Thursday, August 13, 2015

Take it from an examiner, your students’ A-level results could easily be wrong - Network Front | The Guardian

Network Front | The Guardian

Examining is a ruthless business, full of unqualified markers who rush through papers quickly. I should know I’ve worked in the industry for two decades

Congratulations. Your students have got their grades, university beckons and you can bask in the warm glow of a job well done. Parents, colleagues and students salute you. But are the results accurate? As a senior examiner with more than 20 years’ experience, let me share my doubts.

Perhaps you picture genteel examiners sitting in Oxbridge common rooms, languidly resting on armchairs as they earnestly discuss whether Chloe’s essay merits an A* or merely an A. Maybe you imagine seasoned professionals kindly donating their holidays to mark in the garden over Earl Grey tea and lemon drizzle cake? Wise up. Examining is a ruthless multi-million pound business. There are two types of examiners: the quick and the dead. The faster we mark, the more we get paid. If we’re slow, we fall foul of exam cheat No 1: the exam board.

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