Appealing your GCSE and A-Level exam grades on results day

When A-Level and GCSE results day stgart to loom, lots of students start to think about what to do if they don't get the grades they want or need, espcially if their results were very close!

I thought it might be helpful to outline the different ways that you can appeal your grades. There are tight deadlines for all of these, which is why you must know the variety of options before results day.

The most important thing to remember is that after a remark, grades can go DOWN as well as up, so don't assume that grades will increase just because you've paid for a remark.

And yes, for most of these remarks, you do need to pay. If the grades change, there is no fee, but the charge is per paper, and it's over £50 to get an A-level paper remarked, so it's not an easy decision.

There are a few different levels of appeal, so it's important that you know what to ask for and the differences:

  • If you have a University place dependent on your grades, the exam boards recommend you go straight for a priority remark.
  • If you have a bit more time, you might want to start by looking over a copy of the paper to see if there is anything you disagree with. This needs to be done via the school, college or exam centre, but it's free and can be used to check the examiner marking to see if you want to pay for a remark. This is generally sent out within a week, but with expected increased demand this year, it could take longer.
  • The next option is a clerical re-check, where the admin staff check that all pages have been marked and that all the marks inside have been counted. It sounds like something that should be done on every paper! There is a low cost for this, which can take up to 10 days. The paper can be sent for a review of marking, where a second examiner will look at the paper and the way it has been marked to decide if anything needs to change. There is a rather hefty fee for this, and this fee is per paper, so getting all papers in GCSE Combined Science reviewed, for example, will be very expensive. With the way school budgets are at the moment, it is increasingly likely the cost of this will fall on the student and their family. And over the holiday's teacher may not be available to look at a copy of the paper to decide if a review of marking is needed.

I hope this gives you some insight into your options for appealing your exam results. Good luck!