Thursday, 06 October 2016

Could you proofread an exam script?

This is how Cambridge Assessment train their staff to do so…

"As Senior Assessment Manager at Cambridge Assessment, I do a lot of proofreading of exam ca logoscripts. In fact, I’ve been doing the job so long (11 years) that I’m now responsible for coordinating the training of new Assessment staff.

"We do in-house training on how to proof exam scripts, but we also find Andrew Steeds’ Proofreading course invaluable – not just for people in Assessment, but also folk in Marketing, Projects and Digital Content etc.

"Andrew worked with me to tailor the course to everyone’s needs, and we currently run it four times a year. The course includes what you’d expect – BSI symbols, technical terms – but goes beyond that into issues relating to our house style, and best-practice strategies for identifying errors. Andrew uses sample exam material with deliberately introduced errors (eek!), so that the training is firmly fixed in our business context.

"This year we reviewed the course to make sure that it continues to meet our needs, and Andrew brought in a new section about proofreading onscreen – how is it different from proofreading on hard copy? What issues does it raise, and what are best-practice approaches? He fits it all into a one-day course, and effortlessly manages to make it interesting and – dare I say it? – fun.

"It is specific enough to be useful for proofreaders of exam material, and also useful to those who work on documents of different types. Participant feedback indicates that 100% of participants have found the course useful, equipping them with skills that they can use immediately. One person said, 'This course will help me to make critical assessments of my own work, as well as the work of others. There were some good tips to take away which can also be used in day-to-day writing and communication.' Another person said, 'It was useful to spend time creating a checklist of what is involved in proofing exam tasks, and to think about our ‘Achilles’ heels’ – things we are more likely to miss when proofing.'

 I just hope Andrew doesn’t spot any proofreading issues in this blog…"

Amanda Chisholm, Senior Assessment Manager, Cambridge Assessment

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