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

We are now recruiting markers for the 2018 KS2 English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics tests.

If you haven’t marked the KS2 tests before, visit the vacancies page for the role requirements and application details.

If you have marked the KS2 tests within the last 2 years, you don’t need to apply again. If eligible, Pearson will contact you directly about marking opportunities for the 2018 test cycle.

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 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. NFER, the supplier for 2018, has emailed coders (markers) to apply to code the science sampling tests.

If you are interested in applying to be a coder and have not received an invitation, please contact to express an interest and request further information.

Published 3 April 2014
Last updated 14 November 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated for the 2017 to 2018 test cycle.
  2. Dates amended to reflect current marker recruitment opportunities.
  3. 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...'.
  4. First published.