APPEALING EXAM RESULTS: There are several steps you can take if you disagree with a result.
This section explains what you should do if you consider that you had bad grades in examinations such as:
- General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)
- Advanced Subsidiary (AS)
- General Certificate of Education A level
- Other Qualifications
You must follow the set procedures on appealing an exam result. This is the only way to have an outcome of the assessment reviewed and marked again if necessary.
A level, AS, GCSE, or Diploma Results
What if you think the examination result or qualification grading is wrong? The first step is to contact your school or college to make an formal enquiry.
Ask the education facility to look once more at the exam result as part of a process called ‘requesting a review‘.
What if you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of the first enquiry? Your school (or yourself) should then make an appeal to Ofqual.
Note: Private candidates may make the enquiry by themselves. This type of exam result appeal is for mature students, those who are home schooled, or self-taught.
Appealing other Qualifications
It is best to make a direct complaint about an exam result issued by any other awarding organisation. Examples include National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) or Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC). You will get a final report after they review the initial results.
The next step is to make a complaint to Ofqual if you are still unhappy with the outcome.
Complaints – Ofqual Address
Note: The procedures to appeal an exam result may be different in Wales, Scotland, and in Northern Ireland.
Request a Review of Exam Results
The term ‘requesting a review‘ means you are challenging the examination result or assessment mark. It can be for an AS (advanced subsidiary), GCSE, Diploma, or A level exam.
In fact, you are asking for the mark of your coursework or exam to get rechecked or evaluated again by a senior examiner. This is because you feel there has been a mistake or an incorrect grade awarded.
As a rule, your school or college must make the enquiry about the results on your behalf. An exception applies if you are conducting it yourself as a private candidate.
Changing the Examination Mark
The reviewer changes the examination mark if he agrees that it is wrong. Even so, the new mark may be higher or lower than the original grade or assessment.
The Exam Officer at the school or college can provide you with more information. They have a specific policy on enquiries about exam results. There will also be an internal appeals procedure for each education facility.
Note: There may be a charge to you or your school if the mark remains unchanged.
Exam Result Enquiry Deadlines
There are deadlines for appealing an exam result and for certain enquiries. Your school or college must make an enquiry by certain term dates. Always check with your exam board for the current information.
How to Appeal an Exam Review
You should make an appeal to Ofqual if you are unhappy with the outcome of an examination review. You must appeal within 21 days of receiving the outcome of the review.
While dealing with your child’s school problems and issues of this nature, you have two choices:
- Ask the Exams Officer or Head of Centre at the school or college to make an appeal.
- Make an appeal online yourself if you are a private candidate. Follow the link to apply for an exam procedure review from Ofqual.
Making Appeals to Ofqual
Ofqual will send you an acknowledgement within ten (10) working days. They will then decide whether there should be a hearing or not. You can read further information on the process of making appeals to Ofqual.
At the Exam Board Hearing
Everyone gets an opportunity to present their cases. That means you (if you appealed ‘directly’), your school or college, and the examination board.
Ofqual can request the exam board to reconsider the case. If so, they will inform you, or the school or college, of the hearing outcome within two (2) working days.
What if Ofqual decide not to hold a hearing? In this case, they will contact you to inform you why. You have an opportunity to respond to Ofqual before they make their final decision.
You can contact Ofqual by phone or by post if you are unable to apply online. They will answer any questions you have about the exam review appeal process.
Note: If the appeal is unsuccessful there may be a charge to you or to the school involved.