Last month I was involved in marking the Latin HSC exams, something I hadn’t done before. It was a pretty tiring experience, but very valuable. Here are five things I learnt from HSC marking:
- markers will do their very best to give students as many marks as they possibly can. You can get things wrong, and still get full marks, even in questions that seem to have a definite answer (such as scansion questions).
- the Latin exam is as much a test of how well you understand the question you are being asked, as of how well you understand the texts you have studied throughout the year.
- all students find unseen translation difficult, but the marking guidelines take that into account.
- big words do not impress markers; if you are going to use a big word, make sure you know what it means, and how it relates to the question.
- Latin students around NSW are obsessed with alliteration.