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.
One of our customers, 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 to requesting a re-mark from the CII in the hope that he would gain three 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 but we can give you some information and guidance:
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 £86 (for AF5 as at 12/8/20), 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 £184 for non-members or £133 for members of the CII (for AF5 as at 12/8/20). 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 from 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 someone getting three 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 doesn’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.Is it worth applying for a re-mark when a CII exam candidate misses the pass mark for a non-multiple choice exam? Click To Tweet
The surprising result
Simon did decide to take the gamble, he paid for a re-mark (the CII calls it a review), and the gamble paid off; he was given a pass. I was very surprised. Three marks are 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 three 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, but we do hear from many candidates who cannot believe they didn’t pass, request the re-mark, and it is not overturned. It’s just a shame that the CII doesn’t provide statistics to help candidates work out whether it’s worth the £86 gamble.
Note: Options available
Do note that the CII provides three types of “post-results services”.
- 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.
- 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 and a review of the original marking with feedback. Where the review still results in a fail, a report is passed on with regard to 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.
- Examination appeals policy – The CII has an ‘examination appeals policy’, where circumstances that ‘materially affect a candidate’s performance’ can be considered. A fee of £122 (as at 12/8/20) is payable for the appeal, which is refunded if the appeal is successful.
Should I request a re-mark?
It is really a personal decision; you need to weigh up the cost versus your belief that you should have passed, and it’s worth considering that even if you don’t pass on a re-mark, you will get more in-depth feedback that can be useful.
Grab the resources you need!
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