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How would you change England's exam marking system? Watch

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    I think its also very unfair that we have to pay for remarks. My school makes us pay ourselves and in August I was very put off from sending my AS marks to be remarked because of how expensive they are. It is unfair to students who cannot afford the ridiculous remark fees. I really do regret not sending them to be remarked now but thats how the system is. They don't even let us see our papers to even see whether it is worth it to send to remark.
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    (Original post by Nirgilis)
    My days, this is a question of incomprehensible proportions. How do you go about marking MILLIONS of papers every single year in the most fair, consistent and efficient way possible? I'm not sure it's possible.

    I agree, though, at the moment the system is broken. Students get their grade back, are unhappy with it or don't agree that it reflects with their performance, can submit for a remark and grades can swing wildly. Is this a fault with the examiner who marked it first? Or marked it second? This is more of a problem with subjective subjects where the exams are set essay questions. With maths, it's much more difficult to get marking wrong.

    So with that knowledge, I don't think I would change the current system for objective exams - you can only get an answer right or wrong. However, for subjective exams, I would move to a system where the exam script is blindly double-marked. Two independent examiners give their score for the paper and an average is taken. If the scores differ by more than one grade boundary (so differ by 20% or so), then the paper is sent through to a 3rd examiner who will provide THEIR mark, and that mark, along with the one it most closely agrees with before will form the basis of the average grade.

    With this method, the papers are being 'remarked' as a matter of their original marking course, and appeals should therefore not be allowed. This would improve the quality, accuracy and robustness of the marking system, but would massively decrease the efficiency, which I realise is key here. However, if I was in charge, I would extend the marking period and implement this system :yep:
    Well said
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    (Original post by lahorizon)
    I think its also very unfair that we have to pay for remarks. My school makes us pay ourselves and in August I was very put off from sending my AS marks to be remarked because of how expensive they are. It is unfair to students who cannot afford the ridiculous remark fees. I really do regret not sending them to be remarked now but thats how the system is. They don't even let us see our papers to even see whether it is worth it to send to remark.
    We agonized for weeks as to whether or not to get my daughter's English AS exam re-marked: she got 100% in her coursework, which meant a lot because it had been externally moderated & went to that mark from 94% - but in the exam, only 69%. Obviously, a vast discrepancy which astonished her teachers. You can in fact get a copy of the papers & then see if you want a re-mark, so that's what we did.
    It does cut down the time you have to decide though. We looked at her paper - that is, daughter, parents, English teacher, Head of English & decided, on balance, not to go for a re-mark. This was not because we thought the paper did not merit it - far, far from it - but the clincher was the HOD saying that even so, it was a risk, it always is.
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    i would change the grading system so that grades are normally distributed like IQ and SAT scores. instead of loads of people having A*, A and B grades, only the top percentiles would get them.
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    (Original post by dontargue)
    We agonized for weeks as to whether or not to get my daughter's English AS exam re-marked: she got 100% in her coursework, which meant a lot because it had been externally moderated & went to that mark from 94% - but in the exam, only 69%. Obviously, a vast discrepancy which astonished her teachers. You can in fact get a copy of the papers & then see if you want a re-mark, so that's what we did.
    It does cut down the time you have to decide though. We looked at her paper - that is, daughter, parents, English teacher, Head of English & decided, on balance, not to go for a re-mark. This was not because we thought the paper did not merit it - far, far from it - but the clincher was the HOD saying that even so, it was a risk, it always is.
    I see and I agree that is quite a big gap between her exam grade and coursework grade. Didn't you or the school have to pay to get the paper back though?
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    (Original post by lahorizon)
    I see and I agree that is quite a big gap between her exam grade and coursework grade. Didn't you or the school have to pay to get the paper back though?
    Yes, we had to pay to get the paper back - I think the fee for that was £16. A re-mark costs about £55, I think.

    I think that her exam problem is partly down to hand-writing - hers is all but illegible, and if an examiner cannot be bothered to read it...we did try to have her use a computer last year, but after testing her school said her writing was not quite bad enough This year, she was tested again & they said her writing was worse, and she needed to use a laptop, which she will.
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    (Original post by dontargue)
    Yes, we had to pay to get the paper back - I think the fee for that was £16. A re-mark costs about £55, I think.

    I think that her exam problem is partly down to hand-writing - hers is all but illegible, and if an examiner cannot be bothered to read it...we did try to have her use a computer last year, but after testing her school said her writing was not quite bad enough This year, she was tested again & they said her writing was worse, and she needed to use a laptop, which she will.
    That is good that she gets to use a laptop this time! Hopefully she does better!

    But yes that was my initial point- that for example in my school we have to pay for any retake fees and for getting the paper back. Therefore, I believe it is quite unfair for students like myself who would find it hard to ask my parents for what would be over £100 in total to get some papers remarked. They need to find a way to make it much cheaper because I don't even see why it should cost £55 at all- sometimes more than the initial fee to even enter for the paper/examination. If the initial fee to enter covers marking amongst many other things, why should a remark fee be more than the initial price?
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    (Original post by lahorizon)
    That is good that she gets to use a laptop this time! Hopefully she does better!

    But yes that was my initial point- that for example in my school we have to pay for any retake fees and for getting the paper back. Therefore, I believe it is quite unfair for students like myself who would find it hard to ask my parents for what would be over £100 in total to get some papers remarked. They need to find a way to make it much cheaper because I don't even see why it should cost £55 at all- sometimes more than the initial fee to even enter for the paper/examination. If the initial fee to enter covers marking amongst many other things, why should a retake fee be more than the initial price?
    I totally agree. To have two units re-marked could cost in excess of £100, which is a considerable sum. I fear that the high cost is intended partly as a disincentive.
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    The system is heavily flawed, I know someone who sent back 2 papers and they went up by a total of 18 marks.....
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    Totally agree that this should become an online system of organising exam scripts and results. It does seem like a money making scheme.

    I also liked this idea: "So with that knowledge, I don't think I would change the current system for objective exams - you can only get an answer right or wrong. However, for subjective exams, I would move to a system where the exam script is blindly double-marked. Two independent examiners give their score for the paper and an average is taken. If the scores differ by more than one grade boundary (so differ by 20% or so), then the paper is sent through to a 3rd examiner who will provide THEIR mark, and that mark, along with the one it most closely agrees with before will form the basis of the average grade"

    Personal Experience:
    I asked if I can get a remark and was told I'm too far from the grade boundary and found out later a girl went from a D to an A! I was too late to get remarked and I can't afford to pay £30 for each exam, for mistakes that are not my own.
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    For OCR, it cost £42 per paper to get a remark. I remarked 4 papers and it ended up costing me more than £160
    It's an absolute piss take.
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    So when results day came around, I hadn't got into my first choice (Exeter, BSc Geography) so after looking at my marks (B in Geography, B in Mathematics and a D in Physics), I decided to have Physics and Geography remarked as I was predicted an A* in Geography an A in Physics and an A in Maths however one of the maths exams did not go to plan so I was content with the B. My Geography and Physics I knew I had aced as there was not a single question in either papers where I thought I am unsure of this , they were my dream papers.My physics came back first and the original marks stated I had an A on one paper, a U on the second and my ISA I got a B(i already knew) but In the remark the A went to a U and the U went to an A (90%) so my grade didn't change, this just didn't seem right as how could the grades switch to polar opposite ends?! but my physics teachers said they would get it appealed but they never did- My geography did go up by 4 marks so I was 1 mark off an A but it still didn't make sense, my geography teacher did try and appeal it but after 3 weeks of waiting, the exam board said they were unable to appeal it and would not say why..! I honestly think they have to abide by a certain proportion of those who get A*s As Bs etc and then throw many of us in the gutter. I worked so hard for my A levels unlike some people in my school who pratted about yet they somehow achieved higher grades which were way way above their potential grades.. even my teacher agreed that it did not make sense!!
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    (Original post by jamestg)
    Examiners have plenty of time to mark the papers, they simply need to employ more. 3 months is plenty of time for waiting, and it's extremely impractical. Can't delay uni and sixth form entry because that would be a mess. Can't start exams earlier because there already is not enough time in the teaching calendar.



    Pretty much all examiners are. No inexperienced marker and teacher will be let loose on exam scripts.



    Just because they get more money, doesn't make it any less of a chore. They just need to employ more.



    That would just confuse the process and isn't really dealing with the problem. How would you determine the mark they actually get - mean mark? Sensible, but that could still over or under exaggerate their mark.




    If I remember correctly, you're in Y11. Once you look it at from the perspective of when you have taken all of your exams and gotten the results, you will want to make sure you get the correct marks. Well it wouldn't be that busy, and the timeline of requests wouldn't change - the deadline would still be late September. You wouldn't be doing it all on results days.


    I don't mean to sound rude, but I really wouldn't comment on the exam marking system if you have only been through it for a couple of GCSEs and have never actually been through the process of remarking.

    I had the worst experience possible of it, my school submitted the wrong piece of coursework (the piece I got an E on instead of the one I got an A on) and it meant my grade plummeted from an A to a C. I was fuming and still am, but nothing can be done. There needs to be a new system to prevent something like this.
    He's right, straight after August the servers would be flooded, the only way would be to allocate a time frame to access this for each exam centre(s) the deadline would also have to be extended. i like the idea however I think it should be accessible by the exams officer only and if you have a question about remark go to them but either way the £30 remark is ridiculous
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    (Original post by zayn008)
    He's right, straight after August the servers would be flooded, the only way would be to allocate a time frame to access this for each exam centre(s) the deadline would also have to be extended. i like the idea however I think it should be accessible by the exams officer only and if you have a question about remark go to them but either way the £30 remark is ridiculous
    The servers wouldn't be flooded. You'd have far fewer people access it compared to UCAS because the majority of people would not feel they need to submit for a remark. Having time frames, say A-level only during August and then GCSE in September would be good though. The timeline would not need to be extended, there's plenty of time for remarking - especially if it's just a few questions per paper instead of whole papers.
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    (Original post by jamestg)
    The servers wouldn't be flooded. You'd have far fewer people access it compared to UCAS because the majority of people would not feel they need to submit for a remark. Having time frames, say A-level only during August and then GCSE in September would be good though. The timeline would not need to be extended, there's plenty of time for remarking - especially if it's just a few questions per paper instead of whole papers.
    Everyone will want to see their papers regardless of getting a remark just to see how they did, UCAS receive money from each application which funds their servers and it isn't all at a single time, it's spread out over a few months, there are times when there site is slow or down as well. The timeline would have to he extended so everyone has the chance to see if they need a remark, they can't all check at once
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    I really dislike the pseudo-academisation of subjects such as DT, Computing, Sport, Art, Media. These are inherently practical subjects and there is absolutely no point in offering them at all if you dramatically reduce the practical component in a quest to make them more "respectable". What rubbish.

    I would assess these subjects by
    - matriculation (10 teacher-assessed projects which don't contribute to the final grade but must be completed to be allowed to sit the exams),
    - one written exam (25%) and
    - two practical exams (75%).
    The practical exams would take 4-8 hours each (depending on subject) and would be assessed by industry assessors.
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    Attachment 507833
    Yes we missed the minus sign off! Thanks to all who have spotted that!
    The Ofqual comms team is being sent on a maths refresher course.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/346419...posted-public/
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    I wouldn't change the grade boundaries yearly. I would keep the grade boundaries consistent.


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