Reviewing and appealing exams

If you fail an NCA exam, you will get a memo from the examiner explaining why you got a failing grade. You will have a chance to review your exam free of charge, at a date, time and location arranged by the NCA. The NCA will post an exam review schedule that tells you where to go to review your exam and when.

Review

If you fail an NCA exam, we give you a chance to review the exam free of charge so you can decide if you want to have your exam re-evaluated. The reviews generally take place two or three weeks after the exam results are released. Reviews are held only in the centres listed on our exam review schedule and only on the assigned date. We will not set another date for you. The easiest way to review your exam is at the location where you wrote the exam. If you do this, you do not have to tell us in advance that you want to review your exam. Just show up at the correct time and do your review. However, if you wrote the exam in one location and you want to review it in another location, you MUST tell the NCA at least two weeks before the review date. There are no examiners at the review sessions.

If you failed an exam, you will have received a memo from the examiner explaining why. The review session gives you a chance to look the exam over and check it against what the examiner said in the memo. All examiners re-read failed exams twice before giving a failing grade. The only material allowed into the exam review room is the memo that lists the examiner’s reasons for the failing grade. You must leave your personal items outside the room. Please note: If you decide to appeal your exam result, your appeal must reach the NCA no later than two weeks after the review session.

Appeal

You may appeal the result of your exams only if there are convincing reasons to believe that your failing grade was the result of a major error or injustice.

FEE:  $215.00 CDN, plus taxes, for each NCA exam you are appealing. You must pay in advance. Please review the NCA Refund Policy before you begin.
Deadline: If you want the NCA to re-evaluate your exam, your appeal must reach the NCA within two weeks of the review session.

How to appeal

  1. From your account in the NCA portal, select the “My Course Info” tab.
  2. Click on the heading “Exam History”.
  3. Select the green “Appeal” button beside the exam you wish to appeal.

Provide evidence
You must submit a separate letter (in PDF format only) where you set out specific facts and evidence that show the examiner made a major error when they gave you a failing grade. If you have documents that support your argument, you should send them to us with the PDF letter. To ensure anonymity, do not include your name in your letter of appeal. Send us only your NCA file number.

What counts as evidence?
As one example, you could say that the examiner made a major error if the failure memo acknowledges you made a certain correct point in one of your answers, but you did not actually receive credit for it. Not all errors deserve a review, and you need to give specifics about the errors that the examiner made. Therefore, it is not enough just to say:

  1. a significant error has occurred
  2. you believe the examiner has not fully justified the grade
  3. you do not understand or are not satisfied with how the grade was determined

Hardship is not evidence
Do not include in your appeal any issues that are not directly related to the fairness of the evaluation itself. Such issues include:

  • being close to a passing grade and deserving or needing additional marks
  • personal or financial hardship in your life

Only your exam answers count
The NCA re-evaluates your exam based on what you wrote at the time of your exam. Do not appeal by outlining your knowledge, giving more explanations beyond what you wrote on your exam, or telling us about your studies and experience. These explanations will not help you in your appeal. If your exam appeal does not meet the NCA’s requirements, or your grounds for appeal are not related to the fairness of the evaluation, we will not accept it.

Process for re-evaluation
If the NCA accepts your appeal, we send the examiner’s original comments and your exam booklets to another examiner for re-evaluation and further comments. This process can take about two to four weeks. The NCA may also send your appeal to the original examiner for his or her opinion.