19 September 2019

Marking and results

Quality assurance of marking

Centralised examinations are marked by the BSB.  To ensure consistency and quality, the following processes are in place:

  • MCQs (Civil and Criminal Litigation)

After the exam, MCQ answer sheets are returned to the BSB and scanned by an Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) machine which captures the answers selected by the candidate. This process removes the risk of errors associated with human input and enables accurate production of statistics and results analysis. 

  • SAQs (Professional Ethics)

SAQ answer booklets are sent to the BSB for marking by a pool of suitably qualified individuals (including academics working at providers, barristers and solicitors), following the mark scheme provided by the BSB. For a more detailed explanation of the marking process please read the latest Chair's Report.


Quality assurance of results

Once the marking is completed, statistical data is generated and presented at examination boards.

  • Subject Exam Boards

There is a Subject Exam Board (SEB) per examination. The purpose of each SEB is to review and moderate the overall cohort results of the paper and to make recommendations to the Final Exam Board (FEB).

The SEB uses a number of information sources, including statistical data both past and present, Chief Examiners' and invigilators' reports.  In addition, a psychometrician attends to provide expert advice and an independent observer attends to provide oversight and report to the BSB.

The SEB considers the performance of questions and recommends either accepting the results or intervening. For details of previous interventions, please read the relevant Chair's report.

  • Final Exam Board and release of results

The FEB considers the recommendations made by the SEBs and either agrees or amends them. The BSB applies any agreed interventions and generates results per provider. The process involves a series of manual and electronic checks to ensure that providers receive accurate results.