I'm an examiner: AMA (within reason) Watch

Reality Check
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As an examiner of many years' experience for a major awarding body, I'm doing an AMA for you to put your questions regarding the setting, administration and marking of your upcoming examinations. I principally mark Biology, but have also marked Chemistry. I'm happy to answer questions about these sciences in particular, or more general non-specific subject questions. Candidates often have misconceptions surrounding the marking and moderation of their papers, and maybe I can dispel a couple of them via this thread. For instance - if you write outside the box, it will be marked!

I will not comment on the adequacy or otherwise of individual answers to particular examination questions, so please don't post questions which ask this.

Ask away.

NB: the views and advice I give here are based on my own personal experience and observation. They are not the views of a particular awarding body, nor are they officially endorsed by one. Should you have specific, substantive queries about your individual examination entry, you must contact your school/college tutor or Examinations Officer about it.
Last edited by Reality Check; 1 month ago
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8472
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How often do you find student's handwriting to be unreadable?

Have you found over the years as generations become more tech dependent.. that hand writing skills have dropped?
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CuriosityYay
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If you mark Edexcel IAL biology, can you tell me if what I wrote is correct (whether it gains full marks) for unit 6 biology practical.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...621076&page=20
Specifically:
'For how to interpret your results' part (search this quote to find it)

Thanks in advance!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by CuriosityYay)
If you mark Edexcel IAL biology, can you tell me if what I wrote is correct for unit 6 biology practical.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...621076&page=20
Specifically:
'For how to interpret your results' part (search this quote to find it)

Thanks in advance!
No, I can't. Thanks for pointing this out - I've amended my thread title because of it!
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CuriosityYay
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(Original post by Reality Check)
No, I can't. Thanks for pointing this out - I've amended my thread title because of it!
You don't mark Edexcel IAL or you can't comment on my responses as this will be considered (helping candidates or cheating or something in that regard)?

EDIT: OK saw your edit, Thanks anyways
Last edited by CuriosityYay; 1 month ago
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Reality Check
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(Original post by 8472)
How often do you find student's handwriting to be unreadable?

Have you found over the years as generations become more tech dependent.. that hand writing skills have dropped?
Good question. Handwriting has always been variable, and I don't think it's particularly changed over the years. That said, I do see some absolutely appalling writing which deteriorates throughout the paper. This sort of thing is escalated to specialist markers, who have to decipher the hieroglyphics - but if it is truly unreadable, then credit cannot be awarded. Thus, I would encourage all candidates to take care to ensure their writing is legible.
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Ailurophile03
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is it okay if u answer ur answer in bullet points? and what if the student wrote an answer where she wrote the right and the wrong answer at the same time ( i mean like what if she wrote that alveoli has thin walls and instead of talking about diffusion she talks about active transport there and this question is one mark worth) so do u give the mark even though in the mark scheme it says reject active transport but give mark for thin walls
(Original post by Reality Check)
As an examiner of many years' experience for a major awarding body, I'm doing an AMA for you to put your questions regarding the setting, administration and marking of your upcoming examinations. I principally mark Biology, but have also marked Chemistry. I'm happy to answer questions about these sciences in particular, or more general non-specific subject questions. Candidates often have misconceptions surrounding the marking and moderation of their papers, and maybe I can dispel a couple of them via this thread. For instance - if you write outside the box, it will be marked!

Ask away.

NB: the views and advice I give here are based on my own personal experience and observation. They are not the views of a particular awarding body, nor are they officially endorsed by one. Should you have specific, substantive queries about your individual examination entry, you must contact your school/college tutor or Examinations Officer about it.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by CuriosityYay)
You don't mark Edexcel IAL or you can't comment on my responses as this will be considered (helping candidates or cheating or something in that regard)?
It's not appropriate in this thread - it's for general questions about the process of examination marking, not to answer students questions regarding individual responses for questions. That sort of thing should be posted in biology, biochemistry and other life sciences where I'll be happy to help you if I can
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CuriosityYay
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(Original post by Ailurophile03)
is it okay if u answer ur answer in bullet points? and what if the student wrote an answer where she wrote the right and the wrong answer at the same time ( i mean like what if she wrote that alveoli has thin walls and instead of talking about diffusion she talks about active transport there and this question is one mark worth) so do u give the mark even though in the mark scheme it says reject active transport but give mark for thin walls
I think it depends.

Normally the mark would be awarded as long as you said the key point unless the other wrong point is specifically a REJECT in the mark scheme
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CuriosityYay
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(Original post by Reality Check)
It's not appropriate in this thread - it's for general questions about the process of examination marking, not to answer students questions regarding individual responses for questions. That sort of thing should be posted in biology, biochemistry and other life sciences where I'll be happy to help you if I can
I have just seen your edit. Thanks anyways!
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IDOZ
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(Original post by Ailurophile03)
is it okay if u answer ur answer in bullet points? and what if the student wrote an answer where she wrote the right and the wrong answer at the same time ( i mean like what if she wrote that alveoli has thin walls and instead of talking about diffusion she talks about active transport there and this question is one mark worth) so do u give the mark even though in the mark scheme it says reject active transport but give mark for thin walls
You can write in bullet points in the 6 marker questions, as long as they are in the mark scheme to be marked correctly.
For shorter questions, I wouldn't.

If a student writes both the right and wrong answer, then they will get the marks for the right bit, but nothing for the incorrect bit
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Ailurophile03
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(Original post by CuriosityYay)
I think it depends.

Normally the mark would be awarded as long as you said the key point unless the other wrong point is specifically a REJECT in the mark scheme
what if u said the keypoint and the reject point
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Visual_Learner
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How do you help students with dyslexia and dyscalculia do well in exams?
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CuriosityYay
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(Original post by Ailurophile03)
what if u said the keypoint and the reject point
Then you lose the mark
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Ailurophile03)
is it okay if u answer ur answer in bullet points? and what if the student wrote an answer where she wrote the right and the wrong answer at the same time ( i mean like what if she wrote that alveoli has thin walls and instead of talking about diffusion she talks about active transport there and this question is one mark worth) so do u give the mark even though in the mark scheme it says reject active transport but give mark for thin walls
This is a really good question, and one which is probably asked the most. The short answer is as follows:

A 'list principal' applies where one wrong answer cancels out one right. An example might be a question on pH - if someone wrote 'compound x is an acidic compound with a pH of 9', then they would get 0: the incorrect pH value cancelling out the correct answer of 'acidic'.

Note - at the beginning of every mark scheme this is explained on the first page - teachers never seem to give this page out, which I find bizarre. Acquaint yourself with it via PDF copies.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by IDOZ)
You can write in bullet points in the 6 marker questions, as long as they are in the mark scheme to be marked correctly.
For shorter questions, I wouldn't.

If a student writes both the right and wrong answer, then they will get the marks for the right bit, but nothing for the incorrect bit
This thread is for me to give people correct answers, not for you to give them wrong ones!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Ailurophile03)
what if u said the keypoint and the reject point
See my answer to Ailurophile - you'd get 0.
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CuriosityYay
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(Original post by Reality Check)
This thread is for me to give people correct answers, not for you to give them wrong ones!
Did you mean to quote me
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8472
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(Original post by Reality Check)
That said, I do see some absolutely appalling writing which deteriorates throughout the paper. This sort of thing is escalated to specialist markers, who have to decipher the hieroglyphics
Me! :creep:

Apologies if you ever happened to mark my papers/question of mine :rofl:
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Ailurophile03
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okay thanks
and what about the bullet points, are we allowed to do that?

(Original post by Reality Check)
This is a really good question, and one which is probably asked the most. The short answer is as follows:

A 'list principal' applies where one wrong answer cancels out one right. An example might be a question on pH - if someone wrote 'compound x is an acidic compound with a pH of 9', then they would get 0: the incorrect pH value cancelling out the correct answer of 'acidic'.

Note - at the beginning of every mark scheme this is explained on the first page - teachers never seem to give this page out, which I find bizarre. Acquaint yourself with it via PDF copies.
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