Should I get a remark (review of marking)?

Student sitting exam

Remarks are now referred to as 'reviews of marking'. Not sure whether you should get one?

The change in name reflects a change in the system. Instead of remarking the entire paper without paying any attention to the original mark, a senior examiner will now just review how the previous examiner(s) marked the paper.

So instead of getting a completely new mark, it will be up to the examiner to decide whether your original mark was fair and consistent. If they decide it is, then your original mark stays. If they decide it isn’t, they will award a new mark for the paper.

The infographic below shows some information from 2018 reviews. This is NOT a typical pattern but it does show that grades do change as a result of reviews - about 20% of A-level reviews led to a grade change in 2018.

How do I get a 'review of marking?

Contact your school or college as they will need to submit your application. If you have a university place pending, you’ll have to get it looked at as a priority review which means it will get marked quicker. If you don’t have a uni place pending for 2022, you can get it marked as just a review.

Should I get an exam paper reviewed?

Reviews are expensive so before you make that decision, here’s some questions you need to ask yourself.

Do I really need a review?  Does a uni place depend on that higher grade? Will your result actually affect your chances of getting into the career you want? If so, it could be worth a try. If not, is a review really necessary?

How close was I to the grade boundary? Grade boundaries are released on results day. The closer your mark is to the next higher grade, the more chance a review has of improving your grade.

Which paper should I get reviewed? Find out your marks for each paper from the exam office at your school or college. Select the paper where you are close to the upper grade boundary (as long as you are confident you did better on that paper than your mark suggests).

How much does it cost?

A priority review for AS and A-level papers, which is the one you need if you’re hoping your grade will change so you can secure your place at university, costs a little over £50.

A normal review for AS, A-level and GCSE papers costs around £40.

It may seem a lot, but if your grade changes as a result of the review you will not be charged.

How long will it take?

If you request a priority review, they will take up to 15 days to get back to you. You should request a review as quickly as possible if you’re waiting on a university place.

You can request a normal review, and they can take up to 20 days.

What else can I do?

You can also request a priority copy of your marked script, to see if you wish to go forward with the review. This can be a good thing to go through with your teacher, as they can advise whether they think it’s worth going through with the whole review. This costs just over £10 per copy, and can only be requested for AS and A-level papers. However, for Pearson Edexcel qualifications, your school or college should be able to access your marked paper immediately after the release of results at no cost.

However, if you’re waiting on a university place, Ucas recommends that you go straight to a priority review, as getting a copy can use up valuable time.

Is there anything else I need to know?

It is worth noting that a mark can go down as well as up, and it is not guaranteed that a mark will change at all, especially in the new review system. In 2017, around 22% of reviews resulted in a grade change – and virtually all of them moved up.

If you're still not sure whether to get a review, you can get more advice here about A-level reviews or head for our A-level or GCSE forum.

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