A stack of psychology exam essays has just landed on my desk for marking. It was a 3 hour exam with 3 essay questions. This is a final year essay so I do not have to provide written feedback. How long should I be spending marking an essay?
The answer by Andy W discusses the role of Rubrics, which I think is key to simplify grading. They provide better understanding for both expectations and evaluation from the student's perspective.
To add to that, one method that I find works in many situations to reduce grading is to gather students after the exam and discuss the answers in session. This way I can express the points I consider important for a good answer. I realize this cannot always be accommodated in the schedule of courses and exams. But, students appreciate the opportunity to ask questions etc. The grading can then be done quicker since I can refer to what was mentioned in session rather than making many detailed comments. The comments necessary will then be more of a summary connecting to the rubrics and how the answer fills (or not) these criteria.
To say how much time is needed for the grading is difficult in detail but I believe significant reductions can be made, including post-grading discussions with students.