Examination Duties

This is a list of duties that should be performed for midterms and final examinations in ISG courses

General Duties related to the writing of the examination

Before the examination

  • Make sure the midterm has been test written by some ISAs (in other courses).
  • Put identification stickers on the front page of all exams (keep them in order by sequence number). This will be done in a very strict time window for the final examination; for the final examination, make sure coloured sheets of paper are used as row/column separators. Note: Most exams are now printed with the information right on the exams, in this case you will not need to put stickers on the exams.
  • Get or make hanging folders with the appropriate sequence number labels (e.g a folder labeled B2 for exams B20 - B29).
  • There should be some extra blank exams, just in case.
  • There should be a box for each room that the exam is being written in.
    • The following things should be in each box
      • The proper exams, plus a few extras
      • Seating Charts (post these outside the rooms and keep on at the front of the class so students can find there seats)
      • Sign-in Sheet (get students to sign this in pen, if possible
      • Proctoring Instructions (see Midterm Review folder in course account, edit to suit exam specifications)
      • Evacuation Procedures for Various Exam Locations
      • Black or blue pens (for sign-in sheets)
      • Stapler
      • Tape (for seating charts)
      • Whiteboard Markers / Chalk (to write instructions on board)
  • Set examinations out before exam begins. Be sure to check that every examination is accounted for in order, and that they are being placed at the correct row and seat number (sometimes there are gaps for convenient access).
  • It may happen that there is no chance to put the stickers on the exam before you arrive at the exam location (because the Registrar's office gets ahold of the exams). If this is the case, arrive as early as you can before the exam, so that you are there right when they allow the proctors for the next exam in to set up. Have a few proctors responsible for putting the stickers on the exams, and the setting them aside in piles by row, so other proctors can just pick up a pile and walk down a row putting the exams down.
  • Tape row and seat signs around the room (especially in the P.A.C.), so students can more easily figure out where they are sitting. Also, be familiar with the layout, so you can point a student to the area of the room they are writing in if they give you a seat number.

During the examination

  • Start signing students in about 15 minutes after start of exam.
  • Watch for cheating. If a student is suspected of cheating, the policy is to take away the student's exam and give him or her a blank one, and note the time at which they were given he new exam.
  • Escort students to washroom.
  • Answer questions or get a prof to answer the question.

After the examination

  • Make sure that all of the exams have been handed in, and that none are missing.
  • Sort the midterms into their appropriate folders.
  • Return exams to ISA office.

Examination collection protocol

At the final examination in particular, there is a very tight timeline where we are allowed to gather our materials and clear out so the Registrar's Office staff can begin preparing for the next examination. As such, the examination collection and verification procedure needs to be highly optimized.

  • Collect and sort submitted exams while the exam is still being written; the ISC will try to arrange empty block of tables for this to be done.
  • Send proctors around to collect the exams as soon as the time is up. If possible, try to collect exams in order of sequence number; by column in the PAC, or by row in other rooms. This should allow quick organization of exams; the already collected exams should be in sorted order in the folders, and the exams to insert should themselves also be in sorted order.
  • After exam, split piles; ie, A0-A9 may be on one table, B0-B9 on another, etc. Place exams at appropriate tables, internally sort in each folder.
  • Have someone responsible for passing exams that are in the wrong location to the right table
  • Quickly check all exams are accounted for in order. With the exception of the last folder, every folder should have 10 exams, with the rightmost digit ascending in order from 0 to 9.


  • Make sure the TAs know when the marking is to take place
  • Show up at the marking location a bit early to prepare the room
  • Make a chart on the board to keep track of what has been marked
Question # A0 A1 A2 A3
  • Markers should each be assigned one question to mark
  • When a marker takes a pile to mark their question, they should initial the appropriate box
  • When returning the pile after the question has been marked, cross out your initials so others know what has and has not been marked
  • After everything has been marked, input the marks into the marks spreadsheet
  • Return the midterms to students in lab (or tutorial or office hours). Note: Students must show photo ID to receive midterm
  • Remind students of the remarking policy

Mark Entry

Notes in brief:

Mark entry errors must not be made on the final in particular. Even when those entering marks have been careful, errors have been caught at a later date, sometimes with significant impact on the students. As students do not have final exams returned to them, extreme care must be taken to try to ensure this does not happen!

  • Enter marks in pairs; one person reading, one typing.
  • The reader first reads the userid of the student so the typer can verify the correct student is being recorded.
  • The reader then reads the marks for each question in sequence. The typer echoes these marks back while typing so the reader can verify everything was heard correctly. Then, the computer-generated total is verified against the hand-marked total. If there is a discrepancy, mark entry must be halted until the error is rectified.
  • Each pair must sign off on the marks they entered. If any mistakes are discovered, you may be required to recheck every mark you entered.

There are spreadsheets on the course account in ~/marks (likely in an appropriately-named subdirectory) that the tutors can give you access to. The students in the spreadsheets are sorted by sequence numbers, and there are individual spreadsheet files for subranges of the sequence numbers. This allows more than one pair to enter marks simultaneously, each pair working on different subsets of the examinations.

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Topic revision: r6 - 2012-09-04 - AlyssaJamal
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