Meet the Marker

In every examination the focus is on the Candidate and the results that they hope to get after sitting for the examinations. Today, we would like to take a closer look at the Examination Markers.

Process of Selection

Zimsec flights an advert in the local daily Newspapers inviting applications from people who wish to be examinations markers. The advert clearly stipulates the selection criteria which must be met by the individual according to the level they wish to be considered for.

Grade Seven Markers must be qualified teachers with a Diploma in Primary Education and at least 3 years teaching experience. A degree in Primary Education is an added advantage. A marker is required to be a person of good character and high integrity, this must be vouched for by the School Head who is also required to give a recommendation to support the application.

For Ordinary and Advanced Level Markers applicants must be certified graduates including those in the process of acquiring Grad. C.E. Holders of Diplomas with secondary teaching experience of at least five years in the subject being applied for will also be considered. Copies of academic transcripts and certificates are required to accompany all applications and applications without these documents are not entertained. At Advanced Level however a degree with specialisation in the specific subject of interest is mandatory.

Markers at this level are subject specific that is, a marker stipulates their subject specialisation and therefore is considered accordingly.

Once the applications are received at the Zimsec offices, a spreadsheet is produced with all the applicants and their details tabulated. A Panel at Zimsec then sits to rank the applicants subject by subject. The markers are selected from the highest in the ranking until the desired number of markers is acquired.

Selected markers are then called in for training. The first step before full training is the testing of the prospective markers. This involves a real test paper which the prospective markers must sit and achieve an expected pass mark. Those who fail are sent back to their stations and those who pass at the expected level will continue.

During the Marker training, markers are taught how to interpret questions, marking schemes and how and where to award marks. After this, markers are given an opportunity to practice using ‘dummy papers’ until they master the skills.

At the end of the training Markers are given a test in the marking of their subject of specialisation. Should a marker fall below a certain mark, they are declined as a Zimsec marker and are not allowed to proceed to mark public examinations. The successful markers are then invited to live marking sessions to observe seasoned markers and observe procedures, and finally they are introduced into the pool of examination markers.

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