Is It True: Examiners are very mean with marks

No, it is not. Although exceptions are there but mostly examiners are very nice people.

They are usually from the teaching profession so they understand and sympathise with students. For internally-set exams, they are often your own lecturers or teachers and in those cases, your failure could reflect badly on them. I'm certainly not suggesting that they would award a pass where it isn't justified, but they're certainly on your side and have no interest at all in catching you out unfairly.

Examiners want you to pass. And they like awarding marks -providing you've done what was asked. They have a carefully designed marking scheme for each carefully worded question so they want to allocate the marks in accordance with this. This means that in reality the marking process usually consists of the examiner searching your answer for responses or points which will earn marks. So as soon he finds one he will allocate the marks and look for the next award-earning item.


Bear in mind also that he is usually faced with marking hundreds of scripts to a very tight deadline, so he wants to get through them as quickly and effectively as possible. There is a very important, fundamental fact to be highlighted here. You can capitalise on this situation by making it easy for the examiner to award marks', i.e. get him on your side from the outset.

How can you do this? It's simple:

  • Make sure you answer the question by doing exactly what is asked.
  • Make your answer easy to read by presenting it in a logical, easy-to-follow manner with the key points brought out clearly This makes it easy for the examiner to award the marks as well as keeping him in a good mood.
  • If you are studying for AMIE exams, then study from effective course material.
(From How to pass exams by Mike Evens)

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