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Is it worth applying for a CII re-mark?

Is it worth applying for a CII re-mark?

One of the questions we are sometimes asked here at Brand Financial Training is whether it is worth applying for a re-mark when a CII exam candidate misses the pass mark for a non-multiple choice exam. It’s a good question that is hard to answer.

Back in April 2015 Simon (not his real name) missed passing CII AF5 Financial Planning Process by 3 marks. He was surprised as he felt fairly confident coming out of the exam. As sometimes happens, he emailed us for our advice with regards requesting a re-mark from the CII in the hope that he would gain 3 additional marks and therefore pass.

The question of whether or not to apply for a CII re-mark is always a difficult one to answer, and unfortunately it’s impossible for us to be definitive.

The cost involved

If a re-mark was free then absolutely I would say there was nothing to lose, but with the cost of a re-mark at £82 (for AF5 as at 8/12/15), there is plenty to lose. You have to weigh this up against the cost of a re-sit which you may have to do anyway at a cost of £178 for non-members or £130 for members of the CII (for AF5 as at 8/12/15). The problem is that the fee itself will put many off which perhaps is intentional as reviewing a paper will be costly for the CII. However, if your review results in a pass, then this fee is refunded and any entry fee for a now unnecessary re-sit will also be refunded.

How many marks might you gain?

We do hear of CII exam candidates who apply for a re-mark and get an additional mark, maybe two. However it’s not often that we hear of somebody getting 3 or more additional marks. However as I explained to Simon, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. It’s not surprising that the CII don’t shout about the number of re-marks they do for each exam, the number of candidates that gain the extra marks needed to pass and how many additional marks were gained during the re-mark process.

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The surprising result

Simon decided to take the gamble, he paid for a re-mark (the CII call it a review) and the gamble paid off – he was given a pass. I was very surprised. 3 marks is a lot of marks to be incorrectly ignored when the paper was originally marked. I understand that the CII’s examiners have a huge number of papers to get through, and I can understand that the odd mark here or there may be missed, but 3 marks on a paper like AF5 is not insignificant.

In light of that experience, candidates who just miss the pass mark may be more inclined to apply for a re-mark. It’s just a shame that the CII don’t provide statistics to help candidates work out whether or not it’s worth the £82 gamble.

Note : Options available

Do note that the CII provide three types of “post-results services”.

  1. Clerical re-check – If you sat a non-multiple choice exam you can apply for a ‘clerical re-check’. This doesn’t include reviewing the answers themselves, but checks things like the totaling of marks and ensuring that all parts of the script were marked.
  2. Post-results review – You can opt for a ‘post-results review of marking’ for any non-multiple choice exam. This is what most people require and involves a clerical check, a review of the original marking with feedback. Where the review still results in a fail, a report is passed on with regard where improvement can be made. If your review results in a pass then this fee is refunded and any entry fee for a now unnecessary re-sit will also be refunded.
  3. Examination appeals policy – The CII have an ‘examination appeals policy’ where circumstances that ‘materially affect a candidate’s performance’ can be considered.

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