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    • raddy59
    • By raddy59 13th Jun 17, 10:38 AM
    • 241Posts
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    raddy59
    Music Exam marking fiasco
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:38 AM
    Music Exam marking fiasco 13th Jun 17 at 10:38 AM
    I have been taking a music diploma course externally with the aim of eventually teaching music.

    I took a practical diploma exam which I failed (just)

    I contacted the exam department with my point that parts of the syllabus hadn't been marked in the exam. This is obvious from the Examiners Report.

    They replied after a month (s/be 10 days) and didn't answer my initial query but instead raised a new point about the performance which is just plain wrong - and can be shown to be wrong as what they are saying bears no relationship to the program I performed

    I took the complaint higher to the head of exams, but after 2 weeks I have received no reply.

    I have resent my letter to the head of exams. In the meantime I have applied for a v. expensive resit - but I need to get to the bottom of this as
    1. I am resitting an exam (which I probably passed) with an at best incomplete report of why I failed so there may be things they found wrong haven't been reported , and
    2. I have since discovered other students who have had similar problems with this organisation.
    3. It has cost me a lot of money I don't really have

    I think they are making no serious attempt to sort this out and are "playing for time"
    How can I get them to address this - its dragging on and on
    So advice - what can i do next - if anything, or do I just have to pay up, put up and shut up?
    Last edited by raddy59; 13-06-2017 at 10:44 AM.
Page 2
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 14th Jun 17, 10:39 AM
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    jobbingmusician
    So - my friend who works for a music college (not LCM) has commented as follows. (They have stressed that they don't work on diplomas so that they should be regarded as a layperson, though.) I have inserted paragraph breaks as a normal size paragraph is difficult to read on this site, for some reason!

    "Asking for the official complaints procedure is good advice and should help ensure a more robust response from the institution if the OP is certain there is an oversight in the marking.

    However if the technical deficiencies of the performance completely distracted from it and meant an automatic fail, the examiner may not be required to go into much detail about other aspects. It could be described as lazy examining but it may not be grounds for a refund.

    In the industry it is standard practice not to facilitate or allow recording of assessments but to rely on the examiner's judgement.

    It may be worth comparing assessment feedback with friends or teachers to see if other people taking the same exam have had a similar or different experience. Or find out which mid/senior manager has responsibility for these exams to direct the complaint to them. Going to the very top might not get the most productive response.

    If making a formal complaint, it would be important to describe the specific concern in relation to the assessment criteria very clearly. And also to list a very clear timeline detailing all further correspondence. On this board the information provided by the OP is a bit vague and unclear in so it may be worth having someone proof read it to check it makes sense.

    An official complaint should at least produce an explanation for what happened and might improve the institution's processes in future. If it's upheld it might result in a refund.

    I think it would be wise to accept the judgement when it is finalised, even if it seems unfair, as getting a reputation as someone who complains in the industry might end up being counterproductive. But do complain if a genuine mistake has been made."
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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    • raddy59
    • By raddy59 14th Jun 17, 10:48 AM
    • 241 Posts
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    raddy59
    Many thanks to you and your friend.
    I think I am in the official complaints process at the moment. I was trying to find out just how bad I was technically to just miss a pass as performance is my strong point.
    They could have answered like your friend has suggested,but they didn't but raised the 12 bar blues canard.
    The problem is with this incomplete report and feedback and the resit fast approaching I don't really know what to address. Is the program varied enough? Was the communication lacking? Was my technical performance so dreadful to overshadow a good performance. Who knows? I don't.

    I think I may swing it past the Director as a final shot to at least get some guidance for my £400 exam fee


    Thanks again
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 16th Jun 17, 12:23 PM
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    Manxman in exile
    At least two good bits of advice in the comments from jobbingmusician's friend.


    First, read the complaints procedure because it always helps if you follow the correct process exactly. (OP - you seem to be unsure whether it is being treated as a complaint or not? I would have thought you need to know this).


    Second, I think you need to be absolutely clear that you have not been marked correctly/fairly and that you do have a legitimate cause for complaint. You don't want to appear to unreasonably stubborn about this. (But from what I've read here it does seem as if something has gone wrong here).


    Also, have you thought about posting on the Students' board on this forum? There are sometimes threads on there about university complaints and someone may be able to comment about that aspect.
    • raddy59
    • By raddy59 17th Jun 17, 12:57 PM
    • 241 Posts
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    raddy59
    All they had to say at the outset when I first asked was that I just didn't, in the examiners opinion, hit the mark. Where then could I have gone. They didn't. They didn't reply until I took it higher.

    They didn't answer my query but raised a stylistic point which they said affected the whole perdormance, not on the report, that was ridiculous as anyone who knew anything about music would know (bearing in mind the examiners for a Jazz Licentiate where 2 choristers - nothing wrong in that if they at least have some knowledge of what they are examining ?)

    So I now query this and get no reply - contacted the Director last Wed. with a promise of an "urgent response". Still nothing

    I would love to put this to bed, but seriously what would you do. I paid £400 for this exam, now borrowed another £400 for a resit next week and I still don't know what went wrong with attempt number 1!

    So seriously, what would you do? I might just take your advice .
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 17th Jun 17, 6:22 PM
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    Manxman in exile
    I would follow the complaints procedure. You really need to know where you stand with this and whether you have a legitimate complaint about the examination.


    What would I do? Well, I have no musical talent whatsoever, That means I would never ever go for a qualification that was based on a one-off performance.


    And the problem with your performance is that it was not recorded in any way and it depends solely on the subjective judgment of examiners there on the day. The point of me recalling my niece's experience was that a permanent record of her exam performance existed and it could be reviewed after the fact.


    Please understand I'm not criticising you. Rather I'm criticising the way certain non-quantifiable subjects are assessed. (How do you objectively assess a subjective subject?).


    Having said that, ensure you are following the university's complaints procedure and follow it through. Assuming again you are sure you have been unfairly done by.
    • t0rt0ise
    • By t0rt0ise 18th Jun 17, 9:06 AM
    • 2,875 Posts
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    t0rt0ise
    If it were me I'd pay for a one off lesson with someone trusted in the field, play the pieces and take their advice on what changes to make.
    • raddy59
    • By raddy59 18th Jun 17, 5:50 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    raddy59
    Manxman
    Which is why I stayed on objective points
    1. Performance comments were absent
    2. You cant play 12 bar blues wherever/whenever you feel like it

    But you make some good points.
    For myself, there were some issues that needed looking at (not enough to fail IMO) but I have taken them on board as springboards to improving.

    many thanks for taking the time and trouble to offer your advice
    • raddy59
    • By raddy59 18th Jun 17, 5:54 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    raddy59
    tortoise
    that's why I have a tutor - and he thinks the exam board are wrong in this case, tho' being longer in the tooth than I he says you never win. I am a little more optimistic - though that optimism is fading. I think integrity is a trait sadly lacking these days - even going so far as ignoring legitimate enquiries which quite frankly, as one who has had to deal with similar situations, I find appalling.
    • raddy59
    • By raddy59 22nd Jun 17, 1:35 PM
    • 241 Posts
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    raddy59
    Got a free resit
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 22nd Jun 17, 5:19 PM
    • 18,510 Posts
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    jobbingmusician
    Excellent! Well done for persevering! (And I'm off to tell my friend.)
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    The good folk of the matched betting board are now (I hope!) supporting Macmillan, in memory of Fifigrace. Visit
    https://www.gofundme.com/running-the-leeds-10k-for-macmillan
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 22nd Jun 17, 6:21 PM
    • 522 Posts
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    Manxman in exile
    Well done!
    • debtisnotme
    • By debtisnotme 22nd Jun 17, 8:41 PM
    • 53 Posts
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    debtisnotme
    Brilliant news, perseverance does pay!
    Debt on 25/5/17
    Mortgage £61,999 £59,887
    Secured loan approximately £20,000 £19,353
    Unsecured debt in DMP with Stepchange £38,887 £37,763
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