Explanation and appeals about a given grade or formal error

You may request an explanation for a grade given, you may also appeal a given grade or appeal about a formal error. Please note that a grades may be changed in the appellant's favour and disfavour, it may also stay the same.

  • You may request an explanation for a grade given. It is recommended to ask for an explanation for the grade before making a decision on whether to appeal the grade. 

    Please note that you must request an explanation in StudentWeb, not via the course coordinator.

    For courses consisting of several parts beeing graded (combined assessment), you can only request explanations for the individual parts. 


    The explanation must be requested within 1 week after your grade was published in Studentweb. You will receive an email when the examination results are available on StudentWeb.

    You should normally receive the explanation within two weeks after your request. The examiner chooses whether the explanation shall be given orally or in writing.

    For oral examinations or assessments of practical skills (where the grade is shared orally right after performance), you must request the explanation directly to the assessor when the grade is shared (not in StudentWeb).

    How to request an explanation

    You can request an explanation in StudentWeb via a link on the results page, or by clicking on the "More" tab and selecting the page Exam appeals.

    Written explanations are published on the same page - either as a text file or a link to WISEflow (depending on the form of the exam).

    In WISEflow you can read the explanations on the flow page:

    Link to StudentWeb
  • It is recommended that you ask for an explanation before you appeal.

    Students may not appeal marks for oral presentations, the evaluation of practical training, etc., or the mark for a preliminary examination the student passed.

    There is an individual right of appeal with group examinations. Any change in grade after the appeal will only apply to the student who appealed.

    For courses consisting of several parts being graded (combined assessment), you can appeal about the individual parts, but not the course as a whole. For courses with a portfolio assessment, you can only appeal about the portfolio as a whole, not the individual works in the portfolio.


    Appeals must be submitted within 3 weeks after the grade has been published. If you have requested an explanation within the deadline, the time limit for the appeal deadline extends from the date you receive the explanation.

    How to appeal a grade 

    You can appeal about the grade in StudentWeb by clicking on the "More" tab and selecting the Exam appeals page. Here you can also withdraw your appeal until a new assessment has been published. The outcome of the appeal will be published on the same page, and you will be notified by e-mail.

    The appeal process

    The grade as a result of an appeal shall be decided without undue delay. If the appeal is not to be processed within a month after the appeal has been received, the faculty must send you a provisional reply where they explain why the appeal cannot be processed earlier and, if possible, indicate when you can expect to have the decision from the appeal.

    Withdraw your appeal

    You can choose to withdraw your appeal until a new assessment has been published. This is done on the page Exam appeals in StudentWeb.

    Outcome of the appeal

    The new grading may be unchanged or may be to the advantage/disadvantage of the student. The mark awarded as a result of the new grading may not be appealed, but you can request an explanation (by contacting the faculty).

    Remember that the examiner can only assess an exam answer based on what is actually stated in the answer. The examiner cannot assess what could have been written in an answer given that the conditions, during the exam, had been different.

    For appeals of a combined grade for written and oral test adjustment , the new examiners shall assess the written work. If new assessment of the written work leads to a change in grade to the advantage/disadvantage of the student and the oral test adjustment was given at the same time as the written work, a new oral test adjustment is held to determine the final grade. This also applies to appeals on thesis.

    Link to StudentWeb
  • If you believe that there errors have been made that have effected your completion of your exam or the assessment of your exam, you can in some cases appeal about formal errors. You appeal via the form Appeal about formal error. Make sure to read the information here before you appeal.

    When you complain about a formal error, a formal appeal process is initiated in accordance with the Universities and Colleges Act and the Public Administration Act. Please read the section: What happens when you appeal about a formal error?

    Familiarize yourself with what characterizes as a formal error. A formal error is not the same as your being dissatisfied with the exam or the grade (see below). If you are dissatisfied with anything relating to the exam or want to give feedback, send an e-mail to eksamen@nmbu.no

    The appeal must be sent within 3 weeks after you became aware of the circumstances that justify the appeal. The faculty processes the appeal in the first instance. If appeal are not upheld, the NMBU Appeals Committee is the final instance.

    What is a formal error?

    A formal error is a situation during the exam, assignment or during the assessment of your exam, which may have had an impact on your performance or the assessment thereof.

    Examples of this could be:

    • disturbances in the examination room
    • errors in the exam paper
    • assignments that are given outside the syllabus
    • if an external censor has not been used where this is a requirement, there will be a formal error in the assessment

    Are you dissatisfied with your exam or want to give feedback?

    If you are dissatisfied with the completion of an exam/assessment or the teaching and wish to give your feedback, you can contact the faculty directly or send an e-mail to the examination office eksamen@nmbu.no

    The difference between an appeal about formal errors and an appeal about a given grade

    Appeals about formal errors should only be made as if they were errors during the completion of the exam, or objective errors in the assessment of your answer.

    If you believe that your answer is judged too strictly or wrong, you can appeal about a given grade. Your answer will then be sent for a new review by two new appeal reviewers. Appeal about grades are made via Studentweb, see the section above: Appeal about a given grade.

    Form - Formal error

    If you want to appeal about a formal error with your exam, you may submit the form below:

    Appeal about a formal error - exam/assessment

    What happens when you appeal about formal errors

    1. Your form appeal about a formal error is received by the Department of Academic Affairs. The appeal is forwarded to the faculty responsible for the course, which makes an assessment of the appeal.
    2. The faculty processes the appeal as a first instance. The faculty can agree with you that a formal error has occurred or they can assess that no formal error has occurred. When the appeal has been processed by the faculty, you will be notified of the outcome, usually via the Department of Academic Affairs.
    3. If the faculty upholds your appeal, they will find a solution to correct the error, either via a new assessment or that you have to take a new exam, see the section below: Outcome of the appeal about formal errors process.
    4. If you do not succeed, i.e. they find that no formal error has occurred, the appeal will be forwarded to the NMBU Appeals Committee.
    5. It is the Appeals Committee itself that decides whether your appeal is of such a nature that they can process it. As a general rule, the Committee may not deal with purely subject-specific cases.
    6. If the Appeals Committee deals with your case, you must expect that you must appear before the committee to give your explanation.
    7. If you wish to withdraw your appeal about a formal error, this must be done before a decision is made.
    8. The Appeals Committee is the final instance. The Committee's decisions can not be appealed.
    9. If the Appeals Committee upholds your appeal, the error will be rectified in the form of a new examination or a new exam, see the section below: Outcome of the appeal about formal errors process.
    10. If the appeal board decides that a formal error has not occurred, i.e. that your appeal is rejected, you can appeal about your grade for the exam in question. The right to appeal about a grade is maintained until any appeal about formal errors has been decided. The deadline for appealing a grade is calculated from the time you became briefly aware of the tribunal's decision

    Outcome of processing the appeal in the Appeals Committee

    Appeal about formal errors are dealt with in accordance with the provisions of Section 5-2, second paragraph, of the Act relating to universities and university colleges.

    If the committee rules in your favour, your exam result will usually be annulled. Furthermore, the law provides two possible outcomes:

    If possible, the error must be rectified by carrying out a new assessment. In most cases, this will be a new blind assessment where the assessment is similar to that of an appeal about a given grade.

    If a new assessment is not suitable to make up for the mistake, the alternative will be for you to take a new exam, which will usually take place in the next exam period.

    If there is reason to believe that the formal error you appeal affects more candidates than yourself, a decision in such a case will apply to everyone affected by the error.

  • Does your course have a single assessment, combined assessment or portfolio assessment? Here we try to explain the differences and what it means for you when you make an appeal about your given grade.

    Single assessment

    A course with single assessment has, as the name suggests, a single assessment that counts for 100% of the grade in the course. Examples of this could be one written exam or one portfolio assessment or one term paper etc.

    If you appeal about a grade in the course, it is the one piece of work that is assessed.

    Combined assessment

    A course with two or more independently weighted assessments has a combined assessment. It could be, for example, a written exam, assignment(s) and portfolio assessment(s), etc.

    Each independently weighted assessment must be assessed separately and given an independent grade. Each part must count with a specific weight, e.g. 40% and 60%. For the course to be passed, all independently weighted assessments must be passed. Merging of grades takes place in the study administrative system called FS.

    In a course that has independently weighted assessments (combined assessment) you can ask for explanation and appeal about the given grade for the individual assessment. You cannot appeal about the overall grade you receive in the course.

    Portfolio assessment

    A portfolio assessment may include two or more works carried out by the student. All work in a portfolio must be finished and handed in by the last day of teaching in the teaching period. The contents of the portfolio are assessed as a whole and one overall grade is awarded. A grade should therefore not be given for each individual piece of work, but during the course feedback must be given on the content that is included in the grade. If you appeal about the given grade the entire portfolio, i.e. all the work, must be reassessed by a new examiner.

    Portfolio assessment can be the course's only form of assessment (counting 100% of the grade). Portfolio assessment can also be included as one of several independently weighted assessments in a course. Then the final grade in the course will be the average of the grade on the portfolio and the other individual weighted assessment(s).

    If you appeal about the given grade on a portfolio assessment, a new examiner must assess the works included in the portfolio. All work in a portfolio must therefore be verifiable so that a new examiner has access to all content in the portfolio. This means that if something oral or practical is to be included in a portfolio, there must be a recording, so that the assessment can be verified.

    Oral test adjustment

    Oral test adjustment can be used in connection with a portfolio assessment. The prerequisite is that the oral test adjustment has a close connection with a previous work included in the portfolio. If you appeal about a given grade and the grade on the portfolio itself, i.e. all content that is verifiable, changes after the appeal, a new oral test adjustment must be held. After the oral test adjustment has been completed, a final grade is determined.