The Most Annoying Thing About Marking Examination Scripts

It seems like I have been ignoring this blog for almost a year now. I had almost forgotten the username too. Not that there’s nothing to update about. Seriously, there’s a couple of issues worth highlighting. But yet again, this year has been another long transition year. Half of it spent on being on Medical Leave and Travelling. Most write ups had remained in my note pads. Work wise, nothing much has been going on. And when I say work, I meant serious ‘other’ work matters apart from the usual teaching, and managing classes. I’ll get to that part some other time.

As for this week, it’s yet another session of marking. I think throughout my career as a lecturer, I have been through this marking task almost 20 over times now. At times, it felt like I have been doing this forever. It’s getting pretty old! I have never heard of any of my colleagues that actually LOVE this part of their job. And I am not about to say I do love marking examination scripts! Several recurrent themes every semester have made loving the task almost impossible.

These are some of the top most annoying things I found recurring every semester:

Failure to write down the question numbers that the student had chosen to answer on the front page of the exam script.Β 

This I count as the top most annoying part of marking exam scripts. I had to spend extra time browsing back the scripts identifying and writing down the question numbers. It’s annoying because, it’s a task so simple that everyone seem to ignore, including the invigilators. I wouldn’t mind it so much if I have less than 20 scripts to mark every semester. Imagine having 80 students and almost 80% did not write down their question numbers. It’s simply a waste of time I should spent on starting marking them. And I having to start on the wrong footing – being annoyed. Ever wonder why you get ‘less’ marks comparatively some times? Well, I am only human.

Failure to have a proper paragraph and headings in writing answers

I know there are certain things I cannot change, including if the students were predestined to have a doctor’s handwriting. However, having a a proper paragraphing style and where appropriate having a heading/title for a particular answers would actually help me identify the answers. And when I say proper, I meant leaving a proper space between one point and the next, including underlining and highlighting relevant points in the answers. I DO NOT have a supersonic bionic eyes! Scanning through answers without paragraph where everything is jumble up into one very, very long paragraph, really, really annoy me! Again, I am only human.

Why is it so difficult for one to write in a proper paragraph and underline or highlight their main points???

Why is it so difficult for one to write in a proper paragraph and underline or highlight their main points???

Answer more question than required

Doing this to me only goes to show two main things:

  1. The students do not know how to read the instructions
  2. The students are not confident of their answers

Therefore, doing such gave the students a bad impression. Common sense requires you not to give a bad impression of yourself to your examiners. And the most important thing of all, I need to spend extra time actually trying to give the extra answers some ‘face’. I do not have all month to complete marking, just a very short week. This yet again, really annoy me. There are times, when I am press for time, I couldn’t even be bothered. Please, please…I am only human, a mean one when it comes to marking if I get annoyed!

Writing ‘love letter’ appealing to be passed

This is actually not so common. But it did occur from time to time. Sometimes, such appeals were sent in a separate letter/memo post exams. Still, appeals like this are annoying to me. I am not sure about others, but instead of appealing to the hearts of the examiner, it somewhat gave an adverse affect on me. So be careful the next time you’re thinking of giving me such ‘love’ letter. Seriously, only your answers matter.


One Example…

Failure to write the examiner’s name accurately

Really, after 14 weeks of classes, if the student still can’t identify and spelled my name correctly, I really don’t know what else to say… Maybe I am being overly ‘touchy’, but when I was a student, I’d made sure I find out what it was (my lecturer’s name) and write it down accurately, more so as a sign of respect for someone who have been teaching me the whole semester. Some of you may not find that important, but I do. And again, I am only human.

And of course they are a couple of other ‘interesting’ thing you find while marking…


Romance in a middle park…

Sketching while answering
Sketching while answering

According to the textbook...(Seriously???)

According to the textbook…(Seriously???)

This entry was posted in Examination, My Career, My Expression and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Most Annoying Thing About Marking Examination Scripts

  1. Frances says:

    Thanks for this. I agree completely with everything that you have said and in fact have often wondered if it was just me πŸ™‚ With exams around the corner and hundreds of scripts to grade at least I can take solace that I am not alone in my academic meanderings and the occasional rant.

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