I include this section not because I think anything will go wrong–on the contrary, if you use the ideas in this book, your exams are likely to go smoothly–but because it's often useful to know that if the worst came to the worst and you did fail in some way, you could still have a second chance.
Finals papers are usually marked by two examiners. In cases where there is a discrepancy between results, a third marker will normally be called upon to adjudicate. Therefore, it's extremely unlikely that your exam result will not reflect your performance. If, however, you do have reason to doubt the fairness of the marking, your first port of call is your senior tutor, who may make an official complaint to the exam board.
You would normally resit automatically if you failed your first year modular or preliminary papers. At finals level, you can't resit a First, Second or Third class honours degree. However, if you receive an unclassified degree, an aegrotat (see Appendix 5) or a fail, you should, in principle, be eligible to repeat the year.
Among the student population who sat finals at Oxford University in 1999, only 0.4 per cent failed to get an honours degree–I hope this puts exam failure into perspective. In the extremely unlikely event that this happened to you, you could still resit if you wished, and, technically, complete your studies with a First. (Check with your college.)