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Examination Appeals – what you need to know

Students at the IFoA may submit an appeal against an exam result decision if they think it is incorrect. If you are thinking about appealing please be aware of what grounds you can or can’t base this on.

For the April 2018 exam session, the IFoA received 45 Stage 1 appeals, of those, 33 did not meet the threshold and therefore were not investigated. The 33 that were not investigated further were rejected for a range of reasons; question the marks awarded based on a recollection of what they thought they wrote in the exam, reporting exam centre related noise and disturbance where a mitigating circumstance should have used, disagreeing with the marking procedure or reporting medical conditions that they could have informed the IFoA at the time of sittinfsg the exam.

If you are considering putting in an appeal, please think carefully about the grounds for doing so.

When you submit a Stage 1 appeal application, the IFoA will conduct an evaluation of your application to see if the appeal meets the threshold to be investigated. We will look at the grounds you are basing your appeal on and what evidence you have provided.

If your appeal is based on grounds outside of the appeals policy, the appeal won’t meet the consideration threshold and will be rejected immediately. You will be advised of this. If it does meet the threshold, you will be asked to pay the appropriate fee and once received, we will investigate further.

There are two grounds to which you can submit an appeal on.

1. Irregular procedure or improper conduct of an assessment

This can include procedures for question setting, marking and results moderation of the examinations. Specific evidence must be provided to support this.

Appeals based on the below will not meet the threshold for consideration

  • Exam centre related issues. Issues in relation to the exam centre, noise, facilities etc should be reported by a Mitigating Circumstance application within 7 days of your exam sitting.
  • Online platform issues. Any issues you experience with our online exam platform such as upload/download, ‘timeouts’ or responsiveness issues should be reported by a Mitigating Circumstance application within 7 days of your exam sitting.
  • Questioning the academic judgement of your result. Believing you ‘should have got a better mark’ or disagreeing how marks are awarded are not grounds to appeal. The judgement of our examiners is final.
  • Not being aware of the IFoA’s marking guidelines. We have published marking guidelines which explain, in detail, the process in which marking is carried out.

2. Extenuating personal circumstances materially affecting the academic performance, which the IFoA were not aware of when the decision was taken and which could not reasonably have been disclosed.

An explanation as to why you did not submit a Mitigating Circumstances application within 7 days of sitting your exam is always required.

Appeals based on the below will not meet the threshold for consideration:

  • Not being aware of the Mitigating Circumstances policy. The policy is clearly defined on our website. You have 7 days from your exam to submit an application and a further 21 days to provide any additional evidence.
  • Not disclosing a medical condition through ‘embarrassment’. If you felt unable to report any medical condition(s) as a mitigating circumstance but upon receiving your result you suddenly feel you can disclose the condition, your application is likely to be rejected.  
  • Not having a formal diagnosis at the time: Mitigating Circumstances applications only requires evidence of symptoms and the impact that had on the exam taker. Students have any additional 21 days to obtain supporting documents/medical evidence.

If you would like any more information on appeals, please visit our our Appeals page where you can also find our appeals policy for full information about the appeals process.

For all other appeal related enquiries, please contact our Education Services team via Education.Services@actuaries.org.uk or call on 01865 268207.