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5 Things To Keep In Mind As An Examiner


An examiner is a person who marks the answers for an examination paper. An examiner’s role is, as the name suggests, to examine the paper and make out which answers were wrong and how many were right, and if right, how much of it was right. An examiner’s role is only to mark the answers - their duties do not extend to invigilation or distribution of the papers. However, that itself can be quite a stressful job because an examiner generally needs to correct somewhere around 40 to 50 answer papers a day, maybe even more at times. So, here are a few tips to help examiners in such dire situations, as well as in general.

Keep The Answer Key Handy

An answer key is the list of answers to an exam that the examiner is marking. It generally does not have the entire answer written down in it, but rather would have all the points that need to be present in order for the examiner to mark it right. If all the points are present, the answer will be awarded full marks, and the marks will be proportionally less for each missing point. It is virtually impossible to read every answer and grade it accordingly because of the sheer volume they will have to correct every day. Therefore, it is always advised to keep the answer key with you at all times while marking the answer sheets so that it is easier to grade them.

Go Section By Section

When doing something like grading answer sheets, there are a lot of questions to be marked. As it is, it will take an extremely long time to complete each individual paper. It is because of this reason that most examiners find the process so strenuous and laborious. However, there is an easier way to do so - mark the answers section-wise. Most question papers are divided into sections. Marking them section-wise makes the whole process much faster. For example, first, mark all the papers that are in section A. Once section A parts of all the answer papers are done, move on to section B.

Do Not Rush Through

Yes, it is difficult to not rush, especially when there are many papers to mark and you are on a deadline. However, it is still highly advised not to rush because of the simple fact that it can severely affect the efficiency of the examiner. You should never go for marking answer sheets when you are tense because a clouded mind can lead to wrongful marking, which can literally directly affect the students’ scores and effectively their future.

Put All Distractions Away

It is understandable that you have a life outside of marking answer sheets, but during exam week, that has to take a backseat. Your job needs to take foremost priority and therefore, everything that generally distracts you needs to be completely avoided. This includes your phone, tablet, outside noise, etc. You can play music if it helps you focus but make sure that it plays in the background and does not affect you in any way possible.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help

A lot of examiners admit to getting help from other people. However, it raises the question of how accurate the marking would be. The answer to that is quite simple - it is done all the time officially. Yes - sometimes, when the workload is too high, school boards assign answer sheets to mark that is not part of an examiner’s area of expertise. An examiner who might have a master’s degree in physics might have to grade answer sheets of history. This is because of the answer keys that are provided. Hence, even you can assign someone a certain number of answer sheets to mark and provide them with the answer key - the marking will be relatively fair.


Marking answer sheets can be quite strenuous, but if you go about it the right way, you can definitely make the process a lot easier. By following these steps, you can definitely make marking much faster than you thought you could. In fact, today because of online classes and online teaching, the paradigm of teaching itself is shifting quite a lot, so in the future, the way we conduct exams and mark them might also be radically different. We already have AI-powered proctoring and MCQ answer marking, so the time when descriptive exams are also electronically marked may not be that far off into the future.

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