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Graduate studies reread policy

This policy applies only in the case of marks given for written work in 600 and 700 level courses. For 500 level courses and below, the reread policy of the appropriate undergraduate faculty applies. This policy covers exams and other written work (essays/papers, assignments and lab reports). This policy does not apply to Ph.D. comprehensive examinations. See the Ph.D. Comprehensives Policy for more information.

I. Consultation

In accordance with the Charter of Student Rights, and subject to the conditions stated therein, graduate students have the right, subject to reasonable administrative arrangements, "to consult any written submission for which they have received a mark and to discuss this submission with the examiner." Upon request by the student, the instructor of the course is obliged to conduct this consultation with the student.

Note: Where materials have been graded by a TA and the student wants a reconsideration of the grade, the Faculty member responsible for the course is expected to review the materials and the appropriateness of the grade. This is so even if the materials in question have already been discussed by the TA with the student.

II. Verification

In a case where a student feels that totaling errors have been made in arriving at the final grade, the student can request the instructor to carry out a detailed check that all questions have been marked and that the final grade has correctly been computed on the basis of the term work, final examination, etc.

III. Rereads

According to the Charter, students have the right, subject to reasonable administrative arrangements, "to an impartial and competent review of any mark" (hereafter "reread"). 

At the time the request for a reread is made, the student should have already met with the faculty member responsible for the course to review the mark, or made a reasonable attempt to do so.

Rereads can only be requested if a change upwards in the letter grade for the course is possible as a result of the reread. An essay/paper, assignment or lab report must account for more than 20% of the course grade to be eligible for a reread.

The reread by a second reader is a review of the mark, not the work assigned. It is the second reader's task to determine whether the original mark is fair and reasonable, not to give the work a totally new assessment.

  1. The time limit for requesting a reread is within 30 days after posting of the final marks for the course. However, in the case of work which has been graded during the course and returned to the student, students must indicate their intention to request a reread by writing to maggie [dot] docouto [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) within 5 working days of receiving the graded work. This intention must be confirmed within 30 days of the posting of the final marks for the course.

    [Note: Material that has been returned to a student cannot be reread unless arrangements have been made to ensure that the material has not been changed subsequent to the original grading; for example, the student can make a copy for the professor to retain either before handing the material in or immediately upon receiving it back from the instructor or at a point where the professor and student review the work together. Instructors are strongly advised to write their corrections in red pen and to write comments which help the student understand the mark assigned.]

  2. The request for a formal reread must be made by the student in writing to maggie [dot] docouto [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) and should specify the reasons for the request. It should include a statement indicating that the student has already met with the Faculty member responsible for the course to review the mark or indicating why this has not been possible. The reread fee (please refer to the Student Accounts website under Additional Service Charges) will be charged directly to the student's fee account after the result of the reread is received. This will be reimbursed if there is a change upwards in the letter grade for the course.

  3. a. Administration of the reread is handled by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, not by the department. Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will contact the department to obtain the course syllabus, the work to be reread, a list of potential readers, and details of the marking. The list of potential readers must be approved by the Department Chair or Graduate Program Director. The Chair or Graduate Program Director must, as well, vouch for the impartiality of these readers. All communication with the second reader is conducted by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

    b. The second reader is given the course syllabus, the original assignment, with marginalia, corrections, summary comments and mark intact, as well as any notes from the instructor pertinent to the general nature of the course or the assignment and grading schemes, etc.

  4. The student's and the instructor's names are blanked out to reduce the possibility of prejudice and to help meet the requirements of the Charter of Students' Rights that the review be impartial. The rereader's name will not be made known to the student or the instructor at any time; the student's name will not be made known to the rereader at any time.

  5. a. The second reader should support his or her assessment with a brief memorandum to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. As a result of the reread process, the grade may become higher or lower or remain unchanged. The grade submitted by the second reader shall replace the original grade. The reread grade cannot be challenged.

    b. In the case of requests for rereads of group work, all members of the group must sign the request, indicating they agree to the reread. In the event that the members of the group are not in agreement, the written request should indicate which students are requesting the reread and which students do not wish for a reread. In such cases the outcome of the reread (whether positive or negative) will affect only the students who had previously agreed to the reread. Neither the reread grade nor the decision to opt in or out of the reread can be challenged.

  6. The new grade resulting from the review will be communicated to the student in a letter from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, with a copy to the academic unit.

Prepared by the Committee on Graduate Programs, Supervision and Teaching
Approved by Council of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, May 12, 1995
Revised May 1997; Revised January 2011; Revised July 2014