Is a review different to an appeal in this regard?
The Appeals Code does not refer to there having to be exceptional circumstances so are you saying that whilst you can be successful at appeal with strong academic evidence but no extenuating circumstances, at review they can expect there to be exceptional extenuating circumstances (because it's not actually an appeal the Appeals Code does not apply)?
What if a panel at appeal also required that there must be exceptional extenuating circumstances even though the Appeals Code does not require this (as well as exceptional academic evidence) for an appeal to be successful ?
It's not a requirement - it's entirely discretionary. If you're appealing for, say, two different grammar schools, you'd probably get two different appeal panels, and each could in theory take a completely different view with regard to extenuating circumstances. (You potentially increase your chances by having 2 or more appeals!)
However, I would have thought the lower
the score, the more likely it is that an appeal panel would like to see an explanation for the underperformance.