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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:45 am 
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DS used to have a very good cursive handwriting, but it has been getting smaller over the past year and it's getting to the point when I find it difficult to read it sometimes. It is legible, very neat and even, just too small for my liking and some letters look 'glued' together instead of being joined as they should be in proper cursive writing. I just find it tiring to read.

Bearing in mind that examiners are mere humans with possibly similar eyesight problems to my own, is there a risk that DS might lose some marks in his GCSE exams because examiners may find it very tedious to read his essays? I've been telling him for months that he needs to write bigger letters, but all I get is 'the teachers don't seem to have a problem with it, so why would an examiner?' My thinking is that: a) his teachers are used to his writing, and b) the teachers don't have quite the same volume of work to read through and mark. Is my DS right saying his handwriting doesn't matter?

Does anyone have a view on this, please?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:17 am 
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No marks are awarded or lost for handwriting, and your son is right to say that teachers are used to handwriting of all types. Having said that, if it can't be read, how can marks be awarded for content? With 'glued together' letters, I frequently find myself in dispute with students who insist they have spelt a certain word correctly, whereas to me, it looks as though letters have been omitted.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:40 am 
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I don't think you can lose marks; but one of mine was warned about scruffy/squashed together work in Maths which was hard to follow - this could have been puzzling for an examiner trying to following the train of thought.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:56 am 
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At the moment poor handwriting isn't penalised but if it can't be read it may lose marks. [Don't give the Government any more ideas for changes ...]

As Amber mentions, maths answers do need to be set out clearly - I have used ex-students 'scribbles' with Year 11 to get them to see the problem when they try to 'translate' the scribbles using the mark scheme. This seems to work better than nagging ...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:23 pm 
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Thank you all for your answers and comments. It all resonates perfectly with my own thoughts on the matter; will carry on nagging, then.

Kingfisher - I feel exactly the same about the 'glued together' letters. The ones that really drive me mad are 'ob' and 'op' or are they 'do' and 'po'? I honestly can't tell sometimes.

Amber - that's a very good point about making sure workings out in maths have to be clear and easy to follow, thank you.

Guest 55 - I wish I knew someone whose older child's badly scribbled notes I could borrow to get through to DS with my point! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:36 pm 
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Look at the examiners report together e.g this:

".... Performance on unstructured questions was also weaker, showing less strategy in coming up with secure procedures for solution, and too many attempts that resembled trial and improvement approaches.

The inclusion of working out to support answers remains an issue for many; but not only does working out need to be shown, it needs to be shown legibly, demonstrating the processes of calculation that are used. There were too many instances in this paper where working was set out in such a disorganised way that examiners found it impossible to identify a chosen route of solution by the student, in order to award method marks."

http://qualifications.pearson.com/conte ... 150108.pdf


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:52 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Look at the examiners report together e.g this:

".... Performance on unstructured questions was also weaker, showing less strategy in coming up with secure procedures for solution, and too many attempts that resembled trial and improvement approaches.

The inclusion of working out to support answers remains an issue for many; but not only does working out need to be shown, it needs to be shown legibly, demonstrating the processes of calculation that are used. There were too many instances in this paper where working was set out in such a disorganised way that examiners found it impossible to identify a chosen route of solution by the student, in order to award method marks."

http://qualifications.pearson.com/conte ... 150108.pdf

Thank you, I really appreciate you posting this. We will have a good read through the examiners' report during the Easter break.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:59 pm 
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This is just one mention - I'm sure you can find others!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:07 pm 
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I will have a look around, thank you :D

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:10 pm 
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I have PMd you ...


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