Solving the riddle of the Sphinx – the teaching benefits of marking for the exam board


The 15 minute was led by history teacher Jack Tyler tonight.  Jack marks GCSE history papers and was reflecting on the benefits of this. He started by telling us that this was the best CPD he has ever had – much better than any other courses he has been to – and that he felt sure that it had made him a more confident and effective teacher.  He only wishes that he had done it earlier.


  • As teachers we are often taking on more work for the benefit of the department – this is one of the most effective type of work that you can do for your department.
  • Becoming an assessor will benefit your department and the attainment of your pupils.
  • Not only is it invaluable for a department to have at least one member working for the exam board, but you also get paid. This is always nice at the end of an expensive summer holiday!
  • The application form is minimal and they always offer more scripts.
  • I’ve been dining out on it ever since!


  • Knowledge of the exam board is as crucial as teacher subject knowledge, to the success of your students.
  • In order to mark for the exam board you are trained up as one of them and learn how they think – and can advise your students accordingly.
  • Tips from examiners about websites/texts etc.
  • Your confidence will be boosted in terms of the way you talk about the exam and this cannot help but build the confidence of your pupils.
  • Once you start marking you quickly realise that before doing so, you have been acting on out-dated knowledge of the board. There is another important lesson here – when you are exam papers for mock exams, use the most recent ones.  The questions quickly get out of date.


  • Working for the exam board, you cannot help but pick up on changes – types of questions, exam dates etc.
  • Assessors are the most clued up teachers when it comes to the exam – they know it inside out.  This can’t help but benefit their teaching.
  • Can really help when deciding which board to go for if you are thinking about changing.
  • With massive changes afoot for 2016 it is more important than ever to be up-to-date.


  • Time is something as teachers we can always use more of.
  • You cannot help but improve your speed of marking exams etc in school, through this type of exam marking.
  • I fly through mock exams and ‘Tracking Point’ assessments these days!


  • Marking for the board provides an insight into what other teachers are doing.
  • Also tells you the depth of knowledge that others are teaching their pupils.
  • As well as the extended writing supportive strategies they are using.
  • Even the sources they have used – e.g. one student used an excellent graph to show weight loss of ‘Free School Meals’ pupils in the summer holidays (before FSM existed in the early 20th century) as a piece of evidence for why they were introduced – which I found and have now started using in my teaching.








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2 Responses to Solving the riddle of the Sphinx – the teaching benefits of marking for the exam board

  1. Daniel J. Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Education Web Gems.

  2. teacherposts says:

    I would agree entirely – it’s hugely beneficial to mark papers and moderate coursework for the exam board.
    One of my previous employers believed in it so much that they offered a financial incentive (they’d match your exam board earnings in the first year)

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