What happens during the appeal process?
Your script is sent to an appeal examiner. This is a different examiner from the one who originally marked your work. The appeal examiner will review the marking of every part of every question, even if you have not made any specific observations about it. The appeal examiner will consider whether the mark awarded by the original examiner is correct and reasonable, in line with the marking scheme. If it is, the appeal examiner will award the same mark again. If it is not, the appeal examiner will award what they consider to be the correct mark.
The quality of the work of the appeal examiners is monitored by the Chief Examiner and a senior team.
Is the same marking scheme used for re-marking?
Yes, it is essential in the interests of equity and fairness that the re-marking on appeal is carried out in accordance with the marking scheme for that subject. This ensures that appeal examiners apply the same standards during the appeal marking as were applied to all candidates in the original marking. The Organising Superintendent at the viewing session will have copies of the marking schemes and they will also be available in our Examination Material Archive (click here) .
If I am just a few marks short of the next grade am I likely to be awarded them on appeal?
Not necessarily. The appeal process exists to ensure that the marking scheme has been applied consistently and fairly to your work. Appeal examiners are not searching for additional marks to "bring a candidate up to the next grade". In justice to all other candidates who took the examination, examiners can award only those marks due to you according to the marking scheme.
Can a result be downgraded on appeal?
Yes. The results published in August are provisional and accordingly a result can be downgraded in certain circumstances. This is because the appeal process exists to ensure that the marking scheme was fully and properly applied to the work produced at the examination. Consistent and fair application of the marking schemes ensures equitable treatment for all candidates.
In what circumstances can a downgrade occur?
A downgrade could result automatically if a candidate loses sufficient marks for any of the following factual/technical reasons:-
- there is a clear error in the summation of marks, incorrect inclusion of marks, (e.g., credit given for a question or part of a question that should have been disallowed),and/or,
- the candidate has been awarded marks for an answer that is clearly and unambiguously not in accordance with the marking scheme.
In addition, a Chief Examiner can recommend a downgrade where the reduction in marks derives from an error of judgement by the examiner (as distinct from (a) and (b) above). In such circumstances a downgrade would not normally occur where there is a marginal difference. In other words, a revised lower mark is only reckoned where the Chief Examiner considers that the original mark was sufficiently out of line with the criteria set out in the marking scheme and the standard applied in the original marking.