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Item Appeal Frequently Asked Questions

Promotional Exam Item Reviews

Q: What is a multiple choice item review?
A: A multiple choice item review is the analysis of an exam question to determine whether the question contains a flaw or inaccurate information that prevented candidates from answering it correctly.

Q: Why is it called an exam item or a multiple choice item review?
A: The terms “Exam Item” and “Request for Item Review” mirror the language in M.G.L. c. 31 which outlines the review process. These terms are more commonly referred to as question (for “exam item”) and appeal (for “request for item review”).

Q: Will the response to my appeal include the question number(s) that are appealed?
A: No, your appeal response will not include numbers for the questions that appealed.

Q: Will the response to my appeal include the correct responses to the question?
A: No, your appeal notice will not include any exam question answers.

Q: If an appeal is successful, does it only count for the candidate who submitted it?
A: If a question is appealed and more than one answer is deemed correct, the change will apply to all candidates (not just the candidate who appealed).

Q: What if the original answer was correct, but is changed because of an appeal?
A: The review process is designed for candidates to raise concerns with the accuracy of a question or inconsistency within the reading material. A candidate cannot lose points due to an appeal. A score will either remain the same or increase (depending on the candidate’s original response).
For example:
- Candidate 1 chooses Response A, which is correct.
- Candidate 2 chooses Response B, which is incorrect. Candidate 2 appeals.
- Following the analysis, Response B is determined to be also correct. All candidates who chose Response B are given credit for the question.
- Candidates do not lose credit if they choose Response A.

Q: If a large number of candidates appeal the same question, does that improve the success rate for the appeal?
A: A large number of appeals for a particular question will not equal a higher success rate for the appeal. The appeal analysis is based on how the question is linked to the text.

Q: Will a score always change as the result of a successful appeal?
A: Not necessarily – it depends on the candidate’s original answer.
For example
- Candidate1 chooses Response A, which is incorrect, and appeals.
- Candidate 2 chooses Response B, which is incorrect, and appeals.
- Candidate 3 chooses Response C, which is correct.
- Following the analysis, candidates are given credit for Responses B and C.
- Even though Candidate 1 appealed, their original answer (A) is still incorrect, and they would not receive credit for their answer.