Marking after semester

Good practice processes        Resources on marking         Quality summative feedback

Efficient marking processes


First year subjects can often involve large numbers of students. If your unit of study (UoS) is large, then an efficient marking process will involve the whole teaching team, as results will need to be processed and submitted by pre-determined dates.

You will also need to consider adherence to marking criteria and equity in marking standards. See our section on Marking during semester for some tips on this.

Good practice processes for dealing with scripts and marking

The suggestions below are written to apply to final written exams, but can be adapted for any kind of summative, written assessment task.

They are designed to complement the extensive and invaluable information for staff provided by the Examinations Office. Make sure you start by reading their guidelines carefully, checking their links to policy, and downloading the Bulletin available on their site.

1. Keep track of exam scripts
You will never appreciate the value of good practices in keeping track of exam scripts until the one time you don’t do it, and some of them go astray. Take it from those who’ve experienced this already: the small amount of extra time it takes is more than worth it!

  • Ensure you have received all of the completed exam scripts. The Exams Office will arrange for the completed exam scripts to be delivered to your mail room, along with a roll taken at the exam listing all students in the cohort and indicating whether they attended the exam or not. Check to see that you have received a script for all students who were marked present at the exam.
  • Check the emails you received from the Exams Office before the exam, to see which of the absent students were sitting the exam separately (due to a timetable clash or reasonable adjustments for a disability). You can expect these scripts to arrive separately over the next few days. Use the exam roll you received with the bulk of the scripts to note your receipt of these additional scripts as they arrive.
  • If you are distributing completed scripts to a team of markers, use the exam roll again to note which scripts have gone to which marker. Ask each marker to check and confirm their receipt of all scripts (eg by initialling your list). Check and initial your list again when each marker returns their marked scripts.
  • Transport the scripts securely bound together in an envelope or bag (rather than loose in your briefcase … or car boot!) if you take the scripts home to be marked.
  • Keep the scripts securely for six months and then destroy them according to the processes specified by Records Management Services. During this time, students have the right to access their own papers. Make sure you leave them accessible to another colleague if you are going to be away.

2. Keep track of marks awarded
Remember that students have the right to see their marked script or to appeal their result. If that happens, you will need to be able to demonstrate how you arrived at the final grade.

  • Ensure that you and others in your marking team mark consistently to the criteria and standards you have established for the task. See our section on Marking during semester for some tips on this.
  • If the exam consists of separate questions, keep a careful record of the mark awarded for each question, either on the script itself or in a separate record.

Resources for information on marking

  • You can find some good tips for marking on the Business School’s assessment site.
  • There is also an excellent overview of good practice in the Marking section on the Arts and Social Sciences Teaching and Learning Network Assessment site.
  • Check our link on Processing results for guidelines on what to do after you have completed your marking and are ready to submit your results for consideration at your departmental examiners’ meeting and for approval to your department head.

Quality summative feedback

Giving high quality feedback following summative exams is something that students benefit from immensely. However there may be challenges in ensuring that your feedback reaches students once the semester has finished. See our section on Feedback after semester for more information on this topic.