discrepency in marking


Just got my marks back for my masters, and for my dissertation, there is a huge discrepancy in the mark from my two examiners: 72 (from the internal) and 63 (from my external marker). This brings my mark to a 67.5, which means its not a distinction. Can I appeal this, do you think? Is it normal for marks to vary that much? This is humanities subject.

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In my subject it is odd to even see both the marks - you would just get one final one. But yes, if it were me I would go and speak to the internal marker and ask them to justify the overall mark - if they thought you deserved a distinction it could be worth it. However, it could be a new member of staff with not much experience and they may have 'over marked'.


The first thing I'd say is - this is not about 'Maria1 versus the University', it's about 'the University versus the external examiner'. Your Uni is on your side - they think you deserve a distinction, and obviously it looks good for them if you get one too! So you certainly shouldn't hesitate in asking whether there's anything that can be done about this.

I would have thought that with a discrepancy that large - and especially since it makes the difference between getting a distinction and not - the Uni would be entitled to ask for some sort of second opinion from another examiner. But I suppose that's just a hunch - you'll have to ask.

If there's nothing that can be done, remember, that doesn't mean you look just the same as every other not-quite-distinction candidate out there as far as PhD admissions tutors are concerned - it won't be the person who marked your work at 63 who's writing your references, it'll be people who know you as a distinction-level student.


Thanks a lot guys, I'll ask for some detailed feedback and take it from there.


I never did get to see the individual marks, just the final one, but we had 2 internals, then the external as well. That is a huge discrepancy (although I have heard of significantly worse including one that was a distinction according to our internals but a complete fail according to the external!) and as the others have said, certainly worth taking further. Your tutors obviously feel that you performed to distinction level, it is the external who is the problem here. It may be possible to ask for a re-mark - I'm obviously not sure what the protocol is for your uni, but ask, there is nothing to lose by asking. Whatever happens you have an extremely good mark there which will stand you in very good stead for whatever you want to do from here on in - but it would be worth your while, as you've worked so hard, to ask about an appeal


Well, during my second master I was always getting low marks from my tutor and much higher marks from the external(s) examiner(s). The same happenned with my dissertation, my tutor gave me 56, the second marker gave me 70 and the third 71!!!!
My biggest mistake was that I didn't complain. My tutor was a bully and one of the worst kinds. He had a huge problem with the fact that I am a non-british woman!!!! He was alway telling me that I am no master-material, that foreigners should not do post-graduate studies etc....
Do whatever you can!!!!!! I think that it is not fair to have such a discrepancy