Grade Reviews Unpacked: Your Handy Guide to Navigating the Paperwork Maze

Academic Advocacy is a professional service of QUT Guild committed to supporting and representing the interests and needs of students in academic matters, navigating university policies and advocating for better quality of education. This year the Advocacy Team are collaborating with Glass on a Kindness Campaign to promote the values of empathy, compassion, and kindness among members of the community. The campaign will consist of a series of articles that will encourage people to engage in acts of kindness towards each other and themselves. Supporting you with kindness and guiding you with knowledge.

This article was written by Advocate, Anna Rose Wilson.

The dreaded release of final grades is slowly creeping closer, with the date set for 7th July for those who have completed their final assessment items.

If you find that you are unhappy with your final grade, and you wish to have it reviewed, then you will need to begin the Review of Grade process (Chapter E, 9.1.4 MOPP – for those of you who may wish to read QUT’s policy in full).

This is a misleadingly tedious process that involves much more than simply submitting an online form.

You have 10 business days, or 2 weeks, from the release of your final grade to initiate the Grade Review process. Prior to beginning this, you should ensure that you have accessed and thoroughly read over your feedback and CRA or grading criteria. If you are unsure how to access this with the new Canvas system, then feel free to contact us for assistance.

After this initial individual review, the first step involves seeking informal clarification as to your grading with your Unit Coordinator and if you are still unsatisfied with your final grade, then you will be eligible to apply for a School-level Review of Grade. However, your Unit Coordinator may be on leave or not available during the holidays, so if you do not hear back then you can skip to submitting the School-Level Review of Grade.

It is important to note before you begin this process that the first formal review is free if you received a final failing grade, however, it will cost you $20 if you are reviewing a passing grade. This money will be refunded if your outcome results in a higher grade. It is also vital to remember that submitting this form can result in a positive or negative change in your grades.

This form can be found online on your HiQ QUT home page. Simply select ‘Student forms’ from the Launchpad options, and search for ‘Review of Grade’ to access the form. You can also access the form directly here.

Your application will also need to include a personal statement that will make a case as to why the assessment items you are disputing met the requirements for a higher grade according to the criteria sheet. A strong application will link the assessment back to the criteria and will make good arguments as to why a higher grade should have been awarded.

This can be a difficult task, so please feel free to send us a draft of your personal statement to review and provide you with feedback. Please note however, that we are not academics and do not have the required knowledge to inform you of the likely outcome of your application; but we can ensure that your arguments are clear, your application is professional, and that your arguments are relevant and valid.

A weak application will provide no, or limited, justification as to why a higher grade was deserved. It is also never helpful to include any of the following reasons as QUT will most likely refuse your application.

  • “One of my assignments wasn’t marked on time.”
  • “I was so close to receiving a higher mark”
  • “I only received this mark because I was overloaded this semester.”
  • “I didn’t do as well as I would have liked because of special circumstances (e.g. health issues, personal issues, etc…) that impacted my assessment.”
  • “I had a lot of issues with the learning outcomes or the method of assessment.”

Although relevant to you, those last two examples are not relevant for Grade Reviews. If your performance during the semester was impacted by extenuating circumstances, you may be able to apply for Special Consideration for your final grade. However, your supporting documentation will need to explain that these circumstances impacted you throughout the entirety of the semester. Special Consideration applications need to be submitted within 3 business days of receiving your final grade. We recommend reaching out to us at the Guild Advocacy Team for support with such an application.

Additionally, if you have issues with the assessments, unit outline, or teaching staff, then you have the option of discussing with us the options of lodging an anonymous complaint to the Faculty to investigate your concerns. This is another process that we are more than happy to assist you with, as any general unit concerns lodged by the Guild Advocacy Team can ensure your anonymity.

If you’re in your final 96 credit points of your course, you may be eligible for a supplementary assessment. This can be in the form of either an assignment or an exam, and provides you with an opportunity to show your knowledge of the unit content. If you are successful and receive over 50% for this supplementary assessment then your grade will increase from a 3 to a 4. Please note that this option is only available for units that are not designated and that you may lose your right to a supplementary assessment if you lodge a review of your grade. Speak to us if you are unsure of your eligibility.

Finally, if you were unsatisfied with the outcome of your Grade Review, then you have a final option to appeal it by submitting a Faculty-Level Review of Grade. This application will be due within 5 business days of you receiving the outcome of your School-Level Review of Grade. The form is located in the same place as your School-Level form (as above, or access here) and will be free if you received a failing grade, or will cost $30 if you passed the unit.

You will need to include your original justifications from your personal statement and additional reasons as to why you disagree with the outcome of the School-Level Review. Your application will be sent to the Faculty Review Committee which will investigate whether policy and procedures were properly followed through your Review of Grade process. It is important to remember that the Committee’s task is not to have another independent re-mark of your assessment but determine whether your original application was given due consideration.

Remember that you have the right to review your grade if you disagree with it, but your application must follow the set-out guidelines from QUT. We have seen hundreds of applications and are more than happy to assist students in understanding the requirements and process of a Grade Review. We can provide you with individual advice regarding your options if you do find yourself unhappy when 7th July 2023 arrives.

About the author, Anna Rose Wilson, Advocate at QUT Student Guild Advocacy:

I’m Anna Rose Wilson, a QUT Guild Academic Advocate with almost five years of experience. I’m working towards completing my Honours in Law and Psychology at QUT, and I’m passionate about supporting students facing personal challenges that impact their studies. I aim to ensure students are aware of available support services, using a trauma-informed approach. In the future, I hope to work in Family Law or Employment Law. Feel free to say hello if you see me on campus or at the Bot Bar!


Academic Advocacy is a professional service of QUT Guild committed to supporting and representing the interests and needs of students in academic matters, navigating university policies and advocating for better quality of education.

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