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Top tips from IB examiners

Richard Harvey, examiner for film:Richard Harvey

  1. Get organized at least three weeks before you think you need to.
  2. Plan your marking schedule – spread the load and don’t try to do too much all at once.
  3. Keep to deadlines – the impact if you don’t may be much greater than you think.

Garrett Nagle, examiner for geography:

  1. Examiner Gareth NagleStudy the markscheme—but be open to answers that take a different approach. Take time to research unknown information provided by candidates. I have learned a lot of new information from this process which I have taken back to my own teaching.
  2. Try and stay up-to-date—read publications which highlight real world geography issues such as the Economist or the Financial Times.
  3. Plan times to complete your examining—try to make it part of your regular activities in marking.

Tiia Tempakka, examiner for Finnish A: literature and B:

  1. Examiner Tiia TempakkaPace yourself. The task of examining can feel like a freight train unless you break the schedule into manageable chunks and keep your diary updated.
  2. See the students behind the scripts; we have a huge responsibility because our work may determine their future. We should do our best to treat them fairly. I try to make my assessment as transparent as possible with annotations and I hope (and quietly trust) that e-marking will not change the fundamentals of our work.
  3. Synchronize yourself with the IB learner profile–try your best to remain principled, caring and balanced …

Neil King, examiner for English A:

  1. Examiner Neil KingAlways write a friendly “hello” to your team before the marking session starts: introduce yourself, highlight the important aspects of the coming task and reassure your team that, if or when problems arise, you are there to help.
  2. Everybody who examines is sensitive to criticism, especially those who have been doing the job for a long time without issues. Kind and sensitive mentoring techniques, which can be time-consuming, need to be employed. The tone of these discussions is vital: remember that your objective is to make that examiner feel confident.