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Implementing a Rigourous Process to Mark Assessments

Why is this important?

  • A good assessment marking process ensures that students’ academic performance is assessed in a fair and consistent manner.

What are the specific requirements?

  • According to EduTrust Sub-criterion 5.5 – Student Assessment, PEIs are required to have a rigorous process to ensure a high standard of assessment.

What was the situation before the good practice?

  • In most PEIs, a single teacher is responsible for marking the assessments of his/her own students. 
  • Even when there was a second teacher marking the assessments, their role was typically to ensure that marks were properly added up and not to re-mark the papers. 
  • This could give rise to potential bias in the marking of assessments because only one teacher is involved or inconsistency of assessment across students of different teachers for the same work as there is no overall moderation.

What did some schools decide to do?

  • Some PEIs assigned teachers to mark the work of students they did not teach to reduce the opportunities for bias. 
  • To support the teachers, clear marking schemes were also developed to improve the consistency in the marking, especially for open-ended questions. 
  • In certain cases, students’ work was marked a second time by a different teacher to ensure that the marking scheme was applied consistently.
  • Some PEIs also adopt a moderation approach in marking assessments.  A group of teachers would first mark the work of a range of students with different abilities to establish a common understanding of how the marking scheme should be applied to different student. 
  • In some PEIs, an assigned teacher, normally the academic head, would also mark the work of randomly selected students to ensure that teachers were adhering to the marking standards agreed upon.

How did the schools benefit?

  • With these systems in place, PEIs were able to ensure that assessments were marked in fair and consistent manner; this increased their students’ confidence in the PEIs’ assessment processes and improved student satisfaction levels. 
  • Through the moderation process, PEIs were also able to better understand the differences between their teachers in the teaching and marking of assessments and to provide the necessary guidance and training to ensure consistent academic outcomes.