How to develop a Successful Marking Key

Marking Guideline for Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Lahore



To bring the uniformity and to minimize the interest of Sub Examiner, Download the slide presented in the Training Session on April 26, 2014. Click the following link to download.




Talking with teachers across the State has convinced me of the enthusiasm for “getting it right” when it comes to changes affecting students in high stakes examinations like the HSC. Teachers want to know exactly what has to be done so that they can get it right for their students and their school. One answer is to read the growing volume of support publications available to teachers:

  • Board of Studies subject syllabuses
  • Subject Examination, Assessment and Reporting Supplements (EARS)
  • Specimen Papers (not the Sample Papers)
  • Board of Studies Assessment Support Document
  • Board of Studies subject support documents
  • New HSC Assessment and Reporting Bulletins (green and yellow)
  • Materials from LIG assessment events
  • CURRICULUM SUPPORT (HSIE): New HSC supplements
  • New HSC web site

There really is a lot of important information available already. When this information is absorbed, teachers still have to apply it to their subject and their class. In CURRICULUM SUPPORT (HSIE) Vol. 5, No. 2, Term 2, 2000, the article Developing assessment tasks (p. 9) outlined a process for development and the issues that teachers need to address at each step.

It advocated a small number of outcomes for each task and that tasks be straightforward, that is, not multifaceted. This advice was given so that teachers could make the development of a rubric and marking guidelines an easier task.

Teachers following this advice have found the process simpler but still had difficulty with the development of marking guidelines. The reasons for this difficulty are that:

  • it is a new process for most teachers
  • it takes practice teachers have too high an expectation of their first efforts
  • there is no one correct model.

As outlined in the Assessment and Reporting Bulletin No. 3, marking guidelines are particularly important because:

  • they are linked to standards, with reference to the outcomes and content of syllabuses
  • they support consistent marking
  • they distinguish different levels of achievement.

Improving assessment practices by writing explicit criteria in the marking guidelines for different levels of achievement is a challenge. In accepting the challenge, here is an annotated example. Although it’s for Modern History, all HSIE teachers will find the process and annotated comments of interest. (This is a reworked example, first published in materials for the 1999 assessment LIG.)

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