have you marked maths GCSE before?

(5 Posts)
RunAwayHome Tue 21-Jul-15 20:06:34

I was vaguely considering applying for GCSE marking one of these years (probably with OCR, as they accept applications from people who are not qualified teachers, but have other relevant experience, which I do). I would want to mark maths, at GCSE level (or equivalent, if they have others). But I do wonder how the training and marking will be in the next couple of years with the new specifications coming in, and whether that will make things harder for a first-time marker.

If you have marked maths (especially OCR), can you tell me if you mark entire papers, or specific questions? (I think beyond GCSE, they tend to give specific questions, but I am not sure about GCSE level). Did you find the training useful and comprehensive enough, especially to deal with borderline answers? Do you think that will get a whole lot more difficult when the new specification is out, as there will be longer and more complicated answers and more scope for partial marks, etc? And teachers/pupils will be less familiar with the ways of marking, which means that there might be much greater variability in the answers, since they won't have been coached in the way to write things/how to show work/how to avoid pitfalls in quite the same way as for the current spec, which is very familiar.

Do you get a choice in how many scripts/questions to do - I know that they offer a marking job that you can accept or reject, but I don't know how fixed the script number is and whether you can request a smaller number to start with. I've looked on their website, but it's very hard to tell how long it takes to mark one script (for novice markers - I realise you speed up with practice), and so I'd be wary of overcommitting myself without knowing it.

It's a bit hidden with rates of pay, and also about whether different questions/tiers/subjects offer different rates. I wonder if it is worth it - other posts I've seen say that it's fine for those who really need the money, but for those who don't, it isn't worth the hassle and stress and time pressure. However, the extra money would be quite useful, and I could find an hour or two a day in June/July without too much trouble, so I might be quite suited to it. (Unless it takes many hours a day!).

mumsneedwine Tue 21-Jul-15 20:51:19

You have to be teaching the subject you mark. They usually send lots of scripts and it can take a long time when you start - maths are now scanned in and marked on line. You can chose how many you mark but there is a minimum.

noblegiraffe Tue 21-Jul-15 20:57:07

I don't mark GCSE myself, but my colleagues do. You mark specific questions, all online, rather than full papers. I know that they only mark the longer questions, they say that the easy one-markers (e.g. What is the name of this shape?) are marked by unqualified markers, so I wonder if this is what you would be offered.

TeenAndTween Tue 21-Jul-15 21:03:23

As a matter of interest, if the pupil was meant to have drawn a smooth curve through some points (eg a cubic graph), but it looked maybe more like straight lines, but they annotated they had wanted to draw a smooth curve but have dyspraxia, would they still get the marks?

RunAwayHome Tue 21-Jul-15 22:10:34

Thanks for the info so far. Yes I might be considered unqualified, without QTS or a classroom job. I have other qualifications and experience though that I would explain on the application form, but I am not sure that they'd accept me. I'd have to wait and see. But the more I know about the process, the better. The other boards are more specific about official qualifications, and I know I wouldn't meet those, but OCR appears to at least consider alternatives.

In some ways, marking specific questions sounds like it would be more straightforward, though perhaps boring! I do generally enjoy marking though, as long as the training is clear about exactly how borderline answers are to be treated, etc. However, I wouldn't want to get into something over my head, taking on too much work without appreciating just how it takes, particularly at first, so I would prefer to start with smaller numbers of scripts or questions, and then work up if it proved reasonable. I do have a couple of hours a day available, but it does need to be a sensible use of my time, so if the pay is so little for the stress and time pressure, marking half the night every night for weeks, then it might not be something I can do.

But as I'm not currently working in a school, I don't know as much about the new specifications for next year, and that might prove problematic.

I would also consider marking functional skills or other types of qualifications (but not A-levels).

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