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 Post subject: Circle on answer sheet
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:56 pm 
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I am posting this on behalf of my friend. His daughter gave her CEM Berkshire exam last saturday. She marked a circle against the questions she didnt know on the actual answer sheet.
She is now worried that the computer might reject that questions because she has circled the question number.
Does anyone has any advice if thats the case?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:23 pm 
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No idea: maybe your friend could contact the consortium to check? To be homest if it's made a difference it's probably too late to do much about it (unless you get a very low score and suspect it's been misread, in which case you should ask if there is any facility to pay for a manual re-mark... Not sure if Slough offers that...


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:49 pm 
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Aethel wrote:
No idea: maybe your friend could contact the consortium to check? To be homest if it's made a difference it's probably too late to do much about it (unless you get a very low score and suspect it's been misread, in which case you should ask if there is any facility to pay for a manual re-mark... Not sure if Slough offers that...


The familiarisation booklet (and I assume the real thing?) does say that the answers must be marked only in the way shown and that no other marks should be made on the answer sheet, but I guess it's easy to forget instructions in the heat of the moment :( .

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:54 am 
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These schools are looking for students who can go into an exam situation and carefully follow the instructions they have been given.

They are the students who are most likely to bring the school credit at GCSE and A level.

Had your friend not prepared her dd using the answer sheets and checking she had filled them in correctly?

Filling in the answers correctly is part of what is being tested. I am surprised an invigilator did not notice and tell her to stop.

Looking out for students defacing answer sheets is part of the invigilator training.

When did her dd realise she had done something wrong? This is almost a week ago. I would email her Test Centre and ask them for feedback on this. But your friend will need to do this herself and not rely on you to sort it. DG


Last edited by Daogroupie on Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:10 am 
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I agree Daogroupie
I was dropping her off for Bucks exam and that's when she mentioned it to me that she circled the questions on answer sheet. I told her straightaway that its not the right thing to do and then she realized she did the same for Berks.
Apparently her tutor said during practice exams that it was OK to do it in mock exam.
She is panicking now, I have asked them to call the Slough Consortium and sort it out.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:51 pm 
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Oh my goodness! I can't believe that your friend paid a tutor to prepare his daughter for an exam with a Multiple Choice answer sheet and the tutor taught the students to do something that would invalidate their answers in the actual exam.

You can't teach ten year olds something in preparation for an exam and then expect them to remember to do something different in the actual exam. The whole point of preparation is to prepare the applicant for the format that they need to use, not something that is not allowed.

Did he know this was going on?

J would be asking for my money back. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:42 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
Oh my goodness! I can't believe that your friend paid a tutor to prepare his daughter for an exam with a Multiple Choice answer sheet and the tutor taught the students to do something that would invalidate their answers in the actual exam.

You can't teach ten year olds something in preparation for an exam and then expect them to remember to do something different in the actual exam. The whole point of preparation is to prepare the applicant for the format that they need to use, not something that is not allowed.

Did he know this was going on?

J would be asking for my money back. DG


Me too.

But more especially, the most important thing that both the parent and the tutor should have been telling the child is that they should listen to what the invigilator / CD tells them to do and read carefully and act appropriately upon all the instructions in the question booklet and answer sheet. If the tutor says to circle the question numbers on the sheet and the exam instructions say not to, then it is the tutor that is wrong and his/her 'advice' should be ignored.

A non-qualification appeal is about proving that the candidate really does have the academic ability; I would be a bit circumspect about making too much of 'my DD failed the exam because she ignored the instructions she was given in the actual exam and did something her tutor told her to do instead'. If nothing else, paid coaching for the 11+ may be a fact of life, but somehow I doubt that the appeal panel would be too sympathetic to that one.

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:07 pm 
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My understanding of how the answer sheets are marked is this, but I stand to be corrected by anyone with first-hand knowledge of the technology or just better information!

- The sheets are marked by an optical reader: a machine
- The optical reader has a "mask" that will usually not read any superfluous markings on the answer sheet
- If the optical reader sees an item it does not recognise/cannot read, the answer sheet will be "spat out" by the machine, and then hand-marked by a human being.

The question then is whether an answer sheet would be disallowed because there were other markings on it beyond those permitted by the instructions. I would hope not.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:32 am 
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I have always assumed that would be the way the computer marking would work (knowing the technology that exists). Most likely the computer software will have been programmed to read the horizontal lines in the answer boxes. Any accidental (or not) marks on the answer sheet that are outside of the answer boxes cannot disqualify the correctly marked answer box.


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