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Mar 22, 2005

DRS e-Marker® usability wins over AQA examiners

The recently launched electronic marking tool e-Marker® developed by UK data capture specialists DRS, has been met with a great deal of praise during its first operational use by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance. AQA is the largest Unitary Awarding Body in the UK and is pioneering the use of e-Marker® to reduce the administrative burden of examination marking. Its recent use saw examiners electronically mark the Foundation and Higher Modern French exam which was sat by about 30,000 students from around the UK.

‘This is much quicker, it gets the marks onto the system quicker and it cuts out a lot of moving the paperwork around the country,’ commented Geoff Lancaster, an AQA clerical marker.

‘We are not dealing with any paperwork, we are not waiting for parcels to arrive and we do not have to go through all of the manual systems. Examiners simply go online where the scripts are waiting and we start marking immediately,’ stated Roger Taylor, AQA Chief Examiner.

The use of e-Marker® means that examiners can mark questions or part-questions on-screen at home or in a marking centre. It also enables the examiner to mark almost instantaneously after logging on to the system. This technology not only speeds up the rate of marking, but can also provide invaluable information on how each candidate answers each individual question.

Andrew Bird, Deputy Director General, AQA commented ‘AQA like many Awarding Bodies has a whole set of procedures to check the data integrity, many of these are not changed by having on-screen images. But the opportunity of on-screen is that administration teams in the exams office have much more visibility of how things are progressing during the marking period because they can see what examiners have processed online as its being progressed. Candidates, centres and parents can be completely reassured of the reliability, integrity and fairness of the marking process.’

‘e-Marker® is a simple, easy to use solution. Not only does it improve the accuracy and quality of marking, but it also reduces the vast amount of paper-based administration and bureaucracy that is involved in the process. Streamlining procedures and removing practices that would often cause delay, has made examination marking more efficient than ever before.’ Martyn Roan, general manager – education, DRS.

The AQA French marking involved 5 expert markers, 10 general markers and DRS automatic marking software to electronically mark and double mark over 1 million items.

To see a demonstration of e-Marker® technology contact Rekha Voralia at the DRS Press Office on 01908 423760 or enquiries@drs.co.uk. Further information about AQA can be obtained from Claire Ellis, AQA Public Affairs on 01483 477911.


1. e-Marker®, offers a simple and easy to use modular system that supports the examiners and the marking process. The innovative tool not only speeds up the transfer of marking, but also provides invaluable management information giving added benefits such as being able to identify missing scripts early in the marking process and enabling organisations to monitor the status of marking in real time. Targeted at Unitary Awarding Bodies, Second Tier Awarding Bodies and Professional Bodies e-Marker® offers a variety of scalable electronic marking methods, some of which enable examiners to continue to mark scripts manually but capture the marks electronically, and some where questions are marked on screen. Once the marking has been completed, the marks are automatically collated ready for the examiner to transfer and upload them to the secure Extranet site.