Higher/Int. 2 Essays

I spent a large part of the weekend marking senior prelim essays.  After sharing my work with my head of department I discovered that I had been way too harsh on the poor critters.  I then took a look at my other colleagues marking and thought: “If I was too hard then he is definitely too hard.”  Shared this with him and a heated department debate ensued.  Luckily, we have a good natured department and, though all were vehemently defending their corners, the argument did not end in blows.

Seriously confused.  The Higher/Int 1 & 2 criteria appear to me to be subjective.  I’m hoping something will click at some point in the near future and I will be able to assess the essays accurately.  At the moment, however, I am looking to colleagues and the SQA training courses to guide me.  I can see a general consensus on close reading but few agree on the grades for critical essays.  What to do?

Shared the problem with my class and they sympathised.  🙂  They also said they were glad I had marked harshly rather than too leniently.  A very mature reaction, I thought.

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