Grade Transformation Blog

Grade Transformation Blog

No.1 in Transforming Students’ Grades

Posts filed under Exams

The most important part of your teen’s success

The Burj in Dubai is the world’s tallest building.

So what’s one of the most important parts of the building?

The thing that everything else depends on to stand tall and stable?

Find out in this week’s video :)

Because, no matter how hard students study and revise, if this essential element isn’t there, there’s just no way they can construct a tower of subject content or an impressive set of results.

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What you DON’T want to happen [Video Diary – Final Day!]

In Referee Marking we go through and mark all the scripts a third time, that were given two different grades by two different markers in the original marking.

It’s not been hard to see why they were given different judgements  and I reveal the reason why

AND how your teen can avoid this happening to them in the final video in my Exam Marker Video Diary 2017!

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Proof that strategy trumps subject knowledge

I noticed something by Day 5 of exam marking that surprised me… at first.


It was something I noticed about where the A grades were happening.

Then I thought about it and figured it out.


Here’s what I realised (and it’s what I’ve been saying for years!).

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2 ways to stop running out of time in exams

I hate to be blunt, but I’ve seen soooo many examples of students ‘wasting’ time and effort in the exams I’ve been marking.

Time and words that they could’ve spent much more effectively in the places where they’ve had to scrimp or even (eek!) miss out whole questions else where.


Here are 2 specific ways this is happening and how your teen can make sure they save themselves tens of minutes of time and many lines worth of writing.

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The critical question that tells students if they have enough detail

A key question we ask ourselves as markers helps us determine whether an answer is in the upper or lower part of the mark scheme (i.e. D and E grades or A’s and B’s) and can be a deciding factor between an ‘on the fence’ response.


Your teen can ask themselves this exact same question to ensure they are giving the required detail in their answers.

Check out the third instalment of my Exam Marker Video Diary to find out what it is!

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How can ‘half’ an answer still get a B grade? [Day 2 – Video Diary]

In Day 2 of my Exam Marker Video Diary I explain just ONE of the examples why getting to grips with mark schemes is so important for students.

Because here is an example (and full explanation!) where giving just half a great quality response, when a question asks for two, can still result in a B grade.

Good to know, right!?!

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Exam Marker Video Diary – Day 1

How many times does an exam paper get marked?

…And other common ‘wonderings’ I often get from parents and students about what really happens to those exam papers once they get scooped up off those exam desks!


Check out Day 1 of my Exam Marker Video Diary to find out what really happens behind the scenes of exam marking!


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Student reactions to feedback

I’ve been observing this for a while now.

I’ve realised that when students understand the exact reasons why they lost out on marks or grades in an exam or essay, every reaction really comes down to one of two categories.

In this week’s video I reveal what those two categories are,
the name for one of them (answers on a postcard for suggestions for the second one!) 😉

and which one you should encourage for your teen.

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Your teen – the Examiner

When I run workshops or take classes, I LOVE to put students in the role of the examiner.

It makes them think about marking criteria and what a question commands and demands so that they can pretty accurately ‘predict the mark scheme’ for any question they are faced with when they are sat in the exam hall. And of course, being able to do THAT means they can write a clear and succinct answer, without waffle or wasted time.


Here’s ONE way your teen can put themselves in the role of the examiner at revision time and in preparation for exams. Watch the video to discover how :)

P.S. If you’d love for your teen to be expertly guided through this process, I’m going to do exactly this with a step-by-step interactive exercise in my Exam Mastery Workshop. There are only 6 spaces left (I limit numbers to ensure the level of interaction and feedback is high for every student) so CLICK HERE NOW to reserve your teen’s spot to get them exam-savvy with less stress in time for end of year exams.



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The power of un-packing!

We all have loooong to-do lists these days.

This means that we are often so consumed with thinking about ‘what’s next’ that we rarely stop to UNPACK – to reflect on or dissect what we have already completed and the results we got from it.

And when we don’t do this, we can be missing out on so much ‘gold’ in terms of feedback that can really help us ‘nail’ a lot of the upcoming items on our to-do lists!

Watch this week’s video to help your teen grab their nuggets of gold, by asking themselves 2 critical questions to quickly get useful information about how to create success for themselves.

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