Request a review of your A-level exam result
If you're not happy with an A-level exam result and you think it may be incorrect, it's important to first talk to your school or college about reviewing the result in question and getting it re-marked. You could still make an exam result appeal to Ofqual later on, if you're unhappy with the outcome of the enquiry.
Reviews of remarks usually fall into one of two categories:
- Clerical check - someone (or more commonly nowadays, a computer) going through your exam paper to ensure all the points awarded, were totalled correctly.
- Review of marking - an examiner actually checking your exam paper to check that what you’ve written has been marked consistently, in line with the mark scheme. Note, your paper won’t be fully re-marked altogether - this only happens if it’s decided that a particular marker has made several errors.
Students can’t make enquiries directly with their examining board. Everything has to go through the school, unless you are a private candidate - for example if you’re home schooled, self-taught or a mature student.
Here are some practical steps to take on results day if you're unhappy with your A-level result:
- Discuss the possibility of reviewing a result with your teacher - they will be able to advise you based on their knowledge of your ability in the subject and your predicted grade. This is a good reason why you should make an effort to go in and collect your results from your school/college on results day, as teachers will be on hand to help with this.
- Look online or speak to other people in your year who took the same exam - find out if the marking overall was lower than expected for a particular paper or subject.
- Let your university know if you are requesting a review of your grades and keep them updated as this plays out (eg if it goes to an appeals hearing).
Is it worth asking for a remark?
For exams taken in 2018, around 20% of all GCSE and GCE grades that were challenged, were changed.
However, your chances of getting a grade remarked will depend on your own individual circumstances - so it’s difficult to make comparisons.
For instance, the success rate doesn’t account for students who could have been successful had they challenged their grade, but chose not to request a review or appeal, for whatever reason.
2019 A-level deadline for results reviews
If your university place is dependant on your A-level results, you’ll need to request a priority review of marking from your exam board.
It’s in your best interest to make your request as soon as you can upon receiving your grades.
You can do this from results day on the 15 August, and the deadline is 22 August 2019.
It takes up to 15 days to complete the review from the date you submit it.
So, if you leave your review request to 22 August, it means you may miss the 31 August 2019 deadline to get your A-level grades to your university.
This means that even if you are successful in challenging a grade, you could miss out on your university place.
If your A-level results are not university dependant, you have until Thursday 19 September 2019 to request a re-mark (though these can take up to three weeks).
Key dates for A-level results review
15 August 2019 - results day
22nd August 2019 - deadline for priority reviews, which can take up to 15 days
31 August 2019 - deadline to get confirmed A-level results for university places in 2019
19 September 2019 - deadline for re-marks and reviews if you're not planning to start university in 2019
Make an exam result appeal to Ofqual
If no errors have been identified as a result of the review, but you still think there may be a problem with your grade, there is opportunity to appeal further to the exam board regulator, Ofqual.
You must do this through your school or college, or apply online if you’re a private candidate, within 21 days of getting the result of your review.
Ofqual will decide whether a hearing is appropriate to take your appeal further.
You should hear back on its decision to hold a hearing within 10 working days, including Oqual's reasons not to, if it decides not to.
If Ofqual decides a hearing should take a place, your school or college (or you, if you’re a private candidate) and the exam board will argue their case.
You should receive the result of your hearing within two working days.
A-level appeals costs
Check with your exam board how much an appeal will cost you (via your school or college).
As a rough guide, AQA state that a preliminary stage appeal will cost £111.75, with this increasing to £186.15 if it goes to a hearing.
However, you will not be charged this if you win your appeal at either stage.
Results day and university clearing
If you haven't got the A-level grades you were expecting, take a look at our Which? University clearing guide for top tips and advice.