Grading Tips

Tips for Promoting Student Learning

Use your comments to teach, not only to justify an assigned grade. 

  • Link your comments and feedback to the assignment goals.  
  • Adhere to established grading criteria and refer to them in your comments. 
  • Provide constructive comments that help students understand how to improve.
  • Focus on what’s most important rather than trying to comment on everything. 
  • Comment on patterns (representative strengths & weaknesses). 
  • Ask questions that will guide further student inquiry. 
  • Praise students for improvement. 

Tips for Grading Fairly and Efficiently

  • Grade anonymously
  • Be consistent
    • Read through several, if not all responses, to a particular question, before you begin grading so you can get a sense of the range of responses. 
    • Grade exams and problem sets by questions, and not by complete exams or individual submissions.
    • After you finish grading, review the first few responses you graded.
    • If grading in a course with other instructors/TAs, you may wish to:
      • ask that everyone review exams/papers together.
      • divide up questions so that one person grades all response each.
  • Be time-efficient:
    •  Identify common problems and provide the class with collective feedback
    • Provide the class with an answer key, with indications of how responses were assigned grades/points.  

Learn more about grading strategies.