Key stage 2 tests: how to become a marker

Guidance about how to become a marker for the key stage 2 (KS2) English, mathematics and science national curriculum tests (commonly referred to as SATs).

English and mathematics tests

Criteria for becoming a marker for English or mathematics

Markers for the 2019 national curriculum tests are recruited by Pearson, the Standards and Testing Agency’s external marking supplier. There are currently 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 do not require teaching experience in the subject or key stage, as the questions they will be marking do not 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

Pearson are now recruiting for expert and standard markers for 2019. If you have not marked the KS2 tests before, please visit the vacancies page for role requirements and application details.

Recruitment for clerical markers will start from January 2019.

If you have marked the KS2 tests within the last 2 years, you do not need to apply again. If eligible, Pearson will contact you about marking opportunities for 2019.

If you have any questions about the marker recruitment process, contact Pearson’s national curriculum tests helpdesk on 0300 303 1270.

Marker training

Before you’re approved to mark, you’ll receive full training and support on the marking process and how to apply 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 ensures you understand the marking procedures and 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 also mark 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’ll usually complete your marking within 3 weeks. We’ll assess your marking accuracy throughout the marking period to ensure that you’re meeting the agreed standard.

Science sampling tests

The next biennial KS2 science sampling tests will take place in the 2020 summer term. The recruitment of coders (markers) will start later in 2019.

Published 3 April 2014
Last updated 30 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated for the 2018 to 2019 test cycle.
  2. Changed to reflect the completion of marker recruitment for the 2018 tests.
  3. Changed to reflect the completion or marker recruitment for the 2018 science sampling tests.
  4. Updated for the 2017 to 2018 test cycle.
  5. Dates amended to reflect current marker recruitment opportunities.
  6. 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...'.
  7. First published.