Appeals should be started within 15 working days of an academic decision or result. The Faculty do not have to consider late appeals, so unless you have a compelling reason, e.g., in hospital, you should appeal on time.

1. 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. Compare the marks you received against the marking rubric and if you can see specific areas of your assessment that should have received more marks, outline them in your informal appeal. Be as specific as you can, e.g., in question 3 you list 3 out of the 4 theories needed, so should have received more than 2 out of 10 for that section.

2. Formal appeal.
If your informal appeal was not successful, and you can show that the Faculty did not adequately consider your appeal, or the faculty in some way breached University policy, you can submit a formal appeal. You have 20 working days to submit this to your faculty. Address any of the comments that you received in the informal appeal stage. Again, be specific. Note here that you cannot argue academic opinion; you can only argue about process and policy, e.g., the marker did not consider that you had listed 3 out of the 4 theories; you cannot argue that even though the subject coordinator did not list one of your theories as being the 4 that the answer needed, you should get more than 2 out of 10 for that section.

3. Appeal to the Student Appeals Body (SAB).
If your formal appeal was not successful, and you can show that the Faculty did not adequately consider your appeal, or they breached University policy, you can submit an appeal to the Student Appeals Unit (SAU). The SAU will only consider appeals that can show a breach of policy, or procedural unfairness. This may include faults in the formal appeal outcome, including that the Faculty did not fully consider all of the information provided to them. If the SAU considers that your appeal satisfies either of these criteria, they will set a meeting date with the SAB. Your appeal should be a comprehensive written response, and you will be invited to attend a meeting, together with the Faculty, to clarify the information in your appeal. You will only be able to talk about what you have already included in your written appeal. Address each of the points raised by the Faculty in their response to your formal appeal. This process can be very, very long. As in months and months.

As with any level of appeal, only appeal if you have the time and emotional energy. These processes will take up your time and effort.

4. 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. The Ombudsman will not change a decision but can make recommendations to the University on actions they should take to resolve the matter. It is fairly rare for the Ombudsman to take any action at all.

For more information about making an academic appeal, talk to an SRC caseworker: help@src.usyd.edu.au.