What happens during the appeal process?
Your script is sent to an appeal examiner for re-marking. This examiner is different from the examiner who originally marked your work. In some subjects involving practical/project work it may be necessary for an appeal examiner to visit the school to re-mark work stored by the school.
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 in re-marking as were applied to all candidates in the examination. The marking schemes in all examination subjects are published prior to the Viewing of Scripts and are available in our Examination Material Archive (click here) or from the Organising Superintendent at the viewing session.
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 fairness to all other candidates who took the examination, examiners can award only those marks due to you according to the marking scheme.
For example, it is quite possible for a candidate to be 1 mark short of the next grade point in a subject with maximum of 600 marks. The appeal examiner does not conduct the appeal on the basis of seeking that additional mark for the candidate. Indeed it is possible that the appeal examiner could either add or deduct marks as the marking scheme is applied afresh question by question to your work.
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 it to be in line with what would be awarded by the generality of examiners.