Marking and Identifying

Once some of your papers have been scanned and uploaded, you can get your marking team to start working. You do not need to wait until all papers are processed.

Getting to work

We recommend that you and your term work (or start to work) in the same physical location. While you can use Plom to do your marking just about anywhere you have a good internet connection, we have observed that marking goes much faster and is more consistent when you are all in the same location. Once your marking scheme has been exposed to real student responses and your team has worked out the kinks, physical proximity is less important.

There are two main tasks for you to assign to your markers.

  • Marking, and
  • Identifying

You, “manager”, can keep an eye on progress on this whole process using plom-manager. More on that here.


This is the process of annotating papers, leaving useful feedback and assigning marks (grades). It is by far the most important part of giving a test, and will consume the vast majority of your available person-time. Individual markers should be assigned to a specific version of a specific question.


This is the process of determining which paper belongs to which student. This is typically quite quick compared to marking and you will not need to assign much person-time. Since it does not require any heavy thinking it can be a good task for either

  • the instructor-in-charge who is regularly interrupted by questions about papers,
  • a (reliable) marker who finishes their other tasks early, or
  • the scanner once they have finished scanning and uploading papers.


The plom-client can also help do “totalling” — however this is not a common use case. In particular it is only applicable if you mark, annotate, and write totals on the physical papers before scanning. This is supported because some users much prefer to work on physical paper, but still want to return tests online. In this case papers still need to be indentified and totals entered. Your markers will “identify” papers and then use the “totaller” to enter scores from the front pages of tests.

Running the client

To do both of these tasks your markers will need

  • the plom-client for their OS,
  • the name (or IP) and port of the server,
  • a username and password, and
  • a task.

Please see the client install instructions here.