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Marking Tips


Dear Mr. Peter and Ms. Jones,

Have colleagues, students and heads of institution for delaying continuous or end of term exam ever blamed you marks? If the answer is affirmative, you are lucky, imbibe this ten-edged charm:

Prepare a marking scheme
Start preparing a detailed marking scheme. You must write it by hand immediately after setting the exam. This helps it to stick in your mind, because the questions’ basic requirements will be fresh in your mind. If your exam consists of essays, ensure that answers for each essay are written on separate pages. This makes it easier for you to trace them.

If you are marking objective questions, write the answers on the question paper. This demands that you leave enough space when typing your exam.

Set your deadline and adhere to it
Consider the deadline given by the academic master or the dean of studies. Let your personal deadline to be two days before the official deadline of handling in marks. Setting deadline will help you to utilize your time well and avoid eleventh hour dash.

As you make your program, start with advanced classes and finish up with lower classes.

Set your goals
You must set realistic daily and hourly goals. The best time to do this is a few minutes before you go to sleep. Have a monologue, say to yourself, “Tomorrow will be a great day, I’ll mark ninety Chemistry scripts of form 1E and forty Physics scripts for form 1W.”

Convince yourself that you have energy, skills and determination of accomplishing the set goals. Remember the old adage: aim at the sun and reach the moon.

Internalize the marking scheme
Understand the basics, which each question is seeking. Does the question need analysis of facts, application or memorization? This knowledge helps you to scoop answers where students use many words in explanation. It also helps you to drop the marking scheme after consulting it during the marking of the first twenty scripts.

Have a break
You must mix work and rest. An hour’s break is enough to give your brain time to rejuvenate and sustain its service. What do you do with the break? Take a walk, chat with students, do aerobics or engage in any activity, which excites you.

Mark in a quiet place
 Set your marking desk in a quiet lab, library or empty classroom. Where possible hang  ‘do-not-disturb’ signs on the door.

Have a clear mind

Marking demands for concentration. Avoid over-indulgence in leisure activities on the marking’s eve. If you a member of one-for-the-road club, forego your membership until the marking season is over.

Avoid candidates’ names
Don’t check whose work you are marking until you are through with marking all scripts. This helps you to mark without bias or set mind. Don’t assume that Issa must score an ‘A’ in Kiswahili.

Have faith in yourself
Believe that you are skilled, efficient and faster marker. Even if you are a slow marker, don’t post it in your mind.
Believe in your abilities help to quicken you marking pace. Stare at unmarked bundles of papers and say loudly, “I enjoy marking for am the fastest marker in Kenya.”


Follow the routing above and bury the burden of marking. Meanwhile, don’t miss the next copy of, ‘Education News’ for I’ll unearth the ten enemies of marking.