Over the summer I have been doing some marking for the AQA Business GCSE team

One thing that has really struck me this year is that handwriting has been a big issue. Students have taken their time to craft and answer filling the page and it is illegible.  If we can’t read it, we can’t mark it.

If you are intending to get better grades from your year 11s this year, then why not insist that they write legibly. You could run a series of timed in class essays that could be peer marked.  If their writing goes haywire under pressure of time, then this needs to be picked up and addressed early on in year 11. Don’t settle for less.

The kids that write a whole page that we cannot read – someone somewhere had marked their work and knew that this kid wanted to do well (because they attempted the question in full) they just could not translate that into a format that we could read.  Make it priority number 1 and you will see their grades go up.

One suggestion is to put students in a separate room and read their essays aloud to each other, if the other student cannot read the writing then this may be just the peer pressure that they need to change their habits.

A second idea would be to get other students to grade the handwriting from 1-5, anything less than a score of 1 raises the question – why isn’t this better.

Try an exercise in class of writing slower than normal, students can suggest ways that they can slow themselves down, maybe they have to switch colours or pens every other sentence.

Please note: All samples on this page have been done by me and are NOT taken from screenshots of exam candidates.