Marking mock exams as a teacher can be the most awful and amazing experience all in one.
When a student has it right, when they’ve done everything you’ve asked and are flying through the paper, it’s beautiful.
But when you’re trying to decode spider-like waffle which is failing to hit the grade criteria at every level, then you look at the daunting pile of 30 more scripts to mark, it’s awful.
You think, there’s got to be a quicker way to mark these mock exams.
Last year I tried making appointments with my students to give them personal feedback for their mocks, and it was great.
While marking I gave them a grade and one or two general areas of improvement which we went through in the lesson. Then one evening after school the following week I set aside an hour and told the class would be available to talk them personally through what they did well and how to improve. Appointments were booked during that time in the same way they would for a parents’ evening.
Just to make sure a couple of the reluctant students were encouraged to attend I made brief calls home to let parents know what I was doing.
During the appointments, I led students personally through what they did well and what they needed to do to improve. Some recorded the conversation on their phones, others made notes. They were then given a blank copy of the same exam paper to try again.
I’ll be doing the same in a few weeks after this round of mock exams.
Without the need to give written feedback my marking was quicker and more importantly the quality of my feedback was much better as students could ask questions.
Give it a try.
How do you deal with marking mock exams?
How do you maximize the impact of your feedback?