The 2013 Appeals Process will commence on the 6 August. The process will finish for Advanced Higher and Higher subjects on 23 September, and for Intermediate 1 & 2 and Standard Grade on 29 October.
In the academic year 2013-2014, we will introduce new ‘Results Services’ to replace our existing appeals service.
We have prepared a question and answer guide to give you more information about the changes. You can visit the guide at www.sqa.org.uk/resultsservices.
This guide is about National Qualifications appeals. National Qualifications include Standard Grades, Intermediates, Highers and Advanced Highers. They are usually studied at school, but sometimes people sit them at college too. This guide explains what an appeal is, who is considered eligible for an appeal, and what this means. It gives you some background about the appeals process, and what’s involved. We hope it helps you to understand how we make decisions about the appeals we receive from schools/colleges. Please share this information with your parents – they’ll be interested to find out how the process works too.
If you don’t perform as well in a National Qualification exam as your school or college expected you to, your teachers/lecturers might be able to submit an appeal for you. In an appeal, our Examiners check alternative evidence (eg a prelim that you completed previously) that your school/college has submitted to us, to see if it warrants your grade being increased or not.
Before exams take place, your school or college sends us an estimate grade (the grade they think you will achieve). To be eligible for an appeal, you need to have achieved an exam grade that is lower than the one your school or college estimated for you. You must also meet these conditions:
|The grade my school estimated for me||The grade I achieved||Could I be eligible for an appeal?||Why/Why not?|
|B||B||No||Your estimate grade is the same as the grade you achieved in the exam|
|A||C||Yes||The grade you achieved in the exam is lower than your estimate grade|
|D||No Award||No||Your estimate grade needs to be higher than a D|
|The grade my school estimated for me||The grade I achieved||Could I be eligible for an appeal||Why/Why not?|
|3||3||No||The estimate grade is the same as the grade you achieved in the exam|
|3||4||Yes||The grade you achieved in the exam is lower than your estimate grade|
|7||No Award||No||Your estimate grade needs to be higher than a 7|
We only accept appeals from the school or college that put you forward for the exam. Under no circumstances will we accept an appeal request from a candidate or parent.
We will never refuse to receive an appeal from a school or college for an eligible candidate.
We do not tell your school or college who they should submit an appeal for. Remember, it is your teachers/lecturers who hold the evidence that would need to be sent to us with your appeal, and only they can decide whether or not the evidence is suitable for sending. The evidence that schools/colleges submit for appeals has to meet certain requirements.
There is no process by which a school or college, or a candidate, parent or candidate representative can make a request to have an external assessment re-marked, or pay for such a service. When examination scripts or coursework are marked we undertake a rigorous Quality Assurance process to ensure that it meets the national standard, and that the candidate is awarded the correct grade. For more information about how we mark external assessments, please visit www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/5888.2337.html
Following the issue of results, if a school or college believes there has been an error in the award of a candidate’s grade, they can make a results enquiry (CQR). This is a clerical check to establish that the mark the candidate was awarded is that which appears on their certificate. This process is an administrative one and does not include a review of the candidate’s answers. A results enquiry can only be requested by schools and colleges and they are made aware of this service before the issue of results.
The evidence that your school/college sends to us with your appeal needs to demonstrate that you previously managed to achieve a better grade (eg in your prelim or mock exam) than you did in the real exam. The evidence must give our examiners a detailed picture how you performed during the Course.
The prelim or mock exam that they submit for you should look just like a real exam for that subject. This means the evidence has to be at the same level of difficulty as real exams, be in the same format, have the same range of questions, be the same length, and should be produced under exam conditions.
Along with this evidence, your school/college also has to send us:
There are two different closing dates depending on what type of qualification the appeal is for:
|The type of qualification the appeal is for:||Closing date|
|Higher or Advanced Higher||21 August 2013|
|Standard Grade or Intermediates||9 September 2013|
All appeals that we receive from schools and colleges are closely inspected by teams of Examiners, who are experienced subject-experts. Each subject and level (eg Higher French), has its own dedicated team. It is the Examiners’ job to make sure that consistent and fair decisions are made throughout all of the marking and appeals processes. In other words, they make sure that all appeals are treated in the same way for every candidate. So, you can be sure that they are investigating your appeal thoroughly and fairly, and that you will not be disadvantaged.
No. Our Examiners do not take extenuating circumstances into consideration when looking at your appeal. Any results we give to candidates can only be based on demonstrated evidence of attainment and not on your potential. So, for appeals, we need to see evidence that you previously managed to perform better than you did in the actual exam (eg in your prelim).
We cannot consider extenuating circumstances because this would introduce an element of personal interpretation. Because circumstances can affect different candidates in different ways, we cannot make special allowances for any particular person’s appeal because this would not be fair or consistent.
Provided you are eligible for the appeal, and the evidence that your school/college sends us meets all our requirements, your appeal will be successful. In other words, we will upgrade your result and you will receive an updated certificate.
An unsuccessful appeal is when your exam result stays the same – ie you do not receive any upgrade to your original result. The reasons for an appeal being unsuccessful can vary. It might be that you weren’t an eligible candidate to begin with, or perhaps your school/college did not send us everything that we need.
What may have happened is that the prelim your school/college produced for you was not in line with the national standard. In other words, our Examiners may have looked at the prelim question paper and found that it was not a close enough match to the real exam for that subject/level.
There are two different dates that we send appeals results to your school/college — it depends what type of qualification the appeal is for:
|The type of qualification the appeal is for:||The date we post the appeals result|
|Higher or Advanced Higher||23 September 2013|
|Standard Grade or Intermediates||28 October 2013|
Please allow five working days for your school/college to receive your appeals result from the date we post them.
If you have any questions about the result of your appeal, please speak to your school/college.
If you have a conditional offer for a place at university or college starting in 2013 and you need to know the result of your appeal before the dates shown above, you should contact your current school/college immediately. Explain your situation to them, so they can advise us of your requirements.
As long as we are in possession of all the evidence we need for your appeal (prelim, marking instructions etc) at least seven days before your university needs the result, we will try our best to tell them the result before the deadline. This will secure your conditionally-offered place. Due to the number of requests we receive, and the very tight deadlines, we may be unable to let your current school/college know this result at the same time. Our priority is to inform the university/college.
Please note the earliest date we can send an appeals result to any university/college is 30 August 2013.
We will send you a new, updated certificate by the end of November. This certificate will replace your original one. However, your school/college will already know the result of your appeal by then.
As explained in the Who is eligible for an appeal? and What is evidence? sections of this guide, all appeals have to meet certain requirements. We need your school/college to send us all the required evidence (including marking instructions, etc), and we need to see that your prelim was of the same standard as the real exam for that subject/level (eg a prelim sent in for a Higher Maths appeal needs to resemble a real Higher Maths exam paper).
Sometimes, we have to reject appeals not because of the standard of your work, but because of the standard of the prelim set by your school/college. For example, if the prelim you sat was not demanding enough for the level of qualification you were studying, it is not suitable evidence, despite the fact that you scored full marks in it.
In cases like this, we cannot grant successful appeals. To maintain the national standard of our qualifications, we must ensure that all candidates’ work is treated in a consistent way. We cannot make any adjustments to the way we mark or grade your work nor make any special exceptions. If we did, this would not be fair or consistent.
No. We are unable to give out component marks directly to candidates. You should talk to your school or college.
No. We are unable to provide feedback to candidates on their performance in an exam.
There is more information about appeals on our appeals website: www.sqa.org.uk/appeals
For background information about how we prepare question papers and mark your exam, please visit: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/5888.2337.html
For any queries that you cannot find an answer to in this guide, or on the websites, you should talk to your school or college.
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