Guidance

Key stage 2 tests: how to become a marker

Guidance about how to become a marker for the key stage 2 English, mathematics and science national curriculum tests (commonly referred to as SATs).

Criteria for becoming a marker for English or mathematics

Markers are recruited by Pearson, our external marking supplier, for the key stage 2 (KS2) English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics tests. There are 3 types of markers:

  • expert
  • standard
  • clerical

Expert and standard markers must have qualified teacher status and teaching experience in the subject and key stage they are marking. The questions they mark require professional judgement.

Clerical markers can be graduates or students about to graduate. They don’t require teaching experience in the subject or key stage as the questions they will be marking don’t require professional judgement.

Markers will need to be able to work accurately at speed and demonstrate a positive approach to pupils’ work.

Apply to be a marker

Recruitment of markers for the 2018 KS2 English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics tests is now closed. Recruitment for the 2019 tests will begin at the end of November.

Marker training

Before you’re approved to mark, you’ll receive full training and support on the marking process and applying the mark scheme accurately. This includes face-to-face training sessions and ongoing support from a marking supervisor. Most marking is done online.

The mark scheme training meeting takes place during a weekend in May, shortly after pupils sit the tests. This meeting is to ensure you understand the marking procedures. It also introduces you to the support network available throughout the marking process.

You’ll demonstrate your ability to mark accurately and consistently by marking a set of practice scripts. You’ll then be asked to mark some sample responses online to demonstrate that you can accurately apply the mark scheme.

Marking the tests

If successful, you’ll start marking test scripts shortly after completing your training in May. You will usually complete your marking within 3 weeks. We’ll assess your marking accuracy throughout the marking period to ensure that you’re marking to the agreed standard.

Science sampling tests

The biennial KS2 science sampling tests will take place in the 2018 summer term. The recruitment of coders (markers) is now closed for 2018.

Published 3 April 2014
Last updated 21 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Changed to reflect the completion of marker recruitment for the 2018 tests.
  2. Changed to reflect the completion or marker recruitment for the 2018 science sampling tests.
  3. Updated for the 2017 to 2018 test cycle.
  4. Dates amended to reflect current marker recruitment opportunities.
  5. The reference to assessing the accuracy of marking (penultimate paragraph) has been amended from '...two more times during the marking period...' to '...throughout the marking period...'.
  6. First published.