Exam Marking

A report  this week puts into question true GCSE scores. An unbelievable situation has occurred in the past few years which is rather worrying – scores are being challenged and changed more than ever before. 77,400 A level and GCSE scores were changed after challenges, an increasing number from the 54.400 in 2014.

Statistics show exams are being marked so poorly that many teenagers get unbelievable grades and some unfairly end up missing out on University places. Leading individuals in the Education sector have called for greater pressure on exam boards to set better exams and ensure marking is carried out with increased accuracy.

Maybe this is happening because the examiners, usually teachers themselves, who are not being paid enough; the low pay (between £1-£25 per script) may increase the tendency to be careless or lazy not putting in as much effort as needed. 

The Head of Leicester Grammar School openly attacked the standards of A level and GCSE marking at the HMC’s conference held in October 2015. Last summer’s results saw some students achieving top marks across the board whilst some catapulted into clearing. Some were in an even worse position, ending up in  limbo as their university of choice hung onto them whilst deciding whether to accept them or not, despite missing out on the required entry grades.

When I was young, I remember regularly seeing an old retired teacher ( which happened to be my uncle’s neighbour) sitting at his desk for hours marking. Examiners like him were respected by all in the community, and they gained that respect by working hard. Today it seems they want to get it done as quickly as possible, without a care for the lives of pupils who have sat these exams.  Have the people taking on this role essentially changed ??!

Another theory for these results could be the falling knowledge standards, dropping so dramatically, examiners are shocked at what they are seeing and want to raise standards. They do not want to see students who are not up to it being pushed through by easy marking.

This is truly a topic for debate I think!

Until next time,