Subsequent improvements in grades are not impossible. Through my work as a subject advisor and coordinator of several examination boards, I know a few ways that can lead you to better grades. Not all of these are suitable for every situation – some only work in exceptional cases. Still, you should know them.

These are your options:

1. Negotiate with the Examiner!

Many students accept their exam results without batting an eyelid. They get angry but swallow their dissatisfaction without making any attempt to get a better grade. Don’t get me wrong: Your grade is not a non-binding suggestion from your examiner that you can discuss and haggle over in a relaxed atmosphere. When your grade is set, then it is set – most of the time anyway. So, that’s why many students use a paper writing service to guarantee themselves a top-notch grade.

As a rule, however, you have the opportunity to assess the evaluation of your examination performance and then submit a statement. But first things first: After each exam, you have the right to inspect the exam documents (the so-called exam inspection). Afterward or during the assessment, you can ask questions orally or in writing and present your point of view. At some universities, students are even allowed to speak and “negotiate” directly with the examiner in certain modules.

Why the quotation marks? Because you really shouldn’t be negotiating. An examination review is not a bazaar. It is a procedure relevant to examination law and you should therefore proceed factually and analytically. Watch out for correction errors or appeal to the leeway your examiner has in some grading situations. This strategy is more promising than hypocritically used car salesman tricks.

2. Object to the Grading!

If your communication skills do not pay off and your negotiating skills are in vain, you can file an official objection to the assessment of your exam in the next step. However, you must provide valid reasons and be able to objectively prove why your test result should be re-evaluated. It is not enough if you explain that the grade was unfair and that you actually had a stomachache during the exam.

You usually formulate your objection in writing in the form of an application to your examination board. Your examination board is an official control body of your university – each course typically has its own committee that has to ensure that examinations are carried out in accordance with the law. In your application, you should clearly state what you want (a new evaluation or a new exam attempt?) and justify this request in a way that the examination board will agree with you.

You should first read your examination regulations carefully so that you know the legal requirements and requirements for the examination procedures in your degree program. Based on this, you formulate your application, describe the situation, and explain objectively and precisely why your application should be granted. In this article, I will explain to you what is important in a strong justification.

3. Dispute the Exam Result!

If your application is not approved and your appeal is rejected, you can take legal action against the review says UCAS. That means you are using your university. Normally, the rejection notice from your examination board is accompanied by so-called instructions on legal remedies. This is a short legal text that explains what you can do now and what deadlines you have to consider.

You usually address your complaint to the competent administrative court. However, it is advisable not to do this completely on your own, but with the help of a lawyer. While legal counsel isn’t free (unless you have lawyers in your family or circle of friends), it can be a worthwhile investment. Firstly, legal procedures are complicated and opaque for laypeople, secondly, the process takes a lot of time if you are untrained, and thirdly, your chances of success increase if you get professional help.

If your lawsuit is successful, the exam performance will either be re-evaluated, or the exam will be repeated. You should be aware that legal proceedings can last a few months – sometimes even a few years. It may not be worth filing a lawsuit in this time frame for you.

4. Complete an Improvement Attempt!

The attempt at improvement, which has become rare, is significantly less complex and time-consuming. In some degree programs, it is possible to repeat examinations that have already been taken in order to achieve a subsequent improvement in grades. You can read more detailed information about which rules you have to observe when trying to improve or whether this option is even an option for you in your examination regulations.

If you can’t find any information about this, it doesn’t hurt to explicitly ask your examination board or your student advisory service about this option. You might get a tip from your student council or another institution at your university. Before you overlook a regulation and thus give away valuable potential, it’s better to ask. Better safe than sorry. Then, you can employ if there’s an option to rectify your grade by doing home tasks.

5. Substitute the Module!

Similar to the attempt at improvement, only a little more radical, is the possibility of substitution, which is practiced in some courses. It works like this: The number of modules and the associated examinations are fixed for each course. In some universities, however, there is no upper limit to this number. That means you can take more modules and take more exams than you actually need to complete your studies.

And this constellation can benefit you – namely exactly when you can exchange an already passed exam (with a bad grade) for another, “new” exam. But be careful: Not all examination boards allow this. Either the chronological order of your exams decides or there is a binding choice in advance. Sometimes, however, you can substitute bad grades in this way and get the most out of the best writing services.

Especially if you can choose subjects from elective catalogs or choose between different specializations, this option of improving grades could be interesting for you. Be sure to coordinate this with your degree program administration in advance or, if in doubt, submit an application to your examination board.


In summary, I have good news and bad news for you. The good stuff first: You don’t just have to accept bad grades. You can defend yourself and improve your exam results afterward. You have five options:

  • Negotiate with the examiner!
  • Object to the grading!
  • Challenge the exam result!
  • Complete an upgrade attempt!
  • Substitute the module!

The less good news is that depending on the university and degree program, the options are very different. And even if the basic conditions look similar, the procedures can differ significantly from each other. There is no nationwide solution.

You should therefore plan your measures well and, in particular, coordinate the legal steps in the form of a lawsuit with a lawyer. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will get lost and end up wasting a lot of time, money, and nerves unnecessarily.