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The use of 'live' versus photocopied scripts in the first phase sample of marking standardisation

By Michelle Meadows


Prior to beginning marking, all examiners attend a Standardisation Meeting at which they are trained in the application of the mark scheme. Following the meeting, a First Phase Sample script review is conducted. This sample consists of ten scripts (five photocopied scripts and five ‘live’ scripts selected from the examiners' marking allocation). The scripts are marked by the examiner and forwarded to the Senior Examiner who then re-marks them. The Senior Examiner provides feedback to the examiner, including whether he/she is cleared to continue marking.

This paper reports a study to investigate whether, in a number of GCE units, the type of script (‘live’ or photocopied) affected the size of marking discrepancies between the Senior Examiners and examiners and/or Senior Examiners’ decisions to clear examiners to mark.

It was found that there was a greater discrepancy between examiners’ and Senior Examiners’ marking of photocopied than ‘live’ scripts. This was possibly because examiners’ marking of photocopied scripts was compared with a pre-set mark allocation, while the Senior Examiners’ marking of ‘live’ scripts was influenced by the marks and comments of the original examiner. Senior Examiners’ decisions to clear examiners to mark were influenced by discrepancies in examiners’ marking of both photocopied and ‘live’ scripts. Photocopied scripts provide the Senior Examiner with a valuable method of comparing examiners.

It is recommended that the effect on standardisation of including ‘live’ scripts only in the First Phase Sample, as planned from January 2004, should be carefully monitored.

How to cite

Meadows, M. (2006). The use of 'live' versus photocopied scripts in the first phase sample of marking standardisation. Manchester: AQA Centre for Education Research and Policy.


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