The joy of marking mocks…..

Yay, exam season is just around the corner so it must be time to mark those highly indicative mock exams *groans*. 

I appear to have been hit with the good luck stick and have a mere 120 scripts to mark. Again – yay.

I’d like to say I have a quick win technique here. I’d like to.

Unfortunately my coping mechanism consists of little and often with the TV/YouTube on in the background. One question at break, two guestion at lunch and 3 questions after school. At this rate I get through almost a set of papers per day – on a good day, bearing in mind they’re split into two piles.

You’d never recommend it to your pupils would you (?) – but then in all fairness for some of them doing any work in their own time at all would be an improvement!

My aim is to get them done in the next two days before the Easter break. We’ll see………

Do you have any quick wins or tips when your paper marking spikes?


Revision hell….

So you’re stuck with year 11 for at least another 3 months, because unlike the old days we don’t trust them to revise on their own and there’s too much at stake for us to leave it to chance.

This leaves the very real problem of how to effectively revise for these individuals between now and exam time!

I’ve always been a fan of actually doing papers – relentlessly an unapologetically. If you look at enough papers and enough mark schemes you can’t fail. Same shit, different year.

You can’t do that for 3 months. You just can’t. So you effectively teach the course again because a large proportion of the little darlings have forgotten a lot (A LOT) of it! 

Revision mats? Good for basic recall. I like them, and for 20% of your total marks (the tick box and one markers) they’re great.

6 mark questions: I get my students to answer them in table form, sure the QWC goes to shit – but they’re targeting specific marks now – showing a deeper understanding of how to approach a scientific question, and let’s be honest who gives a toss about QWC anyway?

Biggest problem? Maths. If these kids can’t use an equation and rearrange it then they’re probably not going to. You could spend 3 months trying to get them up to speed but it’s unlikely to be fruitful so pick some easy wins.

Graphs and tables. I give my students endless tables and graphs. If they can spot a pattern they can get a mark, they don’t even have to understand it to get a good enough proportion of marks to pass!

What do you do, what are your quick wins? How do you keep it interesting and stay sane????