Speak to your school first
Unless you're a private candidate sitting a GCSE, enquiries about results and appeals can only be made through schools and colleges, so you should speak to your teacher as soon as possible.
Your teacher will be able to give you guidance on whether to lodge an enquiry based on your predicated grades and their knowledge of your abilities.
In most cases they and your school will send the enquiry to the exam board on your behalf with their full support.
Enquiries about results can be requested for individual exam papers and can include:
- a clerical re-check - this includes a re-check of all clerical procedures leading to the issue of a result
- a review of marking - a review of the original marking to make sure that the agreed mark scheme has been applied correctly
- access to scripts – this could be a photocopy of the original script, an electronic version of the script or the original script
- post-results review of moderation
Which A-levels should I choose?
If you haven't got the GCSE grades that you were expecting, take a look at our Which? University A-level guide which is full of top tips and advice.
2018 GCSE deadline for enquiries about results
GCSE results are published on Thursday 23 August 2018.
The deadline for enquiries about results (also called EAR) for GCSE is Thursday 20 September 2018.
- Speak to your teacher if you're unhappy
- Your teacher can lodge an enquiry about results on your behalf
- The enquiry process can take up to 30 days
- If the enquiry isn't successful, you still have the option of appealing the decision
Charges for remarking
Enquiries and appeals into GCSE results can cost from around £20 for a simple clerical re-check to £60 for a complete re-mark.
Many schools cover the full cost of the enquiry if your mark is very close to a higher grade, but they're not obliged to pay so you should check with the school to confirm.
It's unlikely that you’ll be the only student querying a result and your school will have procedures in place to make the process as seamless as possible.
If your grade is changed following a re-mark, the relevant exam board refunds any charges.
If you haven’t taken your GCSEs through a school - for example, if you're home-schooled or a mature student - you can make your enquiry directly to the examining board.
It’s a good idea to check the website of the relevant examining board to find out what their process is for making enquiries so you know what to expect.
Appeal success rates
In 2015, around 62,000 GCSE grades were changed following an appeal. In 99% of cases, the grade was re-marked upwards.
However, new rules on re-marking were introduced in spring 2016, which include marks only being changed if an examiner has made an error in applying the mark scheme or adding up the marks.
This would mean that if there was a difference in academic judgement between the original marker and a second examiner carrying out a re-mark, the original mark would stand.
In previous years, the examiner carrying out the re-mark could give a new mark based on a difference in judgement.
Stage one & two appeals process
If no errors have been identified after you enquired about your result, but you still think there may be a problem with your grade, there is opportunity to appeal further.
Appeals can be submitted for the following reasons:
- enquiries about results (EAR) outcomes
- malpractice decisions
- access arrangements and special consideration
- sanctions imposed on centres
- assessment decisions for verified qualifications
The appeals process for GCSE will focus on whether an awarding body has applied its procedures consistently and followed them properly and fairly.
Once you've spoken to your teachers about whether it would be possible to submit an appeal, it is then the responsibility of your school or college to lodge an appeal with the examining body.
This is called a stage-one appeal and would normally result in a re-mark or re-moderation by the awarding body.
If you, your school or your college are unhappy with the outcome of the stage-one appeal, they can lodge a secondary appeal with the awarding body called a stage-two appeal.
Appeals must be made within two calendar weeks of receiving the outcome of the first enquiry about results.
Appeal to Ofqual
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your appeal after going through the appeals process for an enquiry about results, you may wish to appeal to the Examinations Procedures Review Service (EPRS), which is provided by exam board regulator Ofqual.
EPRS only hears appeals against enquiries about results and, at its discretion, access arrangements and special consideration.
An appeal needs to be made within 14 days of getting the result of a review.
You will need to speak to your teacher or exams officer at your school or college to make an appeal to Ofqual.
If you're a private candidate you can apply to Ofqual directly.