VIDEO: Find out about being a principal examiner.
As principal examiner you will usually have written the question paper and mark scheme.
Your role is to be responsible for coordinating the marking of the assistant examiners and/or team leaders, as well as marking candidates' scripts yourself.
The principal examiner has a complex role which can include:
- checking the details of the marking panel(s) for which you are responsible
- checking the final proof of the assessment material, ensuring that the mark scheme is fit for purpose, and preparing a more detailed mark scheme where necessary
- conducting standardisation meetings to ensure that team leaders and assistant examiners understand both the administrative procedures and the mark scheme, and will mark consistently and accurately
- supervising the work, monitoring the standards and reporting on the work of the team leaders and/or assistant examiners allocated to you, and taking steps to ensure accuracy and consistency. This includes:
- re-marking samples of scripts from team leaders/assistant examiners
- reporting back to team leaders/assistant examiners on the consistency of their marking
- being available on the phone to advise team leaders/assistant examiners
- recommending scaling of assistant examiners’ marking, where necessary
- mentoring new team leaders and ensuring that arrangements are in place to mentor new assistant examiners
- preparing a final mark scheme in order to provide all examiners with the means to mark scripts consistently and reliably, and to submit a copy of it to Cambridge
- marking a specified number of scripts
- preparing reports on the examination, as required for Cambridge's internal use and for publication
- recommending component grade threshold marks and, if asked, attending an awarding meeting
- assisting with any Grade Review and attending Grade Review Meetings
- undertaking re-marking and report writing following result enquiries
- acting as a consultant and offering advice on matters related to the examination if asked
- assisting with the provision of training for teachers or examiners if asked
- advising Cambridge on the appointment of team leaders and assistant examiners if asked
- performing all of these services in line with our instructions and schedules.
Principal examiners may have to attend meetings. Therefore most of our principal examiners are based in the UK. Principal examiners will have previous experience of examining.