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Marking guidelines

Marking procedures and publication of results

Marking principles

All assessment processes, including marking, and moderation, will be conducted anonymously unless the nature of the assessment makes this impossible.

All assessments will be marked by two markers, who will have been subject to a quality control test exercise and deemed acceptable by the Chief Examiner. Neither will know the identity of the student, nor will they know the marks the other awards. This is known as blind marking.

All marking is completed against a marking scheme explaining how the assessment is scored. These are also included in the examiners’ reports, and published to the IFoA website after the results are released. 

Prior to live marking all markers and the senior examination team sample mark a selection of candidate scripts to align marking standards and test the marking scheme.  At this point the senior team are once again assessing marker competency and ensuring a comprehensive marking scheme is available to support marking the exam.

Due to the nature of many assessments, it is accepted that markers may disagree about the mark awarded for a question – this is not an error. It is accepted industry norm that a final mark may differ up to a total of 10 marks.

Moderation (Script Review)

After scripts have been double blind marked, a further moderation process, referred to here on in as the script review process, is instigated.  A candidate’s script will be subject to a further review by the senior examination team if one of the following criteria is met:

  1. Where the first and second mark awarded lie either side of the pass mark
  2. Where the first and second mark awarded is equal to the pass mark
  3. Where the first and second marks are both fails but the average of the two marks is within 2 marks of the pass mark.

Examinations made up of two papers, will follow alternative criteria for script review. It should be noted that dual paper assessments will have a single pass mark for the combined components, however each component may not carry an equal weighting.

Dual paper weighting is defined as:

  • CM/CS ‘A’ Papers – 70%
  • CM/CS ‘B’ Papers – 30%
  • CP Paper 1 – 50%
  • CP Paper 2 – 50%

The criteria for script review for all dual paper assessments is defined as:

  1. Those where the “highest” mark is equal to or above the pass mark and the “lowest” is below it.
  2. Those where the highest and lowest marks are equal to the pass mark and
  3. Those where the “highest” and “lowest” marks are both fails but the combined average is within 2 marks of the pass mark

For each candidate, the “lowest” total mark for the overall exam shall be calculated by combining the lower of the 1st and 2nd marks for each part of the exam.

For each candidate the “highest” total mark shall be calculated by combining the higher of 1st and 2nd marks for each part of the exam.

Script review is carried out by the Chief Examiner (or nominee) and will involve one of the following

  • Full remark of script(s)
  • Remark of specific questions
  • Review and validation of the marks awarded by the first / second markers and the final mark to be awarded.

The reviewer will remark questions or parts of questions until either the total mark awarded is no longer classified as borderline or the entire script has been fully remarked.  In some cases, at the discretion of the Chief Examiner, a script may receive a final review. In these instances either/both scripts may be marked up to a maximum of four times.

On occasion a script may be reviewed even if it does not fall within the marking guideline criteria. The Chief Examiner, or nominee, have the discretion to review further scripts; this may be done to validate the pass mark or as part of quality control mechanisms.

Final Mark

The final mark will be calculated as follows:

  • The average of the 1st and 2nd marks only, where no additional marking has taken place as part of the script review process.
  • A combination of 1st and 2nd mark averages (where no third mark has been awarded as part of the script review process) and the third mark awarded to questions/parts of questions which have been remarked as part of the script review. For example, the mark for question 1 is the average of 1st and 2nd marking, question 2 is the mark awarded following script review.
  • Script review marks only (in cases where the whole script has been remarked)
  • Final script review marks only.

The final mark reported to candidates will be a whole number from 0 to 100.  When marking, the markers may award a 0.5 mark, and due to this in many cases the average of first and second marks, before rounding, can include 0.25 marks.  In all cases where the final mark is not a whole number, the final mark reported to candidates is rounded down to the next lower whole number.

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Events calendar

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