More and more SEC exams to be corrected electronically

Author: Dan Keating/19 June 2017/Categories: Leaving Cert, Junior Cert, Parents, School Support

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More and more SEC exams to be corrected electronically

This summer, for the first time, Ordinary Level Junior Cert English will be corrected online as part of an initial roll-out that, in time, will see all SEC exams corrected electronically.

But what will this mean for you?

Well, in countries such as the UK, electronic marking has been in place for over a decade; and the issues examiners face, ones exacerbated by the electronic marking system, are likely to be in vogue here also, especially as teachers and students alike get to grips with the new system.

According to examiner complaints, poor handwriting and use of the wrong colour pen may hamper students’ chances of exam success, past examiners’ reports having highlighted the struggles markers face with onscreen evaluation and illegible answers.

Read Next: SEC Marking Schemes (Paper II, The Comparative Study)

Most exam scripts or papers will be scanned and distributed electronically, then marked onscreen using software systems provided by the SEC. However, onscreen marking is made more difficult if handwriting cannot be scanned clearly, particularly if pupils have used blue or green pens.

On a yearly basis in the UK, examiners comment that the answers of many students are difficult to read. In some cases this is the result of poor handwriting or untidy and disorganised presentation. In others, it results from students not following the instructions on the front of each examination paper to use black ink or black ballpoint pen.

In addition, very small or faint handwriting can be difficult to read and may lead to issues when examiners are awarding marks.

Exam candidates will be clearly told on the front of their papers: “Use black ink or black ballpoint pen.” But many will continue to use pens with blue ink, which may become less clear when scanned, leading to issues come the end of June and the middle of July – and on results day of course.

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