You may request a copy of a candidate's original script through our access to scripts service, or a copy of a candidate's reviewed script as part of a review of results.
In both cases, a copy of the script is made available to centres via Interchange and may contain a range of annotations.
If you have made an access to scripts request, annotations are made by the original examiner. Annotations on a copy of a reviewed script are made by the reviewing examiner.
Annotations have two main purposes:
In the majority of cases, scripts are scanned and supplied to examiners electronically and then marked online.
A small number of scripts are still marked traditionally, by hand.
For more information on how scripts are marked, and the checks we carry out, see our All about marking page.
We’ve also produced six factsheets which explain the key stages involved in examining and marking GCSEs and A Levels. You can view and download these from our Explaining examining page.
For scripts marked electronically, we provide a copy of the scanned image of the script.
Each script includes a candidate marks report. This shows the marks awarded for each question and the total mark given for the paper.
You'll see various annotations on the script, and ticks, crosses or other symbols may or may not be included. Use of annotation depends on the type of question and the instructions given by the Principal Examiner. For example, the use of a green tick doesn't always equate to a mark being given.
As a minimum, all scripts will have at least one annotation per page.
For an explanation of the annotations made on the script by either the original or the reviewing examiner, please see the glossary included in the mark scheme for the relevant qualification. (See below for information on accessing the mark scheme.)
Examiners are encouraged to use annotation to clarify complex assessment decisions. Therefore, general, straightforward and objective questions, with a small number of marks available, are unlikely to be annotated as the application of the mark scheme is self-evident.
A lack of annotation doesn't mean the response hasn't been fully considered by the examiner.
For scripts marked traditionally, marks are shown on the script in the place where they have been awarded.
Some scripts may show more than one mark and different colours are sometimes used. This shows the script has been part of our checking process and that it's been checked by one or more senior examiners.
Scripts marked electronically will not usually show additional comments from the examiner. Where comments have been made, they are included on the last page of the script.
Scripts marked traditionally have limited, focused annotation which usually relates to the published mark scheme.
Detailed mark schemes for each component/unit are made available via Interchange from 8am on restricted results days.
To access the mark schemes:
There may be a number of reasons why a candidate's final mark is different from the mark shown on their script. In most cases, the reason for the discrepancy will not be included in the script annotation or comments:
If you are unhappy with or have questions about a candidate’s result you may wish you use one of our post-results services.