Pass the Test: How Do I Mark My Exam Papers Online?

how to i mark my exam papers online test marking

Have you ever taken a standardized exam like the SAT or ACT and wondered who's grading your essay section? 

Large assessment companies and universities hire thousands of exam markers to help them grade millions of tests. Much of that work is now done online, leaving some paper-and-pencil graders asking "how do I mark my exam papers?" 

Keep reading the rest of this article to learn about some of the ways software is making it easier for markers and teachers to finish their grading. You'll also learn the benefits of using digital tools for marked exams rather than some of the old methods. 

And, finally, we're going to share details on the growing freelance exam marking industry. You may find your next-part time job! 

Answering the Question: How To Digitally Mark My Exam Papers? 

There's no doubt that technology has made our lives easier in many ways. One of those ways is by making it easier for instructors or administrators to mark exams online. 

If you're running a class that is fully or partially digital, chances are your employer is using a Learning Management System like Canvas or Blackboard. Canvas, for instance, has an exam marking program called the Speedgrader. 

First, you'll need to build your exam on Canvas. Then set the parameters for how much time students will get to take, whether they're allowed multiple attempts, and configure any accommodations. Many exam questions can be set to auto-grade. 

Canvas Speedgrader is useful for essays or short answer questions. It allows you to navigate between submissions, access your rubric for grading, and provide annotations for feedback. You can also leave more detailed comments under the student's final grade. 

Every submission is also time-stamped and the Speedgrader makes it easy to handle regrades. 

Most Learning Management Systems or exam software have these types of features. They will make grading faster and easier. 

The Benefits of Online Marked Exam Papers 

We briefly touched on the benefits of these digital tools above. But, let's look more closely at how online marking will increase your overall productivity. 

1. Using on-screen exam marking tools will save you the time of having to manually grade submissions and upload them into a spreadsheet. 

2. Improve your grading quality by sticking to a rubric and organizing a streamlined workflow that will help eliminate human error. 

3. E-marking makes it easier to standardize exams and send specific submissions to secondary markers for further review. 

4. Revising the pass rate for an online exam is easier than on paper, and these programs have advanced results modeling tools. 

5. An online marking program makes it easier to secure all exams. 

To summarize, not only will you be faster and more efficient with scoring, but the exams you mark will be fair and consistent. 

So what's the benefit for test-takers? They'll get results much faster than they did in the past with useful feedback, and all grades will be standardized. Your company will benefit from a smoother exam process. 

Understanding How Exams Are Marked 

Most of the standardized tests taken all over the world are referred to as "scripts" and undergo a strict marking process. Software is now making it easier for consistent results to be reported faster. 

Cambridge Assessment International Education, for example, has to grade over eight million answer scripts every year. There are millions of people taking many different types of subject tests. 

Test-takers will either submit their own work as a PDF or a handwritten document that can be scanned. Any multiple-choice questions are automatically graded. 

Next, a team of experienced senior examiners works together to mark a sample set of scripts. Lower level examiners will practice marking these scripts to understand the standards. 

Examiners begin marking texts and determining grade boundaries or what a student will need to earn to achieve a specific grade. The senior checkers then go back and look over everything before the final grade is issued. 

Some of the tools used include: automated workflowers for multiple markers, double-blind marking, anonymous marking, and marker hierarchy. 

Launch a Freelance Exam Marker Career 

Are you looking for a part-time position for more income? Or are you retired and need something to do with your time? There is a big market for freelance exam marking. It's even better if you already have experience. 

Companies typically want markers with a higher degree, an appropriate professional background, and experience in higher education or in another marking agency. 

Before reaching out for a position, it's important to note that marking is not steady year-round work. Large batches of exams usually need to be graded in a matter of weeks. The rest of the year will be pretty quiet. 

What are the top skills needed to be a marker? 

• Having top-notch organization 
• Being good at managing your own time 
• Markers need to be self-discliplined and stick to their schedules until all work is complete 
• Maintaining good communication with senior examiners or the company you're working for 
• You should have above average computer skills to be able to use all of the digital tools at your disposal 

You're also probably wondering about the pay. Rates vary from employer to employer, and they are higher for some specialties. Grading English essays, for example, could result in more pay because it takes longer to go through essays than multiple choice exams. 

If interested in freelancing, you should start reaching out to some universities or big assessment companies like Cambridge. You'll be surprised with how many opportunities are available for you. 

Start Marking Exams Like a Pro 

Most beginners ask "how do I mark my exam papers?" After reading this article you should have a better understanding of the process and tools used by the professionals. Most Learning Management Systems or assessment software come with tools that help you leave important feedback. 

Keep reading more of Bootstrap Business if you want to learn about the newest software to help you in education, testing, exams, marketing, investing, or real estate. We publish informative articles on continuing education and certification exams every month!

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