Just back from the RHS Exam: FAQ

This week I sat the RHS level 2 exam in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development. I did okay in the mock exams and had been revising so I expected to manage the finals without too many problems, but of course, the exams on the day are always a different matter!

Since I’ve got back, I’ve put together a few questions and answers for those of us sitting the exams for the first time.

Why are there so many exams?

The RHS exams got more complicated a few years ago. The examiners decided that instead of having random, representative questions, they would ask students to answer a question about every element of the curriculum. That meant the RHS had to create more exams for two reasons: (i) so that the exams could be much longer – currently 2 days long for the theory certificate! (ii) so that students would not have to keep resitting the whole thing if they had a particular weak point in one area. Students are expected to fail more exams this way, but at least they won’t have to resit the whole course!

What is the pass mark?

The pass mark is 50%. That seems generous, but actually if you look at the examiner comments for a few of the past papers you will see it is very difficult to get full marks on any question, and very easy to slip down to getting just over half the marks on each page. That means that if you make mistakes on a couple of pages, it’s still easy to fail!

When are the results coming out?

In the past, the RHS results day has been about ten working weeks after the exams. If that stays the same, the results day this year will be around the 19th April 2018. A couple of weeks after that, the exam questions will be made available on the RHS website with some examiner comments.

Where do I access my results?

Most candidates will be able to access their results on the RHS portal (https://candidate.rhs.org.uk).

Can I ask for a re-mark?

Yes, but the deadline for applying to resit the exams might pass before you get the re-mark done, so it might be easier just to resit.

Can I resit the exams in June?

Yes, you will need to register to resit by the 4th May.

What was with that one question..?

Well, this is just a theory, but I think the hardest questions are intended to separate out the most diligent students. Those clever-clog students have to be given some excuses to show off that they not only know what kind of plant a Pelargonium is, but they are an expert in propagating it as well!

Did you sit the exams? If so, what did you think of them! We’d love to hear from you. Come and join the discussion on Facebook.

The Academy for Distance Learning offers online courses covering the RHS Level 2 and Level 3 certificates. All learning is done in your own time and at your own pace, and every assignment is marked by a professional in the field.




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