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Anyone done exam marking?

(23 Posts)
fruityb Wed 08-Mar-17 15:17:29

I'm thinking of applying to mark English papers this year - I'll be back off mat leave and it'd be useful top up money as well as going towards our wedding. I'm just nervous about doing it - is it really awful and hard and brain melting? Any opinions or experiences would be good 😊

Anasnake Wed 08-Mar-17 18:08:48

I did it when I worked part time - marked for both Aqa and Edexcel. It's mind numbing and the pay isn't that great. Now I'm back full time I wouldn't do it again but it's useful for a bit of extra cash (if you can cope with the boredom).

Legrandboucle Wed 08-Mar-17 18:22:42

I have done it on and off for the past 6 years. It is very repetitive and dull so you need to get in to a strict regime of when you will mark. I find it a really intense 3 weeks on top of normal school work but it pays a significant chunk of my family holiday. Every year I say I won't do it again until I book a holiday in January that I need to pay for.

I'm doing it for the first time this year (also English).
I'm dreading it, but I can't think of any better CPD for the new specifications.

Mrskeats Wed 08-Mar-17 19:21:24

I've marked English for AQA for the last 7 years at GCSE and A level
I'm a bit worried about accepting a contract this year as GCSE has gone online and I think it's much harder to do it that way.
AQA is struggling to recruit as lots of seasoned markers have turned down work.
It's boring also but the money is handy.

fruityb Wed 08-Mar-17 19:50:42

That's what I thought a truth inside info and all that

JenniferYellowHat1980 Fri 10-Mar-17 20:01:39

It's a good way of boosting your income and it really is great CPD. It's pretty repetitive, yes, but actually that helps you to become a quick but accurate marker. Examining gives me an insight into the generous marking of most of the depts I've worked in!

I've marked for three exam boards and in my view AQA is the most consistent - therefore easiest to get a handle on - and the pay is reasonable.

BobbinThreadbare123 Fri 10-Mar-17 20:20:14

Don't mark GCSE papers, do A Level. The money is crap for the amount of effort. Moderating is better.

financialiasco Fri 10-Mar-17 22:29:52

I think A level is worse as you can mark fewer papers for not that much more money and your subject knowledge has to be better. CPD is great and it's extra money - I've learnt lot from it and the money is nice to have.

elephantoverthehill Fri 10-Mar-17 22:39:54

I've done it, but not for English. I couldn't even countenance it now on top of the marking expected for normal classroom teaching. The money is quite good and the CPD also. As I tell my GCSE students - whoever is marking your paper is mentally saying '6 more and I can have my dinner, 8 more and I can have a cup of tea, 10 more and I can go to bed'.

BobbinThreadbare123 Sat 11-Mar-17 10:08:33

Yeah I am a scientist so not marking English.

SaltedCaramelEverything Sat 11-Mar-17 10:44:37

It is the best CPD you can do. I've done it for 4 years and it gave me so much confidence with marking students work. It's also so useful when a student / parent moans you've been too harsh! They have no comeback when you say you're an examiner and school should back you too.

Do check you'll get the actual papers - online marking is horrendous. My subject did it for a year and the drop out rate was crazy so they went back.

Ask your school for a day or 2 off. It will really help you meet deadlines and they should support you in the CPD.

In your first year they give you less papers so it's easier to manage.

The team leader you have makes a big difference - I've had some arsey ones so dropped out and marked a different paper. Supportive ones are a huge help.

The money isn't great for the hourly rate. Take my advice and don't work that out!! However if you know you'll earn £800 and need that for a holiday / wedding etc then that'll keep you going.

My experience is with AQA. Think carefully what paper you choose based on your timetable, half terms etc.

fruityb Sat 11-Mar-17 10:57:47

Thank you - I've applied for aqa and edexcel - we actually teach edexcel at school so I see it as very helpful for that. I didn't know I could ask for some time at work, I might give that a shot actually. I'll be going back end of May after maternity and know I'll probably have a quiet time when I return to get ready for next year. The money will come in handy as we're getting married this year. I see it as good cpd and another string to my bow. Plus if the idiot I used to work with could do it then I can!

Hourly rate lol, I won't be doing that!

cricketballs Sat 11-Mar-17 11:16:03

I mark and moderate CA with Edexcel (not english) and agree with PPs that it's been the best CPD I have ever had. It is intensive during the period but if you are strict with yourself on sticking to a timetable of when you are going to mark then it is worth it.
The pays not brilliant but since I've started marking I've seen my teaching practice change, students/parents/SLT trust you with your marking and as a result results have improved.

Edexcel is online and in my subject I have to qualify for each question by marking 10 of each and if I'm within tolerance then I'm cleared to mark that question. If I'm out of tolerance then I have a further attempt to qualify available. My team leader checks through and releases more of each question if I'm marking accurately.

BobbinThreadbare123 Sat 11-Mar-17 16:54:00

Generally it isn't done by hourly rate. I mark Edexcel mainly and that's about £2.51 per item marked. I have never met anyone who successfully got time off school to do this; why would they pay you to do paid work for another organisation?! A decent computer system and a good team leader make all the difference. Exam boards are absolutely desperate for markers, but won't pay according to professional level. We're experts but they won't treat us as such.

Shadowboy Sat 11-Mar-17 17:07:00

I team lead for edexcel - but also Mark non scannable scripts too so have full papers as well as responses. It's intense, hard work for little pay but the upshot is the in-depth marking knowledge, insight into the exam writers aims for the paper AND for my subject at least you can learn what other schools use as case studies/good methods for picking up marks. This is my tenth years. I usually do 3-4 papers so probably totals 2 months of work and after tax I earn around £3-4K

fruityb Sat 11-Mar-17 18:02:28

My school would probably see it as cpd, but it won't hurt to ask.
Under no illusions it'll be hellish but I like the idea of the inside look it'll give me. I have to pass the training and standardisation and whatnot yet.

SaltedCaramelEverything Sun 12-Mar-17 08:15:42

Why would school pay you to do a day at home?

Because they should see the CPD value in it! That you are getting exam board training without charging them for it. And that if you teach lots of year 11 and 13 then the requirements for cover should be minimal. Therefore they are just letting you work at home rather than at school where there's distractions. If you don't ask and make the benefits to THEM really clear you don't get smile

fruityb Sun 12-Mar-17 09:55:48

I think my cover could be minimal this year as I'm going back after maternity leave and think my cover is still in place till the end of the year. I may be able to pull it off this year lol. And yes it's good training!

SaltedCaramelEverything Sun 12-Mar-17 11:13:39

Good luck OP. My mat leave starts just as exam marking begins so I have no chance of doing it this year - had I been on MN before I think an exam marking support thread would have been useful! Just because no one understands the monotony (helped by the feeling of elation when a student has left a whole question blank grin until you start wandering how many of your lot have done that too!

fruityb Sun 12-Mar-17 11:20:50

Quick question - do you get the whole paper or parts of it? I kind of keep picking up that you might not get all of it? I may be making that up....

The blank papers are my favourite when marking mocks, as well as yelling "why do you refuse to even answer an exam!! You have nothing else to do in there!!"

SaltedCaramelEverything Sun 12-Mar-17 12:01:12

I think it depends on the subject - you can ask the board.

For mine you get sent the entire paper and mark that. When mine was online for a year, you saw the entire paper online too.

For psychology A Level I know that it's now online and you need to mark 100 question 1s, 100 question 2s etc - and each of those could all be from completely different students. You log on the server will download you a batch. I know that as a colleague marked a question 7 and the answer was simply "you lost me at question 5". We never got to know what he'd attempted to write for Q5 and Q6 lol

ElizabethBennettismybestfriend Sun 19-Mar-17 19:58:00

I mark GCSE English fo Aqa and have done so for a long time.GCSE English has been online for a few years. You don't see a whole script but mark a certain number of each question. Your marking is monitored (some double marking and some seeding) and you can be stopped from marking if there are too many errors although this doesn't happen often (imo).

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