I found frustrating as well was having to train with markers who were clearly not qualified (eg had just started uni and needed a bit of pin money) and the speed you were required to work. You could never mark properly or to a good quality. I suspect that is why there are so many remarks by schools who can afford the remarks. This was very unfair to poor students and immoral.

    In the end I realised exam boards were never going to change how they have behaved for decades (they were simply making far too much money to want to change) unless they were really forced into it so boycotted doing it like many other teachers. I was sick of being told it was good professional development then being ripped off by exam boards who made a fortune from my efforts.
  7. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Mark and moderate. I think the rate can vary with the quality of the paper. Some can be badly written and take too long to mark. On screen marking removes some of the admin issues, but creates others. Students who write the answer outside of the scanned area for example. Plus it removes the notion of - I was generous on that Q so I will be hard on this one to even it up. It is probably easier to get away with cheating with onscreen marking. As you don't see paper, you don't spot identical ones. Plus I think it makes it more impersonal, it simply becomes marking each question.

    With moderating, yes the extra work comes from schools who try to play the system, need chasing for everything, sent the work often weeks after the deadline and are clearly cheating. A good school makes the process so much easier. But you do earn more of poor schools as you end up moderating more examples of work.

    How much you earn depends upon how good you are at marking. If you can read and mark quickly it is OK.
    it is interesting how the boards differ in the process.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    As a serving teacher, I wouldn't have had the time to mark papers.
    As a semi-retired teacher, I can think of better ways to use my time.

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