Laurie Taylor

July 26, 2002

External examiners will face training and accreditation by a new national college - THES , July 19 .

"Diploma in external examining" Answer all five questions.

Select one answer from the alternatives and tick your choice.

1. Complete the following sentence: An external examiner is...
a. an old drinking mate of the head of department
b. an objective and impartial guarantor of standards in higher education
c. a superficial gynaecologist.

2. You are invited to dine with the host department at an elegant French restaurant on the eve of the examiners' meeting. Do you:
a. refuse on the grounds that such socialising might affect your judgement
b. suggest an alternative and less expensive restaurant
c. accept, but decline a second liqueur.

3. You are asked to adjudicate between two seriously discrepant internal marks. Do you:
a. accept the mark proposed by the most senior member of staff
b. add the marks together and divide by two
c. read the first paragraphs of both essays and form your own judgement.

4. You are offered a choice of the number of scripts you wish to adjudicate. Do you:
a. say you would be happy to look at as many scripts as the department feels appropriate
b. say you would be happy to see all those scripts where there is a marking disagreement
c. arrive on the morning of the examiner's meeting without having read any scripts and complain about the postal service.

5. You are told that your host department is falling behind the university average in the number of firsts and are urged to improve some grades. Do you:
a. insist that a first is a first is a first
b. cheerfully award six more first-class degrees
c. ramble on inconsequentially about relative standards for ten minutes and then go along with the majority view.

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