The apprentice and the marking guide

As we move closer towards the end of the apprentice it perhaps becomes a little clearer as to what Sir Alan is actually looking for. Did he set out with a predetermined idea as to what he wanted or did he simply let events unfold and wait for the talent to impress him. Well maybe there is some degree of spontaneity in the selection process, but this has now become a formulaic programme with set objectives and a consistent team of people making the decisions as to who should get the job. As a result there will be criteria by which all the candidates are evaluated.

In the exam world it is very important that anyone marking scripts is clear as to what the examiner is looking for. This is to ensure that when you have several markers in a team they are equally fair to everyone or at least as fair as possible. For some examinations these marking guides are published and they provide an invaluable and often essential way of finding out exactly what the examiner wanted. Depending on the exam, to make sense of the marking guide you will also need the model answer. But armed with a marking guide and the examiners answer you will be able to pin down the specific likes and dislikes of your examiner. How many marks did they give for the written part of the answer, how detailed did the calculations have to be, where there any unusual terms used that perhaps you had not come across before, all this and more can be revealed.

And so to the point, if you want to increase your chances of passing an exam you should get a copy of your examiners marking guide and model answer. Then work through one or maybe two exam papers making a note of how many marks were given for calculation verses written. Looking for those unusual terms and generally honing your knowledge towards what your examiner wants.

To pass an exam takes many qualities not least hard work, but if you understand what your examiner wants, that must be give you a much better chance of achieving it.

And so it is possible that the current candidates on the apprentice have a much better chance of knowing what their examiner wants having benefited from watching previous programmes. That’s of course if they thought about it before they went on, or perhaps like lots of students they simply left it to their natural talent and ability……

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