What is an Academic Appeal? Tips for Writing an Academic Appeal Statement

Academic appeal statement

As students around the UK anxiously await their exam results, feelings are amplified during exam season. Everyone concerned may be under stress at this time. 

While these grades are significant, it’s crucial to keep in mind that receiving a lesser mark than anticipated won’t be the end of the world. You can always submit an “academic appeal” if you believe you deserve some more points.

When a student thinks they have been given an unfair grade, they will file an academic appeal. You cannot simply submit an appeal request because you desire a better grade. 

A valid cause must be given for the application. You must pay for each appeal; if it is granted, your money will be returned. 

In the UK, appeals aren’t typically accepted, so you must carefully consider your options and gather plenty of supporting documentation.

Continue reading for more details on academic appeals, including how long they take to complete, how frequently they are granted, and the grounds for doing so.

What are academic appeals in the UK?

An academic appeal in the UK is when a student who has just gotten their results asks the exam board to reconsider their mark.

The reasons why students might desire to appeal are numerous. The reason is typically that the student feels that they have been unfairly treated in some way.

You must submit a form to the exam board along with a justification for your appeal to file one. If you wish to increase the likelihood that your appeal will be accepted, you should also include a folder of supporting documentation.

There are a few instances where there might not be any supporting proof. In this instance, it’s important to clarify why no proof has been offered in the statement. 

Once this process is finished, you must email the exam board the statement along with any supporting documentation.

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How long does an academic appeal take?

The exam board will handle the appeal after you’ve submitted your request. This can take between 4 and 8 weeks, depending on the type of appeal and the exam board you’re with.

After getting your grades, you only have 21 days to file your appeals, so it’s a good idea to apply as soon as possible.

You won’t have to worry about missing the deadline if you submit your appeal as soon as possible. 

As a result, you’ll learn sooner whether your appeal was successful or not. Exam boards handle appeals in the order they are received. In general, the earlier you make that declaration, the better.

Why would you need to make an academic appeal?

Three basic motives exist for students to request an academic appeal. These are the only three grounds for appealing a grade after receiving it, according to the majority of exam boards.

Any further grounds you might have for appealing will probably be disregarded or rejected by the exam board.

Read also: Do Your A Levels Matter After Uni? Master’s Applications

Appealing a re-mark decision

The primary and most popular justification for filing an appeal is claiming that the exam was unfairly assessed. You can appeal a remark if you’ve already received one and still haven’t received the desired outcome.

There are always a few students who receive grades that are just a few points off due to the way exams are designed.

Many students ask for a remark to see if they can improve their grades and get those extra points. The mark could increase, but there is also a chance that it could decrease.

You can file an appeal if you feel that the reason the re-mark failed was because of unfair marking done against you.

But this will cost you more money and might yield the same grade. To win the appeal, you’ll need to present a ton of supporting data.

Appealing a malpractice decision

To have an exam board malpractice decision overturned is the second possible justification for filing an appeal. If the exam board determines that your teachers unfairly assisted or marked your coursework, they may deduct points from your grade as malpractice.

You may contest this academic misconduct penalty if you believe that you followed the guidelines when completing your homework. The exam board will decide whether or not to award you the full marks after applying the same procedure.

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Appealing special consideration decisions

People in extraordinary situations who might perform worse on exams as a result of their position are given special consideration.

For instance, if the candidate just lost a loved one or is suffering from an ailment that would substantially impair their ability to concentrate (not the common cold!).

The candidate receives little extra points when special considerations are made, even when they are. If you don’t believe that you merited or that special consideration was given to you, you should appeal to the exam board.

What are the Tips for Writing an Academic Appeal Statement?

A particularly terrible semester in college might have significant repercussions, including removal. 

However, most universities provide students the chance to appeal a dismissal for academic reasons because they understand that grades can never convey the whole story.

An appeal is a chance to explain to your college the circumstances surrounding your academic inadequacies.

Appealing can be done in both effective and ineffective ways. You can restore your good standing at your college with these tips.

Also, you can check this: Personal Statement Examples For Sixth Form: 2023 College Guide

Set the Right Tone

You must be sincere and genuine from the very start of your communication. Because they believe in giving deserving students a second chance, the committee members who will review your appeal are doing you a favor by offering their time. 

Address your letter to the dean or committee in charge of your appeal before you begin. Although a business letter might begin, “To whom it may concern,” you most certainly have a particular person or committee to whom you might address your letter.

Add your unique touch. Emma’s appeal letter serves as a fantastic illustration of a strong introduction.

Don’t include any requests in your letter either. Even if you believe that you haven’t always been handled properly, raise your concerns.

Ensure Your Letter Is Your Own

The appeals committee will be particularly leery if you submit an appeal letter that appears to have been authored by a professional writer if you are a student who has received poor grades in writing classes and performed poorly on essays. 

Spend some time honing your letter, but make sure it is still distinctly yours, using your words and concepts.

Also, use caution if you allow your parents to play a significant role in the appeals process. Members of the appeals committee want to know that you—not your parents—are dedicated to your success in college. 

Your prospects of succeeding are limited if it appears like your parents are more motivated to challenge your dismissal than you are.

Members of the committee want to see you accepting responsibility for your subpar performance and they anticipate you standing up for yourself.

For the simple reason that they lack the motivation to perform college-level work and graduate with a degree, many students drop out of college.

Allowing someone else to write your appeal letter will validate whatever concerns the committee may have regarding your degree of motivation.

See also: Can You Use The Same Personal Statement Twice For UCAS In The UK?

Be Painfully Honest

The underlying factors that lead to an academic dismissal might vary greatly and are frequently humiliating.

Other students struggle with depression, others have tried to stop taking their medications, some have had drug or alcohol problems, some stay up all night playing video games, and some have struggled with joining a Greek organization.

Be truthful with the appeals committee about the cause of your subpar grades, whatever it may be. For instance, Jason’s appeal letter does a decent job of acknowledging his issues with drinking. 

Colleges allow you to appeal because they believe in second chances. The committee will see that you lack the maturity, self-awareness, and integrity necessary to thrive in college if you don’t own up to your mistakes.

The committee will be impressed if you make an effort to overcome a personal flaw; otherwise, it will think less of you.

Recognize that the committee will be made aware of your campus behavior. Members of the committee have access to all judicial reports, and your lecturers will provide them with input.

Your appeal is not likely to be accepted if it appears to conflict with the data the committee has obtained from other sources.

Don’t Blame Others

When you consistently fail classes, it’s simple to get defensive and embarrassed. Nevertheless, the appeals committee will want to see you accepting responsibility for your academic performance, no matter how tempting it may be to point the finger at others and blame them for your poor grades. 

If you try to blame those “bad” instructors, your unbelievable roommate, or your unhelpful parents, the committee won’t be impressed.

You are responsible for raising the grades; it is up to you to do so. Don’t write an appeal letter as Brett did. This is an illustration of what to avoid.

This does not imply that you should not include any mitigating factors that may have contributed to your subpar academic achievement. But ultimately, you are the one who let those down.

See also: Should I Drop Out of Uni? 9 Factors To Consider in 2023

Have a Plan

Your best chance of winning an appeal is to admit your poor academic performance and identify the causes for it. The following phase, which is equally crucial, is to offer a future plan. 

Are you currently getting therapy for your issue if you were fired due to your alcoholism? Are you attempting to resolve the matter with a counselor if you are experiencing depression?

Do you intend to utilize the academic services provided by your college going forward?

The strongest appeals demonstrate that the student has recognized the issue and developed a plan for resolving the factors that contributed to poor marks.

The appeals committee may conclude that you lack foresight if you don’t propose a strategy for the future.

Show Humility and Be Polite

When you’ve been demoted academically, it’s simple to become outraged. When you donate tens of thousands of dollars to a university, it’s simple to feel entitled. However, these emotions shouldn’t be a part of your pitch.

An appeal is a chance to try again. You are being asked for a favor. The appeals committee’s staff and academic members devote a lot of time (including vacation time) to considering appeals.

The committee members are on your side; they are not the adversary. Therefore, an appeal must be made with the proper “thank yous” and “apologies.”

Send the committee a suitable note of appreciation for reviewing your appeal, even if it is rejected. You may later submit a readmission application.

Related post: Can You Apply to the Same University Twice?

How often are academic appeals granted in the UK?

Sadly, the majority of academic appeals lodged in the UK are turned down. Students who want an extra grade where it isn’t due frequently appeal decisions.

Exam boards have highly stringent requirements for an academic appeal to be successful because of this.

The official data on how many academic appeals were granted and denied in 2021 and 2022 is provided in this government article.

This does not exclude you from submitting an appeal, though. You should still appeal if you honestly feel that one of the three reasons listed above justifies giving you a few additional points.

Appealing merely because you’re searching for a quick solution to raise your grade is not something you should do. Rarely will this work!

Is an academic appeal worth it?

A successful academic appeal depends on your conviction that you merit additional credit. However, you should first weigh the benefits and drawbacks of making academic arguments.

First, there’s a potential that you could score a few points higher. If you’re fortunate, you might also move up a grade as a result of this.

This grade, particularly for college and university applications, may mean the difference between acceptance and rejection.

Academic appeals may be alluring since they provide you with a chance to raise your grade, but there are many traps. First of all, each appeal must be paid for. If the appeal is rejected, this money is subsequently lost.

It is also quite challenging to have an appeal accepted. The exam board’s specifications are very detailed. Even if you have a strong case and a lot of supporting documentation, they could still reject your application.

The University of Sussex has compiled a list that details every possible justification for rejecting an application.

Read also: How to Get a Degree Without Going to University

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should an academic appeal letter be?

one and a half to two pages
Appeals usually run one and a half to two pages in length, but there is no limit to how long it can be. In general, if they go much longer than two pages, it is easy for the writer to lose sight of his or her points.

How is an appeal letter written?

Briefly explain what decision or action you are appealing, and give the name of the person who made the decision, and the date on which it was made. You also want to indicate the outcome that you desire. Write the second paragraph. This is where you tell your story.

How do I write an appeal letter for academic dismissal?

Without a doubt, honesty is the key to any successful academic dismissal appeal letter. The letter should be honest in that it candidly describes the circumstances that explain the poor academic performance. Those circumstances might be embarrassing, uncomfortably personal, or painful. 

How do you write a satisfactory academic appeal?

Take a hard look at your situation to determine what has kept you from making satisfactory academic progress. Perhaps you need help with time management or study skills. Admit the problem and explain how you will get that help.

What is the success rate of academic dismissal appeals?

You should know that the overwhelming majority of academic dismissal appeals are successful. One college I researched cites 84% of all appeals were won in the previous year. This makes sense since colleges dismissing even their non-performing students hurts the school financially. 

How do you appeal a dismissal successfully?

You’ll need to show the tribunal evidence that your employer didn’t have a fair reason for dismissing you. You only have 3 months less a day from being dismissed to begin early conciliation or tell Acas you intend to claim an employment tribunal. Talk to an adviser if you’re thinking about making a claim.

Conclusion 

Overall, filing an academic appeal carries a significant risk, and there’s a considerable chance you could leave the process with a loss of £100.

However, there is a chance you could improve your mark if you are very certain that you have a strong argument to appeal and are willing to take that risk. You have the option to choose that.

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