What's the English verb for not agreeing with the decision and challenging it by, perhaps, submitting the complaint to some higher institution?

For example:

Well, I officially failed the test, but I can't say that I am absolutely convinced that I have failed it. In fact, I'm quite surprised because it was really easy, especially the essay. One thing I find kind of funny, strange and very disappointing is that they don't give out the written essays with their corrections. Had they done that, I would have at least been able to see exactly where I had failed. But since they don't, it leaves some room for speculations that they have their own hidden quotas that they follow arbitrarily. This is a shady area. In the place where I studied before things were more transparent. The essays were given out along with the announcement of the results, so you can see for yourself how good or how pathetic you were on that test. And, in fact, you even had the right to ________________ the results within one week after the results announcement in case you disagreed.

  • You have some good answers below, so I'll just quickly add another option: "protest". Jan 28, 2022 at 7:26

2 Answers 2


Perhaps appeal, contest, or dispute.

Appeal is commonly used in the context of challenging court decisions by taking them to a higher court, but it could be used in an academic setting as well.

Contest essentially means challenge, but doesn't have a specific institutional sense associated with it.

Dispute also means challenge, and is often used in the context of transactions--if a charge on your credit card looked suspicious you would dispute it with the bank. It could also be applied here.

  • Can 'appeal' be a transitive verb? Will it fit my example, that is, can I say 'You had the right to appeal the results' or will it sound awkward?
    – brilliant
    Jan 28, 2022 at 3:07
  • 2
    @brilliant Yes, you can say that and it will sounds perfectly normal. You can appeal a decision or a result or a grade. Here's a link from a college about appealing grades: laccd.edu/Departments/PersonnelCommission/jobapp-center/Pages/…
    – Katy
    Jan 28, 2022 at 3:21
  • I see. Thank you!
    – brilliant
    Jan 28, 2022 at 9:35


a request made to a court of law or to someone in authority to change a previous decision:

  • Is 'appeal' a transitive verb? Will it really fit my example, that is, can I really say 'You had the right to appeal the results'?
    – brilliant
    Jan 28, 2022 at 3:06
  • Yes, it is transitive.
    – Mary
    Jan 28, 2022 at 4:47
  • I see. Thank you!
    – brilliant
    Jan 28, 2022 at 9:35

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