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Is it now impossible to gain an upgraded A-Level mark through appealing?
According to an article in the Guardian, students who received their AS and A-Level results last Thursday (18th August), may find it more difficult than ever before to successful appeal, following a change to the remarking process.
According to Ofqual (the exam regulator), too many students were gaining extra marks and higher grades as a result of remarking, when their original marks were appropriate. However, this summer senior examiners will only change marks if there is a significant marking error, rather than a difference of interpretation when applying the mark scheme. While this may sound like an insignificant change, it is likely to result in fewer students successfully challenging their results.
Ofsted's concern is that the temptation for awarding bodies is to increase a mark on appeal and that it was a case of one examiner's professional judgement being over-ruled by another's, without sufficient justification.
Last summer saw the highest number of exam appeals (506,000) which led to 90,000 grades being changed and 639 being changed by two grade boundaries. However, it is unlikely that this summer we will see a equally high number of successful appeals and therefore students and teachers should consider the financial implications of appealing before querying their marks.