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Grading and Assessment Techniques

Date published: Date modified: 2022-10-25

It’s no secret that marking work is not only repetitive and time-consuming it’s also an area many teachers, old and new, still struggle with.  Finding the balance between efficient yet good quality marking is especially difficult, and it takes a while for you to find a grading techniques that work for you. Whilst you’re working on creating that process however, it’s always good to learn some tips and techniques from others.

This list aims to help you along the way, so you find the best way to grade your assessments, save time and reclaim your weekends back!

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Sometimes it is very easy to look at a piece of work and correct every single error and leave the page awash with red ink. This not only has a negative psychological impact on the student but increases the time it takes to mark that piece of work. Instead, why not try identifying a couple of key areas for improvement and build up? Leaving hints and comments on the side or on an attached piece of paper for common mistakes can be easier and gives the student something to work on.

List it

Try creating a list of ‘go to’ generic comments to fall back on, of course don’t use them too much but if you’re lacking a bit of inspiration or you’ve written ‘very good’ one to many times a handy comments list can really save time! Find a series of ways to give constructive criticism rather than just telling the student they made a mistake. Maybe even keep a list of extra resources the student can look at if they did exceptionally well or if they need extra help.


Establish your own rubric when it comes to your students. For example, a yellow line for a spelling mistake or a red circle to indicate that there will be a comment in the margin to explain the mistake. The key to success here is consistency and ensuring all students are on board and understand the marking system – try drawing a colour coded key in the front of their books or on a poster in the classroom, so they can always check back to see what you mean.

Put the pens down

Remember grading and assessment is not just confined to marking books and worksheets. Sometimes you will find that some students need more support outside written comments and markings. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Verbal Feedback
  • Choral Activities
  • Peer Marking
  • Workshopping
  • 1 to 1 feedback.

Whatever you find works best for your students, stay consistent. Each child is unique and to really get through to them you need to understand which assessment techniques they respond to.


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By Abbie Drury
SAAF Education 340 110

16 February 2018


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