Designing Effective Assessment


Marking and Grading

Marking and Grading

Marking or scoring is the process of awarding a number (usually), or a symbol to represent the level of student learning achievement. The most common method is by adding up the number of correct answers on a test, and assigning a number that correlates (Sadler, 2005). Higher numbers reflect better quality work. As a rule, marking applies to students' level of performance in individual assessment tasks, not to overall achievement in a course.

Grading is the grouping of student academic work into bands of achievement. Grading usually occurs at a larger level, for example: significant assessment tasks, entire modules or courses and again is represented by a symbol (Sadler, 2005). The most common grading symbols are A,B,C,D etc and HD, D, C, P (High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass) etc.

Grades are commonly determined by adding up the raw data of marks or scores, and converting this to a band of achievement.

Both marks and grades are symbolic representations that summarise the quality of student work and level of achievement.

For any assessment task, students deserve to know what is expected of them and how the decisions about the quality of their work will be made i.e. how their work will be marked and graded. As a student progresses with their study, they will themselves become progressively better at making accurate judgements about the quality of their own work.

Marks and Grades are used to represent the level of learning a student has achieved. Marks are scores, mostly numerical, applied to individual tasks. Raw marks are usually added up and converted to a Grade which represents a band of achievement at course level.