Rob’s Guide to Marking

Exam Scripts
See rule 5

It was my “big” exam yesterday. Two hours of panic for the students. Four days of marking for me. So, nobody comes out of it particularly happy I suppose. For any academics out there I present Rob’s guide to marking.

  1. Don’t try and do it all at once. You will fail. Make a big hole in your schedule and set out how much you want to get done each day. Then you can point to a day in the future and say “I’ll be clear of marking then”.
  2. Make yourself a nice place to work. I used to cut up the question paper and stick it into one long strip that I could have by the answers so I didn’t have to keep flicking between question and answer as I marked. Now the students write their answers underneath each question. Easier for them, and much quicker for me to mark.
  3. Use a really nice pen. I’ve been known to spend up to twenty minutes in the Student Union shop choosing a pen with the right colour, feel and heft. Actually, this might be a displacement activity, but if the pen makes you enjoy writing the marks then at least some part of the marking process will be fun.
  4. Take regular breaks. I’ve got Professor Layton and the Curious Village fired up on the Nintendo DS. A puzzle every 12 scripts or so stops my brain from melting.
  5. On no account should you make a single pile of all the scripts that you have to mark. This is invariably depressing.