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AIBU to not pay this exam 'remark' fee?

138 replies

nandio · 02/12/2019 07:48

DD got a C in one of her history A level papers (the one with the biggest weighting). She got A*s in her other 2 papers; this was her working-level prior to the exam.

We requested a review (they don't call it a remark) and the mark was unchanged so we ordered the script. As DD was planning to study for a degree in history she wanted to know where she had gone wrong; she felt that this paper went as well as the other two.

When she saw the returned script the first thing she noticed was that the booklets had been scanned in the wrong order with the third booklet scanned in before the second one.

She wrote to her teachers asking for their feedback. They responded but did not address the booklet order and even went on to discuss her marks incorrectly i.e. not matching the right mark with the right essay.

Has anyone else ever had this happen? Did you pay up??

OP posts:

SarahMused · 02/12/2019 08:01

Surely the mistake in scanning the papers was down to exam board? Do you think that it was just an admin error or that the examiners marked the wrong answers to the questions because of the change in order? I would go back to exam board and see what they say before paying. Your daughter should be able to tell if this was the issue as she will have no, or almost no, marks for those sections. It is very late in the day to sort this out and the fee for getting a script back (not the review) is around £10-15 so would she prefer to let this go or would it make a real difference to her?


Booboostwo · 02/12/2019 08:05

Sounds like a scanning error. I think you need to take this up with the exam board. I have no idea what their rules are but in principle this is a procedural error (as opposed to a marking disagreement between marker and pupil) and therefore something she could appeal.


Teachermaths · 02/12/2019 08:10

This is an issue with the exam board not the individual teachers. We don't scan exam papers! They just get posted off and dealt with centrally by the exam board.

If she's still in school/college then she should speak to the exams officer.


jimmyhill · 02/12/2019 08:15

Why does it matter if the booklets were scanned in the wrong order? Do they think that means they have been marked according to incorrect specifications?


tillytrotter1 · 02/12/2019 08:19

I doubt that the Board will deal directly with parents, I think it needs to go through the Centre.


marly11 · 02/12/2019 08:24

I think the best course of action is to speak to the exams officer and ask them to speak to the board. I think it's too late to launch an appeal on a remark on the basis of the criteria but maybe this is an admin issue - or maybe they have just scanned them in the wrong order but they had still gone to the right examiners for the individual components in which case the scanning has not affected her mark.


changeforprivacy · 02/12/2019 08:25

I would pay it because of the alternative is nothing gets sorted then it will be worth the money. I'm not very hot on principle when it's something that could affect my DC future though, I would pay because it's easier. The fight is sorting out, I wouldn't want another fight on top of that.

But yanbu to not want to pay


malmi · 02/12/2019 08:28

You need to explain what you think the implication is and why you shouldn't pay the review fee. How the teacher's feedback is relevant etc. You are not providing enough information for everyone to be able to understand what you're getting at.


Medievalist · 02/12/2019 08:29

Why don't you email the exam board and ask them to confirm that the paper was still marked correctly even though in the wrong order? I would do that before paying.


RhymingRabbit3 · 02/12/2019 08:33

I would pay for it because that is their policy and the chance of them waiving it for you is very low. What is more important - getting the remark that you want or making a point?

If this won't actually make a difference to her future (presumably she still got in to college etc) I would just leave it and know that it probably wasn't her fault. Once she has a history A level nobody will be that bothered about what GCSE grade she got.


NonnoMum · 02/12/2019 08:34

The school will probably have paid already for a 'review' (probably along with others) and are now trying to recoup their losses from parents. I assume they told you there would be a fee before the review was authorised?
The fault lies entirely with the exam board and their systems. Your daughter's teacher is probably affected too as his/her pay will be affected by results. The system is error-prone and there is very little recourse.


Booboostwo · 02/12/2019 08:40

I assumed the scanning order somehow affects the marking, so if there are papers P1, P2 and P3 and answers A1, A2 and A3 which get mixed up the examiner would be looking at A3 for P1 and A1 for P3 which would mess up the results.

Is that the case? If that's true then there should be an official policy by the exam board for appealing the mark due to procedural error.


User478 · 02/12/2019 08:46

I'm not sure about history, but some subjects the questions are split up and sent to different markers, if this happened it should have been picked up by the examiner.

It must have been a pretty good essay to get a C answering the wrong questions!

I hope it gets sorted.


Loveislandaddict · 02/12/2019 08:52

When we had a paper remarked, and the grade got changed, then we got a refund. If the grade stayed the same, then no refund.


JulietTango · 02/12/2019 09:08


This is her A level and presumably affects which university she'll get offered a place at


nandio · 02/12/2019 09:11

Parents can’t deal directly with the exam board. Wouldn’t the school have done that given the procedural error? Overall grade was an A but she missed out on her 1st choice uni.

OP posts:

Interestedwoman · 02/12/2019 09:17

I would do everything you possibly can! It's an excellent idea to get as much feedback as possible. Well worth the money to find out anything.

I don't think the order of scanning matters- be very clear which paper you want them to give feedback on etc, explaining that the scanning is in error. This is all really impressive preparation and diligence. Best wishes xxxxx


Interestedwoman · 02/12/2019 09:18

There is no way she got a C answering the wrong questions, of course Smile


CravingCheese · 02/12/2019 09:22

Do everything you possibly can. Yes, it's annoying but this is not the time for these kinds of principled stands. At least imo....


SarahAndQuack · 02/12/2019 09:32

I definitely think you need to double check she didn't answer the wrong questions.

But if she didn't, and the teachers didn't address it, she needs to keep asking them until she gets a proper answer. Markers are often in a tearing hurry and I would be a bit concerned they might not have noticed/realised what was going on.


SarahMused · 02/12/2019 09:35

She may have got a C if she did exceptionally well on the one part that was scanned in the correct order and managed to pick up a few marks on the other two if questions were on similar themes. Without more information it is impossible to know.


SarahMused · 02/12/2019 09:38

If the school won’t ask the necessary questions you can contact the exam board. They have phone numbers, email, social media etc. Have you tried or just taken the schools word for this?


bsc · 02/12/2019 09:41

Sorry, she got an A in history but her first choice didn't accept her?
Have the teachers said whether the answers she gave would have achieved the marks necessary to change the grade on the paper?


michaelbaubles · 02/12/2019 09:43

Examiners would notice if they were marking an answer to the wrong paper! Usually the student writes the question number in the margin so it doesn't matter if they're in the wrong order - it's common for students to answer questions out of order anyway. Unless there's specifically a different booklet for each question - I don't know History exams. But even then it should be clear that it's not the right question being answered.


michaelbaubles · 02/12/2019 09:45

Markers are often in a tearing hurry and I would be a bit concerned they might not have noticed/realised what was going on.

True that markers often mark quickly but they are also marking a great volume. Anything out of the ordinary stands out like a sore thumb! They're also very very aware that marking exam papers is a huge responsibility and want to get it right. Please don't think exam markers just toss it off as quickly as possible!

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