Why can’t students get their marked Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) or marked exam paper back?

Exam paper

Learners often ask to get their marked Exam Paper and/or Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) back.  Firstly, we need to establish that is not the practice for most external Examination Bodies.  Read more here

The Reasons why students normally ask for the exam paper or PoE back

From an ICB perspective, when we have reviewed this request previously, we have found when the issue is raised it is because of one of 3 reasons:

  1. The student did not do well,
  2. The student did not get proper support from their college, or
  3. The students did not use the Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) system correctly.

ICB is one of the few institutions that have a PoE system other than just a final exam (summative).  The goal of this is to facilitate continuous learning. The PoE, with the various assignments, allows a leaner many opportunities prior to the final exam to establish their knowledge.  If this is done together with a college, who reviews these assignments and tests, it can highlight the gaps in knowledge (and if identified early, can be addressed). Should students decide to take the self study route then that is exactly what it means; the learner has to establish their areas of weakness themselves.  Read here to see how to choose the correct college:


And read here to see if you the self-study route is a viable option for you:

Further to this when the final results are issued with the transcript of results, the result layout is detailed to give the learner a good breakdown.  This is substantially more than any other external examination body, which only gives you one mark.

From an academic perspective, we want students to comprehend the learnings with the actual competency to do the job, as opposed to studying the material or PoE or exam paper verbatim.

Challenges of learning verbatim as opposed to full comprehension of subject matter?

It’s not uncommon for exam papers to not be directly based on the textbook.  While textbooks provide a foundational understanding of a subject, exams are often designed to test a learners ability to apply that knowledge in a new and different way.

Exams may include questions that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and the application of concepts learned in the textbook to the real job environment and scenarios.  In some cases, students need to think creatively and come up with new solutions to problems.

It is important for learners to not learn the material in the study handbooks and textbooks by memory but to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts and how they can be applied in different situations.  This will help them perform better in exams that may not be directly based on the textbook.

If exams were not based directly from the textbook or study material, it may mean the lecturer is testing the learners’ understanding of the material rather than just their ability to memorize information from the study material/textbook.  This approach is fabulous and such a helpful tool to encourage critical thinking and help students develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Exams may test a student’s critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity.  They may require students to analyse information, draw conclusions, make connections between concepts, and apply their knowledge to new situations.

However, it can be challenging for learners who rely heavily on memory, or who have difficulty interpreting and applying information in new ways.  In this case, it is important for students to engage in active learning strategies, such as asking questions in class or with their lecturer direct, participating in discussion and practicing problem-solving exercises.

In addition, it is encouraged for students to consult additional resources beyond the textbook, to fully understand the material being covered.  This can be achieved with online articles, academic journals, supplementary readings,  webinars, job shadowing or LinkedIn articles, to name a few.  Ultimately, the goal is for students to gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and be able to apply the their knowledge in practical and meaningful ways. (Keep an eye on our News section on our website for articles of interest and with LinkedIn.)

Lastly, be sure to act with Integrity when it comes to completing your Qualification: