What's 'in between' a check mark and cross?

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myenglishsucks

Member
Portuguese-Brazil
Suppose a teacher is correcting an exam; if the student gets a question right, the teacher writes a check mark :tick:; but if the answer is wrong, the pupil receives a big cross :cross:. In English-speaking countries, what symbol would the teacher use if the answer is partially correct? How would they indicate that the student is not completely mistaken? For example, in an open-ended response, there might be some spelling/grammar errors, which do not invalidate the student's reasoning but show that further improvement is needed.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There is no such mark, as far as I know. It would be very helpful to have one, though. On this forum we have to make do with a thumbs-down, but people often take it to mean that something is wrong rather than just not recommended. :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    If it's a spelling or grammar mistake (and the focus of the question wasn't spelling or grammar), I might still put in a tick :tick: if the content was good, but circle or underline the problematic bits. Or I might not put in the tick at all, and you're just left with the circle or underlining. Teachers might have particular codes for these mistakes, so they might write on the margin: sp (spelling error), S-V agr (subject-verb agreement), dgl (dangling modifier), tense.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In many tests, there is a score. A perfect test gets a score of 100. On those tests, a check or a cross has two meanings:
    - correct, or incorrect
    - you get points for this, or you don't get points for this

    So in a test where something can be "partially correct", the teacher will not use a simple mark.

    For example, in an open-ended response, there might be some spelling/grammar errors, which do not invalidate the student's reasoning but show that further improvement is needed.
    A teacher would not uses checks and crosses, for this kind of question. Checks/crosses mean "true/false" or "right/wrong". If (for example) each question on the test is worth 10 points, then a check is 10 points and a cross is 0 points. The teacher might write "6" by this answer: this answer is worth 6 points.

    But a teacher may have their own code, as post #3 discusses. That code is not universal: it is decided by each teacher.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    When I give partial credit for an answer, if the question is not graded on a numerical scale, I use the tilde symbol ~ because it means "approximately" in mathematical notation. I tell students about this before I return the first set of papers where I use this, though, because it's not a standard notation and they probably never saw it before.

    If a quiz has five questions, and a student gets three √, one X, and one ~, that student would get 3 1/2 points out of 5.
     
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