Has anyone here ever successfully lodged an appeal to resit or repeat in final year? Watch

czarclem
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ok so I found out recently that I failed final year and I've just submitted my appeal along with the medical documents and my personal tutor's statement as supporting evidence. With another 2-3 weeks to go before they make a decision I can't emphasize enough how anxious I am right now. So just to set my mind at ease for the time being..has anyone ever successfully reversed a decision or known anyone whos ever done that? Basically I have obsessive compulsive tendencies when im under extremely stressful conditions (which my doctor can attest to given the fact that there were similar incidences in the past where he also diagnosed me with the problem) and thats exactly what happened during and in the weeks prior to the exam which in turn substantially hindered my performance. Now I know each case is judged on the basis of individual merit but how often do they actually reject appeals made on such grounds or medical expert opinon for that matter? Would greatly appreciate it if anyone could share their experiences or shed some light on this.
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czarclem
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oh and im a final year law student btw!
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rushhour72
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(Original post by czarclem)
ok so I found out recently that I failed final year and I've just submitted my appeal along with the medical documents and my personal tutor's statement as supporting evidence. With another 2-3 weeks to go before they make a decision I can't emphasize enough how anxious I am right now. So just to set my mind at ease for the time being..has anyone ever successfully reversed a decision or known anyone whos ever done that? Basically I have obsessive compulsive tendencies when im under extremely stressful conditions (which my doctor can attest to given the fact that there were similar incidences in the past where he also diagnosed me with the problem) and thats exactly what happened during and in the weeks prior to the exam which in turn substantially hindered my performance. Now I know each case is judged on the basis of individual merit but how often do they actually reject appeals made on such grounds or medical expert opinon for that matter? Would greatly appreciate it if anyone could share their experiences or shed some light on this.
It could help you out a little bit, but you would have got more special consideration if you sent this out during the exam time.
All the best
x
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czarclem
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I mean obviously u probably don't stand a chance if u don't have any evidence to back up ur claim but the question im tossing and turning over is whether having medical proof is ever a sure bet. I'm not talking about sensational stuff like a death in the family or something you can't really backup like nervousness or anxiety but an actual medical condition with which I have a history of..can they possibly challenge a doctor's opinion here?
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flugestuge
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You said earlier:
(Original post by czarclem)
my transcript which is horrendous to say the least coz of my non-attendance in tutorials and the like
Sounds like your failure is the result of poor work habits rather than because of any medical problems.
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jinglepupskye
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(Original post by czarclem)
I mean obviously u probably don't stand a chance if u don't have any evidence to back up ur claim but the question im tossing and turning over is whether having medical proof is ever a sure bet. I'm not talking about sensational stuff like a death in the family or something you can't really backup like nervousness or anxiety but an actual medical condition with which I have a history of..can they possibly challenge a doctor's opinion here?
Given what has just been posted about your non-attendance at lectures then I would say that your anxiety is self imposed based on lack of work and then panicking because of it. In those cases I doubt whether your appeal would stand up. The best that you can hope for is that they will let you repeat the year.
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czarclem
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Yeah umm thats true and in my defence (lol i know its not that credible), i worked my ass off from febuary to may to catch up with the stuff I missed so it wasn't like I knew nothing coming into the exam room. The problem was my anxiety induced my OCD which led to poor time management coz I focused too much on the first 2 questions which didn't leave me with enough time on the last one (this is a recurring pattern in the exams I failed btw e.g in one exam i had a 2:1 answer followed by a 2:2 answer and a 0 which costed me the pass). So that affected my exam peformance to a large degree. And theres like a huge discrepancy between this years results and that of last year too which I also pointed out in my appeal. as for the non attendance issue I came clean with it and addressed it in the appeal in that I also said it was attributed to my medical condition (my doctor supports this and it happened before) because I was afraid of being grilledby my tutor I obsessed over achieving perfection so I wouldn't be caught unprepared which turned out to be a fruitless effort..the details of which I've expounded in my appeal though i know its not exactly working in my favour. Regarding the question of why I didn't report this earlier, its difficult to explain but its also linked to my medical condition coz my OCD precludes me from seeking help (i know it sounds far fetched but its happened before where I was aware of the problem but refused to seek help so my parents had to drag me to the psychiatrist..so my doctor can vouch for me here) so I've covered that point as well. hope that wasn't too confusing lol..but all im saying is that the exact same thing happened before so I have a history of it..as far as not reporting my condition even though im aware of it coz of my OCD.
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flugestuge
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(Original post by czarclem)
i know it sounds far fetched
Very much so.
Especially since OCD is easily treated with medications like paroxetine.
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faber niger
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(Original post by flugestuge)
You said earlier:


Sounds like your failure is the result of poor work habits rather than because of any medical problems.
And why could not the former have been caused by the latter? :rolleyes::mad:
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faber niger
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(Original post by flugestuge)
Very much so.
Especially since OCD is easily treated with medications like paroxetine.
OCD is not easily treated in all cases, or even many cases. It gets so bad that some people even have to have a cingulotomy as a remedy of last resort, which I know btw from my psychology studies.
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Kitty Pimms
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(Original post by flugestuge)
Very much so.
Especially since OCD is easily treated with medications like paroxetine.
Mmm, because psychiatric problems are always easily treated with medication. Anyway, I'll stay clear of that rant, since it's not really relevant to the thread.

To the OP, obviously the mitigations panel will consider any evidence you've supplied. Two questions though:

1) Did you inform the university prior to the exams that this was a problem and submit your mitigations in advance?

2) Has your transcript prior to this set of exams been much more impressive? Say, have you gone from a 2.1 to a fail or have you been borderline in previous years?

Is the answer to points 1) and 2) is yes, then I suspect they will be more likely to look favourably on you. The panel consideres all individual circumstances, and people tend to get big brownie points for advanced warning (so it doesn't come across as a retrospective attempt to justify poor performance) and previous consistency.
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czarclem
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This is an short excerpt from my doctor's note

"My assessment was that he had a mild Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Trait. His anxiety problem significantly affected his examination performance. His Obsessive Compulsive Personality Trait often made him very indecisive in his writing and as a result he might lose much valuable time in his essay writing.

Psychological treatment was provided for the patient He attended for eight sessions from Feb 2004 to Aug 2004. He responded well to the psychological treatment. He learned ways to reduce his anxiety. In terms of his Obsessive Compulsive Personality Trait, he became much more aware of it and had managed to make adjustment so that he was less concerned about achieving a perfect result in his schoolwork.

His examination performance is likely to improve substantially if he receives a short booster course of psychological treatment for his anxiety problem and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Trait. "

(Original post by IlexAquifolium)
1) Did you inform the university prior to the exams that this was a problem and submit your mitigations in advance?

2) Has your transcript prior to this set of exams been much more impressive? Say, have you gone from a 2.1 to a fail or have you been borderline in previous years?
Hmm my answer to the first question would be a no as I did not make any attempt to notify the university that there was a problem. I stated in the appeal form that the reason why I didn't do this was purely medical..details of which are hard to summarize here but basically in a nutshell I had the same problem in 2004 and I was aware of it then but according to my doctor I refused to seek treatment coz of my OCD not unlike the situation now.

Regarding the second question, I must say in all honesty that my results admittedly have been far from perfect but I did manage to show significant improvement with each passing year..hence i improved from a 3rd in first year to a 2:2 in year 2. My personal tutor was also quite surprised himself when I saw him and remarked the discrepancy between my results this year and the last so though its not exactly the difference between a 2:1 and a fail..there is still somewhat of a gap there.

Now I know its only natural for them to doubt my credibility if it seems like the condition was caused by what seemed to be my poor work ethic (as jismith1989 pointed out earlier). But the point I stressed repeatedly in my appeal form was that the pressure of getting a good grade this year led to a relapse of my OCD which precluded me from attending all my supervisions coz I was unable to cover the questions and topics of the revision material to my satisfaction (hence achieving 100% understanding of the topic) as I was so fixated on achieving perfection (as stated too in the medical evidence). Obviously u could make the argument that something as intangible as pressure and nerves from the beginning can't be proven emprically, but its happened in a similar situation before in the past where I also failed to function properly coz of my condition as stated in the doctor's note. So to sum up im arguing that the condition preceded the non attendance issue which in turn exacerbated the problem while I was revising for the exam. And it is also the same condition that stopped me from seeking help even though I was aware of the problem.

I understand that whats been said above isn't totally convincing but I do have evidence to show for it and a history of this condition. In addition, all the imperfections of this argument which u guys have helpfully pointed out from not reporting it before the exams and non attendance in supervisions can be rationalized by the medical evidence..so the only way they could dismiss my appeal is if they dismiss the medical evidence which forms the backbone of it..but how likely is it that they would challenge professional opinion in this regard?
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czarclem
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Perhaps it would seem like I'm trying to convince myself that I do have a strong case here..but I reckon a doctor's note is difficult to obtain in itself seeing how as common illnesses attributed to poor performance in exams like insomnia and anxiety are impossible to diagnose retrospectively. Loads of people make up excuses to get mitigations after the exams via the doctor's note and I have some friends who have been denied one because they never consulted them earlier. So if the doctor can back up every aspect of my claim..would it still be possible for the panel to shoot his opinion down?
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Kitty Pimms
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(Original post by czarclem)
Perhaps it would seem like I'm trying to convince myself that I do have a strong case here..but I reckon a doctor's note is difficult to obtain in itself seeing how as common illnesses attributed to poor performance in exams like insomnia and anxiety are impossible to diagnose retrospectively. Loads of people make up excuses to get mitigations after the exams via the doctor's note and I have some friends who have been denied one because they never consulted them earlier. So if the doctor can back up every aspect of my claim..would it still be possible for the panel to shoot his opinion down?
The simple answer is, I don't know. It's very unlikely that they would contradict the opinion of a Doctor, but they will set it in context. As I said, it would have dramatically helped your case if you had made them aware of the problems in advance - they will be quite entitled to point out that your attendance was an ongoing problem that you should have alerted your personal tutor to beforehand. I simply don't know whether that will outweigh the medical certification, given that as you say it's much harder to prove mental health difficulties than it is, say, a stomach bug.

Without wishing to sound harsh, I have been in a similar situation during my A levels, when suffering from panic attacks. The problem is that they are not percieved by the general public as an 'excuse'. I made the decision that I *had* to at least try and get over it, because I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I'd spent the rest of my life saying 'I got CCC - but I had problems!'. I still have problems but I manage to battle through them because I've never had the chance to do anything else. I hope you get the opportunity to sit your retakes, but at risk of sounding like a backseat psychologist, I do think you need to look seriously at taking some time off to take intensive therapy. You can't keep dealing with unmanaged OCD for the rest of your life, because outside academia you rarely get second chances.

Good luck.
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jinglepupskye
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Presumably you will have the option of a resit?

In that case why not just allocate an amount of time for each question at the start of the exam and once that time is up move on to the next regardless of whether you have completed the answer or not.

It seems more as though you need to have some coping strategies which will allow you to at least complete the paper as required. Don't make it too difficult for yourself by worrying how much time to allot to each question.

Simply go through the paper checking how many marks are available. Once you have the total of marks then allocate an equal number of minutes to each mark according to how long the exam is and giving yourself 15 minutes reading time at the end to add anything needed or to correct errors.

That way you at least attempt every question and give yourself the best chance of a pass.
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belle654
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youre university of birmingham right? me to. I am in a similar situation. i failed an exam but i put in mitigations for my illness before. I had prescriptions and a doctors note...but they still rejected my mitigations. Im a 2nd year and i have to retake the module i failed in august. Iv put in an appeal against the mitigations panels decision but i havent heard anything yet. Iv just accepted that they wont pass it though. I had an awful year last year with depression, eating problems, anxiety and lots of other things. Iv now got to achieve a 62/63 in every single module to just scrape a 2:1. Im angry that the university didnt help more....but i also know that if i had done the weekly reading for the exam in the weeks and first term that i was fine..then i wouldnt have failed the exam. I was faced with a similar situation in my A levels. I got BBC in my AS and needed AAB. I never thought id make it, but i worked so so hard, all year, i kept focus on my aim and when i opened the results paper i had the best feeling because i had got those As through nothing but hard work. I know im in a difficult position now. I cried for ages when i was told i couldnt retake the year and my mitigations hadnt gone through, but in the end i knew it was my fault for not working, not solely my illness. Im just grateful that wasnt my third year. Im all set to work really hard next year..i am doing now, working on my dissertation. I know i can achieve those marks if i work for them. Sorry iv gone a bit off the subject.... but op....if youd read and everything all year, would you be in this situation now?....also has you case already been rejected by the mitigations panel? or did you just put in an appeal when youd found out youd failed? usually the panels arent sympathetic to cases who alert them of problems after the event. They like to be able to help you before and throughout the year to try and aviod these situations
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czarclem
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(Original post by belle654)
youre university of birmingham right? me to. I am in a similar situation. i failed an exam but i put in mitigations for my illness before. I had prescriptions and a doctors note...but they still rejected my mitigations. Im a 2nd year and i have to retake the module i failed in august. Iv put in an appeal against the mitigations panels decision but i havent heard anything yet. Iv just accepted that they wont pass it though. I had an awful year last year with depression, eating problems, anxiety and lots of other things. Iv now got to achieve a 62/63 in every single module to just scrape a 2:1. Im angry that the university didnt help more....but i also know that if i had done the weekly reading for the exam in the weeks and first term that i was fine..then i wouldnt have failed the exam. I was faced with a similar situation in my A levels. I got BBC in my AS and needed AAB. I never thought id make it, but i worked so so hard, all year, i kept focus on my aim and when i opened the results paper i had the best feeling because i had got those As through nothing but hard work. I know im in a difficult position now. I cried for ages when i was told i couldnt retake the year and my mitigations hadnt gone through, but in the end i knew it was my fault for not working, not solely my illness. Im just grateful that wasnt my third year. Im all set to work really hard next year..i am doing now, working on my dissertation. I know i can achieve those marks if i work for them. Sorry iv gone a bit off the subject.... but op....if youd read and everything all year, would you be in this situation now?....also has you case already been rejected by the mitigations panel? or did you just put in an appeal when youd found out youd failed? usually the panels arent sympathetic to cases who alert them of problems after the event. They like to be able to help you before and throughout the year to try and aviod these situations
Still waiting on a reply from them and even though the final verdict won't be out until sometime in the end of july i've pretty much abandoned all hope too. I know exactly how u feel with the anxiety issues coz i struggled with them all year too..truth is i thought it really came down to bad luck at the exam coz I had the knowledge but it was just poor time management and execution on my part that let me down. and the fact of the matter is i did work hard for the most part this year..it was just my anxiety and various issues which precluded me from seeking help (poor attendance and such among things coz i was so scared of getting grilled) when I prolly should've. So obviously i can't say i didn't get any support from the uni..coz i just refused to seek help but im hoping the panel will take my medical issues as far as reluctance to seek help into consideration..though thats prolly a longshot. I'm still clinging onto hope that they'd be more sympathetic towards final year students since denying the appeal would essentially waste 3 years of the student's life not to mention the fact that i paid a boatload as an international student. In a way i think it varies with each department coz i've heard about other ppl being granted a resit or repeat on the basis of very shoddy evidence..granted the person im referring to here is also an international student. nevertheless, I think its really good that u've decided to start early coz at least that'll give u a good foundation and im sure ur efforts won't go to waste..don't screw up like i did (fingers crossed that won't be the case) and best of luck with everything.
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czarclem
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(Original post by belle654)
youre university of birmingham right? me to. I am in a similar situation. i failed an exam but i put in mitigations for my illness before. I had prescriptions and a doctors note...but they still rejected my mitigations.
Just out of curiousity though, on what grounds did they reject ur mitigations or rather what kind of illness or prescription did ur doctor give u? cause I find it odd how they'd reject u just like that coz a doctor's note isn't easy to get..its not like u can just go up to him and say u have this or that and he'll just give u a free pass. the only real hope i have now is that i have a history of this illness and by virtue of that it might lend some credibility to my claim but im not keeping my hopes up..but yea what happened there?
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czarclem
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(Original post by belle654)
or did you just put in an appeal when youd found out youd failed? usually the panels arent sympathetic to cases who alert them of problems after the event. They like to be able to help you before and throughout the year to try and aviod these situations
about that..I know its encouraged to report such incidents before the actual exam so the university can make exceptions for u but i think there is a reason why they give u a chance to explain in the appeal form why u didn't come forward to them earlier. Though they say they don't normally consider such appeals im sure they will if there is a legitimate proof (which i hope i think and hope i have) and as long as it doesn't seem like that the person is appealing merely because im not happy with his results.
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belle654
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(Original post by czarclem)
Just out of curiousity though, on what grounds did they reject ur mitigations or rather what kind of illness or prescription did ur doctor give u? cause I find it odd how they'd reject u just like that coz a doctor's note isn't easy to get..its not like u can just go up to him and say u have this or that and he'll just give u a free pass. the only real hope i have now is that i have a history of this illness and by virtue of that it might lend some credibility to my claim but im not keeping my hopes up..but yea what happened there?
i had prescription slips for my ani depressants and a very short doctors notes to say i was on them. Therefore it was lack of evidence. How on earth do you get a good doctors letter these days. After my mitigations hadnt gone through and i was making my appeal i went back to my doctor asking for a letter explaining everything but she wouldnt give me another. She said as a matter of confidentiality the uni would have to write to her asking about it. Therefore the only new thing i put in for my appeal was another prescription slip saying my antidepressants meds have been upped, so yh, im not holding out any hope because i dont have any new evidence. ...You have lots of good evidence though. Im pretty sure they might let you do your exams again next august. So, how do you get a good doctors letter out of them. I went to about 3 in my surgery, and they all said the same thing, about it being confidential, my prescription slips arent enough to explain my condition
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