Appeals should be started within 15 working days of an academic decision or result.

1. Start with an informal appeal.
Attend the exam review session or email the subject coordinator to ask for the breakdown of your final mark, or clarify why you received that mark. They may be able to provide you with a marking rubric. If you don’t understand the reason why you received a certain grade, then you’ll trouble putting together a clear or strong appeal.

2. If you’re still unhappy with the mark make a formal appeal to the faculty.
You have 20 working days to submit this to your faculty. If you are not successful you should receive an email with a letter explaining why the faculty believes they gave you a correct mark.

3. If you’re still unhappy with the mark make an appeal to the Student Appeals Body (SAB).
You have 15 working days from the Faculty response to submit this appeal online. You will need to identify areas of procedural unfairness or breach of policy with the Faculty’s decision. This may include faults in the formal appeal outcome, or that the Faculty did not fully consider all of the information provided to them. If the Student Affairs Unit (SAU) considers that your appeal satisfies this criteria they will set a meeting date with the SAB. You will be invited to attend this meeting, together with the Faculty, to determine whether your appeal is successful or not.

Be clear about your appeal.
Address the reasons for an academic decision. Clearly identify the point of your appeal and write a well-structured argument. It is advisable to question an Academic’s assessment process rather than academic judgement. Working hard and then unexpectedly failing is not grounds for appeal. An appeal also cannot be based on someone else passing when you did not.

Know your desired outcome.
Have a realistic idea of what outcome you want before you start the appeal process. For example, a second academic opinion, a remark, an extra assessment, a different type of assessment or a change of weighting towards a particular piece of work. Not all of these options are available for every situation, but it is helpful if you know what you want.

Be informed.
Familiarise yourself with relevant information such as course outlines, marking criteria, University assessment policies and the appeals process. Remember that at each stage the decision maker must provide you with reasons for their decision. SRC Caseworkers may be able to help you with your appeal.

Be realistic.
The appeal process can be a long one. Be sure that you can spend that time and emotional energy.

The University was wrong.
If you have exhausted the appeals procedures within the University and feel that the University has still not followed its policies or there is procedural unfairness you can lodge a complaint with the NSW Ombudsman. Note: this is not just another level of appeal that you can use if you are unhappy with the decision. You will need to show that the University has not followed it policy or has been procedurally unfair. The Ombudsman will not change a decision but can make recommendations to the University on actions they should take to resolve the matter.

Other Appeal Hints
Keep and refer to any documents, emails or notes of meetings relevant to your appeal. Were you provided with clear guidelines or marking criteria for the assessment task? If you received a late or word count penalty, check if your faculty has an approved policy for this, and that the penalties have been applied correctly. If you are unhappy with the course delivery, teaching or treatment you received, rather than an academic decision, you may find the University’s complaints process a more appropriate avenue to raise your concerns.