Q&A: Viewing my Leaving Cert exam scripts

Two guidance counsellors give their advice on how to approach the review process

Marked Leaving Cert exam scripts will be available to view on September 1st and 2nd. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Marked Leaving Cert exam scripts will be available to view on September 1st and 2nd. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Expert guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett were working on irishtimes.com on Thursday answering people’s queries about Leaving Cert results and the CAO.

Here is a selection of the questions and answers on viewing exam scripts and the appeals process. Marked exam scripts will be available to view in schools on September 1st and September 2nd.

Do we have to apply to have our scripts available on September 1st and 2nd or will they just be at our exam centre?

Yes, you do have to apply. There should be a document in your results envelope that enables you to request to view a subject or subjects. You have until Tuesday, August 22nd, to apply, at no cost.

If you are unable to view your paper due to your absence from the country on September 1st and 2nd, is it possible to have your teacher view your paper on your behalf?

The rule is that the candidate must be there to view their script, although you may be accompanied by a parent or teacher or someone else that you nominate. You can go straight ahead to the appeals process without viewing your script. There is a fee of €40 for each subject appealed. You will be refunded if you’re granted an upgrade. The results of appeals are published in mid-October.

When viewing scripts can you bring in different people for different subjects or does it have to be just one person?

My understanding is that, yes, you can bring in different people for different subjects (and it makes perfect sense to do so). However, you can only bring in one other person at any given time. To be certain, give your school a ring and speak to the organising superintendent.

My son is very disappointed with his results, as he got 378 in the Leaving Cert but over 430 in the Mocks. He is considering viewing his scripts just to get some answers and closure. Are you allowed to view all of the scripts?

There is no limit on the number of scripts you can view or appeal.

Any advice on what to focus on when reviewing scripts?

First of all, I would suggest that, where possible, a teacher of the subject being viewed accompanies you to the centre, as they would be very much up to speed with the content of the subject and the exam structure and marking scheme.

I would start with a macro look at the paper and then, where necessary, bury deeper down into certain sections of the paper.

Go down through each section of the paper and make sure each section was corrected and make sure the marks allocated for each section have been added up correctly.

Then go back to each section and check your answers against the marking scheme, which will be available at the centre.

If you feel you should have got more marks according to the marking scheme, then you should consider having the paper rechecked.

My school does not have the appeal application forms yet. Is there another way to obtain the form, eg downloading it online or having it sent to me by post?

Yes, you can go to www.examinations.ie and follow the instructions provided on the appeal service, which will be available in the next few days.

When you have paid your appeal fee online, print off the form showing the subjects which you have opted to appeal. This form must be returned to the school, which will send it on to the State Examinations Commission (SEC).

Are candidates allowed to take photos of exam scripts during script viewing? Is there any way to pay the appeal fee other than by using a credit card or a bank giro?

Mobile phones are not permitted in the viewing centre. According to the SEC, the only methods of payment for the appeal are the bank giro and the online use of a credit card.

When scanning your papers on September 1st and 2nd, if you see an error in calculations which would reduce your result, does it apply?

On September 1st or 2nd you are not appealing or rechecking your scripts. It is merely an opportunity for you to view your scripts personally and decide if you would like to move forward to the next level, which is a recheck of your papers.

Based on what you see when you view your scripts, if you feel you will not benefit from a recheck then obviously you will not take any further action.

If I appeal my exam, is it possible for my result to be downgraded?

Yes, it is a possibility. However, more candidates are upgraded as opposed to being downgraded. Six out of 9,000 appeals were downgraded last year.

If the grade on a paper goes down during a recheck, what happens?

If you are in college, it’s up to the institution themselves as to whether to keep you on the course or ask you to leave. The latter seems highly unlikely. Although downgrading can occur it’s not that frequent.