Is exam marking fair? Have your say Watch

EnterNamehereplz
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#41
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(Original post by _gcx)
Business. Exam boards are businesses at the end of the day.
Yh and its stupid. Everything is a business now.
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oopqoo
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#42
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I really, really want to see improvements to marking coursework based subjects.

The marking criteria for coursework is usually terrible, making it difficult for students to understand them and making them very reliant on their teachers. My art teacher and the supervisor for my EPQ both told me that I could stop working early because the work I'd done already would almost guarantee me an A*, but I got a B in the end for both subjects. Had I known there was something to improve on, I would have done it. Looking at the marking criteria, I still don't know what I did wrong. If you are relying on the input of teachers, and the teachers give you input which doesn't correspond to the grades the examiner gives, then I think this should be considered somehow.

Also, in both situations, it was impossible to get a remark without the permission of the whole cohort. This is not practical in the real world, and it feels like the exam boards are creating ridiculous remarking criteria which are impossible to fulfil because they can't be bothered to do remarks.
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?Hannah?
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It tends to be rather inconsistent across subjects.
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m3racer123
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#44
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I know someone whose AS OCR Human Geography Paper was remarked from a U to an A...
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ShatnersBassoon
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When I got my GCSE results slip, it was laid out abysmally. Subjects in the same table as individual exams; UMS marks displayed with no indication of what they were out of. To get your raw mark, you had to go visit the subject board's website, which was a laborious and obscure process - I know several of my friends would have got remarks, and potentially improved their grades, had they actually been told at some point what the UMS mark given on the results actually meant, and told how close they were to the next grade above. To me, not having a more transparent way of saying how well we did seems only to discourage remarks, which is not how the system should work: my English Language paper was marked very poorly the first time round (it went up by 7 after it was remarked, almost 10% of the total marks available), and I should not have had to research for so long to work out whether to ask for a remark.

I am also seeing a worrying trend in A levels where students are getting less and less information about how well they did. Now linear A levels are being introduced, module scores are no longer given to students, only overall grades. Teachers have access to slightly more information than us but we should be the ones who know how well we did, not them. We need more information, not less.

In the modern age, it would not be difficult to send electronic copies of every exam we take, with the marks we got for each question, to each student via email. But the incredibly small amount of information we get, combined with the costs of remarking and constant scaremongering that "your grade could go down", seems to me like it is designed to deter people from using the remarking system, in order to cover up the amount of errors in marking that are being made. I want to know why there is not a more transparent system in place, because mistakes in marking will always occur - it's human error - but these mistakes are not being corrected, and that deprives people of jobs, of university places and of countless other things that exam results matter for.
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ShannyMorrison
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#46
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I wish there was a discussion like this for Scottish Highers, sounds like people sitting GCSEs are in the same boat as us. The marking is honestly terrible and inexcusable. One of my friends submitted the same appendix for a psychology report where you work as a team (a report is the exam) and he got a B yet I got a D even though we did EXACTLY the same work.
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the_malis
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#47
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Honestly, I'd think it's less fair for essay based subjects. Some markers might think that one essay deserves X marks, but what if another marker thought the same would be Y marks. I feel as sometimes people fall victim to harsh or unfair marking due to personal thought. It shouldn't the marker who could make a big difference in what your end grade should be. It's like a remark is always the only route when you end up with a grade that is always one or two marks from the grade boundary.
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t
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I was 5 marks away the A in my Maths GCSE. I had a remark and it went 4 marks up! :bawling: With Chemistry AS last year I was 4 marks away the A but it went down by a mark. I'm such a lucky child aren't I.
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Callicious
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(Original post by HopelessMedic)
Is there no other people in your year who take exams in a separate room? There's loads in mine for various reasons like extra time, rest breaks ect
There are... they wouldn't let me though.
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Kerim123
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#50
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Exam Marking is bull****. For my A2 results I got AAB, the B in Biology. I sent two of my papers for remarks and I gained 29 ums in total. I needed 28 for an A. tbh my handwriting is ****.
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Earth1
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(Original post by jemmaaa0853)
As a student who has finished A levels and had 2 papers remarked for AQA chemistry, BOTH of which increased in raw marks, resulting in changes to module grades and an overall award grade from a B to an A, I can say that I'm highly dissatisfied with the accuracy of marking.
Having achieved A*AB on results day, I didn't get the A I needed to take a gap year and apply to study medicine, so I accepted my offer to study biological sciences. However after noticing I was only a couple of UMS off an A in chemistry, I submitted for remarks for 2 of my modules. This meant I was prepared to go to university until early September when I received the results of my remarks. This meant I abandoned all my university plans to take a gap year and apply for the course I am desperate to study.
If marking had been accurate originally, I would have been awarded A*AA on results day, and I would have been able to prepare for a gap year and my application for 2017 entry at a much earlier date and I wouldn't have lost my £250 accommodation deposit!
I would be somewhat more sympathetic to the markers at AQA if the subject had been essay based, where answers can be viewed in an arguably more subjective manner such as English or History, however in Chemistry the majority of answers are either correct or incorrect.
You may think this is an overreaction, but this is people's hopes and dreams you are affecting by sloppy marking. What if my parents hadn't had the disposable income to pay £100+ for these remarks? I achieved an A, but I never would have known and this would have affected not only my degree, but the rest of my life.
What are you going to do to rectify this clearly significant issue in the future?
I should have send my Biology papers for remark as I was a couple UMS off from A* but I am too scared that my marks will go down and I don't think my parent is willing to pay for my remark. I decided to take a gap year to reapply for medicine on A Level result day, so I didn't really have any plan for my gap year. Where have you applied?
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jemmaaa0853
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(Original post by Earth1)
I should have send my Biology papers for remark as I was a couple UMS off from A* but I am too scared that my marks will go down and I don't think my parent is willing to pay for my remark. I decided to take a gap year to reapply for medicine on A Level result day, so I didn't really have any plan for my gap year. Where have you applied?
Well to be honest, there is only one or two medical schools that require an A* in bio/chem so it may not have been worth it! Also my best friend just missed an A in chemistry and got remarks and hers went down by 10 marks and she almost went down to a C overall! It's a big risk if you don't need it.
I didn't have any plans for my gap year either because of the circumstances but I've found some things to do now which I'm enjoying. I've applied to Birmingham, Leicester, Southampton and Sheffield, with my 5th choice as Medical Physiology at Leicester. What about you? What are your stats?
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Earth1
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(Original post by jemmaaa0853)
Well to be honest, there is only one or two medical schools that require an A* in bio/chem so it may not have been worth it! Also my best friend just missed an A in chemistry and got remarks and hers went down by 10 marks and she almost went down to a C overall! It's a big risk if you don't need it.
I didn't have any plans for my gap year either because of the circumstances but I've found some things to do now which I'm enjoying. I've applied to Birmingham, Leicester, Southampton and Sheffield, with my 5th choice as Medical Physiology at Leicester. What about you? What are your stats?
I was very lucky to get work experience in hospital. I am now volunteering at hospital and working as Pharmacy assistant during my gap year. I have applied to Cambridge, Imperial, Leeds and BSMS for Medicine. My fifth choice is biomedical science at UCL.
A Level: A*A*Aa
GCSE: 1A*, 5As, 3Bs and 2D*s in BTEC (contextual)
I have applied to all BMAT universities.
Good luck!
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The Learn Ranger
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(Original post by gdunne42)
I've seen a lot of comments around the new process for remarks that is supposed to result in fewer successful changes. despite reading lots about it I have to confess I don't feel I understand it. I don't think I'm stupid but can they explain again the rationale and operation of the new process.

Compared to how many papers are sat each year, how many remarks are requested each year? Does it vary by subject? What proportion are successful and lead to change of grade? Does this vary by subject?
What proportion of successful remarks are small changes for people close to the next boundary compared to dramatic changes due to a serious marking problem?

How is the price of a remark decided, why is it different for different examiners and why is the refund process different for different examiners?

How do really bad marking errors get through the training, checking and review processes? What really happens to a marker who gets things badly wrong?

What would be the cost of having every paper marked independently twice compared to the current system?

I see a lot of usually wrong or overly simplified explanations of how grade boundaries are set to maintain standards over time. Can they explain how it's really done?
Thanks very much for these questions. I will do my best to raise them and report back.
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The Learn Ranger
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(Original post by Coombsy)
In 2014, I had my AQA Further Maths MFP2 remarked after needing only 1UMS more in that paper to get an A* overall. After recalling my script, I found a one mark question completely unmarked that I had got right which was all I needed.

My mark went up 2UMS (1 raw) as expected and I got the A*.

I think it's totally unacceptable how errors like these can be made when our grades, universities and therefore our lives depend on the competence of the markers...
Thanks for this. When I was a teacher I checked a student's returned paper and found her final page jhad not been marked (went up from D to B)!

I'll raise the issue of errors and the steps taken to minimise these kind of elementary mistakes.
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The Learn Ranger
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(Original post by jemmaaa0853)
As a student who has finished A levels and had 2 papers remarked for AQA chemistry, BOTH of which increased in raw marks, resulting in changes to module grades and an overall award grade from a B to an A, I can say that I'm highly dissatisfied with the accuracy of marking.
Having achieved A*AB on results day, I didn't get the A I needed to take a gap year and apply to study medicine, so I accepted my offer to study biological sciences. However after noticing I was only a couple of UMS off an A in chemistry, I submitted for remarks for 2 of my modules. This meant I was prepared to go to university until early September when I received the results of my remarks. This meant I abandoned all my university plans to take a gap year and apply for the course I am desperate to study.
If marking had been accurate originally, I would have been awarded A*AA on results day, and I would have been able to prepare for a gap year and my application for 2017 entry at a much earlier date and I wouldn't have lost my £250 accommodation deposit!
I would be somewhat more sympathetic to the markers at AQA if the subject had been essay based, where answers can be viewed in an arguably more subjective manner such as English or History, however in Chemistry the majority of answers are either correct or incorrect.
You may think this is an overreaction, but this is people's hopes and dreams you are affecting by sloppy marking. What if my parents hadn't had the disposable income to pay £100+ for these remarks? I achieved an A, but I never would have known and this would have affected not only my degree, but the rest of my life.
What are you going to do to rectify this clearly significant issue in the future?
Great example that shows the importance of getting marking right first time and the costs for individuals of mistakes. I'll try and use this example.
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The Learn Ranger
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(Original post by remarius)
I was 2 marks off a B in my AS Politics and Government paper. We sent it for a remark, and it came back with exactly the same marks. It did seem unfair to me, because it wasn't like I was 5 marks off a B, but I was 2 marks and it would have only taken finding one mark in each paper for my grade to go up to a B.

I know remarks have now changed, but I don't understand how it will work for essay subjects like Politics or English where you have to present an argument and interpretation, and one examiner can disagree with the interpretation or argument whilst another can agree or accept it. As much as they say you have to be able to back it up, I had a teacher last year tell me an interpretation of mine (with evidence from the text!) was wrong and not supported in the text, despite the interpretation I used being one that another teacher had told me to add in as they felt it was a very strong interpretation and the text evidence strongly supported it.
Similarly, how will you prove a marking error in an opinion/interpretation/argument based subject? I can understand it's much easier in subjects where there is a simple right or wrong answer, but not in subjects where there isn't necessarily right or wrong, how would you prove that an error has been made in the marking? I don't understand it really, tbh.
Applying mark schemes in these more discursive subjects must be tricky. There is training for examiners but how adequate is that training? I'll let you know what i find out.
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The Learn Ranger
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(Original post by LaurenLovesMaths)
I agree; there has to be a limit somewhere. I understand it's annoying when you're just a couple of marks off a grade, but that's just life.

With regards to people's stories on here about when examiners have marked incorrectly and their grades have gone up, I think it's terrible how that's allowed to happen... Maybe all papers should be marked twice? I don't know, but it's kind of scared me...
i undertand that double marking will be discussed - I'll let you know.
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The Learn Ranger
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(Original post by EnterNamehereplz)
Agreed there needs to be a limit even though I would have got 6 more A's in GCSE if this was the case. I know this is off topic but in some subjects were I got a B e.g Geography biology and physics I had one unit in each which was an E how I kick myself... Anyways now at A-Level and I find the whole system absolutely stupid. The whole education system needs a revamp. Our education system keeps changing but they don't get of the root problems.

I don't understand all these exam boards OCR, OCR MEI, AQA, Edexcel, WJEC etc why so many? I understand they deal with different topics but mostly schools fish around for the 'easiest' exam board. Now I know grade boundaries adjust but it still does not make sense to me. If its a hard paper sure grade boundaries will be lower but someone could lose confidence and its just hard having hard papers and easier papers. For example in mathematics why have different exam boards OCR MEI compared to Edexcel is much much much more difficult. I have studied both. I also studied Chemistry for AQA and OCR Salters is so much harder that mostly only grammar schools offer them. Generally its like this in terms of easy to hard Edexcel, AQA, OCR.

I 100% agree with people for subjective subjects such as English and Politics there should be some adjustments and maybe use bands. The thing is though with exams they don't really show how smart you are. I am trying to be honest but my whole class got their papers back and we saw examples of how people did not add like one word but showed so much understanding. I understand they have to be tight but still something up for discussion.

The worst thing however is how we pay so much for remarks and how our university places depend on these things and they are not even marked properly. When going for a remark they should mark it afresh and then compared. The thing is these examiners are paid very low much like teachers bringing me on to my other point.

The whole education system is a mess where teachers are not respected and criminally underpaid in my opinion. The job market isn't competitive at all unlike most jobs. Teaching is one of the most safest profession out there. They need to make it more competitive. I made a thread about teaching and asked peoples opinion and while they are some amazing teachers some are absolutely awful. AAB will get you into most apprenticeships even banking but not with teaching or becoming a doctor you need a degree. Doctors are respected so much yet teachers don't get that kind of respect.
Thanks for your comments. Is there a problem with the recruitment of examiners? Are the boards getting the best people to do the job? Are they paying enough and do the increasing pressure on teachers mean that fewer want to become markers and those that do rush the work or do it when they're very tired?
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The Learn Ranger
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(Original post by Obiejess)
The amount of mistakes made in marking essays when I bought my papers back was ridiculous, think essays should have to be marked my multiple examiners and then an average score found.
I hope double marking will be discussed at the seminar. I'll let you know.
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