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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Steve Shaw BS: How can we restore a reason renaissance (324* d) RE: BS: How can we restore a reason renaissance 08 Jan 21

For many years I was an examiner with an 'A' level board, rising eventually to the dizzy rank of team leader of a group of assistant examiners. My specialism was marking and moderating the marking of biology essay papers. It is the hardest damn thing on earth. Right up to the time that the results were announced we were in the back room checking each other's marking, and even secretly checking the marking of our own chief examiners. After the results we had to re-mark appealed results too. I saw it all. Many an injustice must have crept through, and I have sympathy with exam boards backing away from essays and embracing both structured and multiple-choice questions. It may sound like a drop in standards, but it can be done and it's fairer all round. People who can get an extensive marking scheme into their heads and objectively mark the infinite variety of long essays to an acceptable standard are like hens' teeth. If we thought we were getting to within five percentage points of the correct mark for a paper with five essay questions we thought we were doing well. Examinations are unfair as it is, so stripping away at least one layer of that unfairness is creditable (in m'humble).

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