Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Marker

What does marking involve?

Marking a set amount of candidates examination scripts following predetermined Marking instructions.

When will I know if I am going to be asked to mark?

We start our contracting period for Markers in the November before the examinations start. This process is on-going through to March or until Marking teams are complete.

When does marking take place?

Traditional, Central and eMarking takes place throughout May and June. Projects submitted in March and April are marked during April and May.

Where does marking take place?

Traditional Marking is done from your home, however, some subjects are marked centrally.

Central Marking is carried out at specific locations across Scotland.

In the main eMarking is done from home however, we currently have a few small teams who centrally mark.

Will I receive any training?

Traditional Markers will be required to attend a Markers Meeting before they can mark scripts. The Markers Meeting will confirm Marking instructions and guidelines on the marking process. You will also have the opportunity to discuss any concerns prior to marking.

Central Markers undertake a very similar process at the start of a central Marking event.

A comprehensive training package for eMarking is available on SQA Academy to support the Markers before they begin their marking duties.

There is also an SQA Academy course ‘Marking for SQA’ for all new Markers.

Will I have any support during the marking?

Yes, depending on the subject and level you are marking you will have either a Principal Assessor, or an experienced Team Leader to support you. You will be able to contact them with any queries that you have during the marking period. There are also comprehensive instructions and guidance notes available to all Markers.

What subjects is marking available in?

Currently marking opportunities are available in all subjects and levels as we always keep our reserve lists topped up.

What is a reserve list?

The reserve list is a list of qualified, current, subject professionals who may be called upon to mark at any stage in our appointment process. The reserve list is called upon first to replace any Marker who may not be able to continue their marking duties.

How long will I be on the reserve list?

We operate a rotation programme for the Marking Teams with sufficient reserve markers so that you should be invited to join a Marking Team within a twelve month period. Should it take longer than 12 months then we will be in touch to let you know.

What qualifications do I need to be a marker?

You will need to be currently teaching the subject at the level you wish to mark. For Standard Grade and Intermediate 1 and 2 you will be required to have been presenting the Course for 2 years and for Higher and Advanced Higher you will be required to have been presenting the Course for 3 years. However, this may be reduced if you are an experienced marker at another level.

Do I need to be computer literate?

You will need access to a personal e-mail address and a home computer with a broadband connection, as we communicate with you by email. eMarking does require basic computer skills.

What kind of computer do I need?

Current details on the requirements for e-marking are on the Applying to be an Appointee web page, which can be reached from the Appointee Management home page at www.sqa.org.uk/am.

How much will I earn as a Marker?

The script rate varies across all papers as the rate is based on the number of scripts which can be marked in an hour. Fees are paid for each script marked and range from 89p to £28.50.

How long do I have to complete the marking?

It depends on the paper being marked, but typically a period of around 16 – 19 days is given. Specific marking start and end dates are provided for each paper and details are confirmed in the General Marking Instructions.

Do I mark individual questions or whole scripts?

Whole scripts are marked.

How will I know if my marking is correct?

At the end of the marking period, when SQA quality procedures are complete, we will confirm your achievement against Key Performance Measures (KPMs). This will normally be around August/September each year.

KPM details for all appointee roles can be found at http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/35695.html

At a Central Marking event the Principal Assessor and or Team Leaders will provide feedback and guidance throughout the event.

During eMarking the Quality Assurance is built into the marking process which allows Markers to identify how accurately they are applying the marking instructions.

Will I be invite to mark next year or do I have to reapply?

On successful completion of KPMs you will automatically be invited to mark the following year and you do not need to reapply as long you meet the currency criteria. However, marking contracts are for 1 year only and you may be moved to the reserve list in future years to allow rotation of markers.

How can I change the paper or level that I currently mark?

When you receive your Marker invitation for next year, you have the opportunity to complete a change of paper/level section. This indicates your preference to mark a different paper or an additional paper.

Can I share the knowledge I have gained with colleagues?

Yes, there are aspects of our work that you can share with professional colleagues. However, we do require you to adhere to our Terms and Conditions which can be found at http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/38339.html