I know that often, marking exams is just your way of getting some extra income and I have nothing against that. I’m sure you have no great passion for examinations, because, well, who does? However, I have a few requests that I’d be grateful if you could bear in mind as you’re marking our exams.
Please remember that the exam you’re marking is not computer generated, it is not written by someone who is simply a four-digit number on a page. It is written by a human being, a scared human being, a human being who’s suffered panic attacks in the night worrying about the exam that you’re marking, a human being who has sacrificed months of their life to revise for the exam that now sits on a table in front of you. So please, all I ask of you, is that you do the human thing as well and read the exam. I know you’ve got lots of exams to mark, but you’ve been entrusted with and paid for this job, so please mark sensitively, because the exam you’re marking was written by someone who is placing all their trust in you, albeit not by choice.
Please don’t laugh at us. Anything can happen on the day of that exam. Don’t laugh at students missing words out of sentences, or spelling the odd word wrong, or writing a lot because we want to get all of our thoughts onto that piece of paper. You don’t know what is going on in a student’s life - their handwriting might be shaky for any number of reasons. Please just mark the content you see and, linking back to what I already said, remember that we are human and not perfect.
Lastly, I ask you to think of it like this. Imagine you have a son or daughter taking exams - you’d want the complete strangers marking their papers to take the time to read the paper and mark it based on what they have actually written, rather than how many times they’ve used an author’s name, or how many times they’ve used a scientific term. So please, do the same for the exams you mark, because up and down the country students and their families are sitting anxiously worrying about their results, and they want only the best they can manage, and most of all they want to be adequately credited for what they wrote on the day of that exam - no more, no less.