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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.

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.

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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”.

  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 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.
  3. 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!

If you want to leave yourself with a good margin so there’s no doubt of your pass, grab our free taster to try out one of Brand Financial Training’s resources for yourself.  Click the link to download the R06 free taster analysis now!

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