Key Stage 2 tests are marked in hard copy or on screen. Modified versions of onscreen marked tests, for example Braille scripts, are marked in hard copy.
Whichever marking approach is taken, markers must attend face-to-face training to learn how to apply the mark schemes to the agreed national standard. Following training they must pass a standardisation exercise before they are allowed to mark children’s test scripts. Markers who do not pass this exercise are not allowed to continue. This ensures markers can apply the mark schemes accurately and consistently. Schools receive a copy of the mark schemes with their test papers.
A supervising marker mentors and supports markers throughout the marking period, including monitoring their adherence to the required marking quality standards.
Markers must pass two quality assurance checks in the course of the marking period to ensure quality of marking is maintained. If a marker does not pass both quality checks, they are stopped from marking and their test scripts are reallocated for re-marking. In these instances, schools will see two sets of marks on a child’s test script.
When marking test scripts, markers record the marks in accordance with the subject-specific guidance given in their training. For test scripts marked in hard copy, markers do not annotate test scripts with comments or notes but may annotate the script to show where part of the child’s response is missing or incorrect. If a child has not attempted to answer a question, a line '–' will be inserted in the mark box and the space for the child’s response will be crossed through. A line is not used in mental mathematics papers. For test scripts marked onscreen, the marker will record ‘no response’ (NR) if a child has not attempted to answer a question.
At the end of the marking period, children’s total marks on each test are converted to National Curriculum levels using level threshold tables. (Level thresholds for the 2013 test cycle will be published on the Department’s website by Tuesday 9 July 2013.) The final mark and level awarded for each test and subject is published on the Pupil results section of the NCA tools website.
If a school has concerns about how a mark scheme has been applied they can request an individual review of marking. Guidance on applying for a review will be published in this section of the Department's website in June.
Information about the review services available for the English reading and mathematics National Curriculum tests, including level 6 tests.
Information for teachers interested in marking English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling, or mathematics National Curriculum tests.
Tools to help administration of National Curriculum assessments.