Internal marking below par

8th November 1996 at 00:00
Increasing anxieties about internal assessment under Higher Still have been reinforced by the Scottish Examination Board's reports on this year's performance at Higher and Standard grade.

Teachers' marking of practical abilities and investigations receives a mixed judgment. Examiners found teachers were again adding up incorrectly, being "generous" in some subjects and failing to follow the guidelines in others. However, there was ample evidence of high standards of pupil work.

The strongest criticism is reserved for graphic communication. In the Higher thematic presentation, 45 per cent of 132 schools and colleges moderated were told to amend their assessments.

The examiners state: "Much of the work was disappointing and there is a need for improvement in the standard of folios presented and in the accuracy of internal marking. Marking was found to be too generous in over 40 per cent of the centres moderated."

In graphic communication at Standard grade, much of the work was of "poor quality" and "a significant number of teachers failed to calculate the correct overall grade from the 10 sub-element grades".

Biology teachers failed to total the marks properly in Standard grade practical abilities, with 17 per cent of centres at fault. Teachers' overall marking was good, their arithmetic less so. In Higher computing, "marks awarded by centres continued to be generous", the examiners conclude.

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