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11 Things English Exam Markers Wish You Knew

They really just want you to get the best marks possible.

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1. Black pen is actually way easier to read than blue.

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2. And no matter how messy your handwriting is, it will always get read.

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If your initial marker can't read your rushed exam scrawl, it will get passed on to a senior marker, and then a supervisor if it's exceptionally tough.

3. There's no need to highlight sections of your essays, unless it's for your own benefit.

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Pointing our your thesis or main points to the marker won't get you any bonus marks - they'll find those parts of your essay regardless.

4. Don't use technical terms you don't understand, just for the sake of using a big word.

Sometimes it's better just to say "contrast". Try your best to keep your points accurate and purposeful at all times.
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Sometimes it's better just to say "contrast". Try your best to keep your points accurate and purposeful at all times.

5. When it comes to related texts, make sure you choose something that's just as sophisticated as the prescribed text.

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Just because you can compare Shrek to something, doesn't mean it's the right choice.

6. And never choose a related text just because there are a lot of notes available online.

Markers are well aware of the texts that have the most downloadable notes available. Compiling fresh notes and drawing your own conclusions will show you actually understand the text.
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Markers are well aware of the texts that have the most downloadable notes available. Compiling fresh notes and drawing your own conclusions will show you actually understand the text.

7. You literally can't lose marks in an exam, no matter what you do.

Markers GIVE marks for good things you do. They don't take marks away for mistakes.
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Markers GIVE marks for good things you do. They don't take marks away for mistakes.

8. In fact, markers are pretty forgiving when it comes to small grammatical errors.

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They get how hard it is to work under exam pressure.

9. However, consistent mistakes will make it look like you don't know your text well enough.

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Because markers know the text damn well, and for that reason they'll know if you haven't actually read it.

10. Markers are all told to treat papers with the kindness they'd want shown to their own Year 12 students.

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When they're marking your essay, they're wondering how their own class went with the same questions.

11. And most importantly, they want you to remember that your Year 12 mark does not define you.

Because it really, really doesn't.
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Because it really, really doesn't.