Leaving Cert results: Fixing errors and making queries on grades
Viewing all scripts allows students to find the subject with the best chance of an upgrade
If you are unhappy with a particular grade in any subject in the Leaving Cert, or if there is an identifiable error in the results you got, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) will give you whatever supports you need to rectify the problem. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images
With the Leaving Cert results just in, it is inevitable that some students will find reality has fallen short of expectations. However, students who believe they should have been given a higher grade in a paper can view their answer booklet – known as a script – to decide if it is worth having it rechecked. Students and parents with any questions about Leaving Cert results can get free, expert advice, in real time, from our guidance counsellor panel at irishtimes.com/results.If you are unhappy with a particular grade in any subject in the Leaving Cert, or if there is an identifiable error in the results you got today, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) will provide whatever supports you need to rectify the issue.
Firstly, in the case of an error on your results sheet, bring this to the attention of your school principal immediately, or in the case of external candidates contact the SEC directly. You may have taken a subject at higher level and received an ordinary-level grade. Or you may be missing an entire subject on your results sheet or have received a grade for a subject you did not sit in your Leaving Cert.
In these cases, it is simply an administrative error and will be rectified immediately. However, there may be some delay in the correction being registered with the CAO system, so you may not get the correct offer you are entitled to next Monday, but rest assured – if it is a case of SEC administrative error it will be sorted out very quickly and you will shortly thereafter receive the course offer to which you are entitled.
If, however, there is no factual error on the report sheet but you believe your grade does not reflect the pattern of your performance in a subject, or your perception of how you performed in the exam, the form in your results envelope will enable you to view your scripts on the weekend of September 1st-2nd.
To view your scripts, you return this form to your school by next Tuesday, August 22nd. You must personally view the script: you cannot send someone to view it on your behalf, although you may be accompanied by a parent or teacher or someone else you nominate.
There is no charge for viewing a script and no limit to the number of scripts you can view. As you will be able to see the exact percentage you got once you view your script, you should view every script – even the ones where you are happy with the grade you received – if you’re looking for another five or 10 points for a place on your preferred course. This is because each grade, such as H1, H2, or H3, now represents a 10 per cent band. When the SEC sends out scripts to be remarked by teachers every September, about 20 per cent of such papers are upgraded. One could therefore assume those candidates who are within 1 per cent of the next grade up stand a higher chance of receiving an upgrade than those who are 8 per cent short.
By viewing all your scripts, you will find out in which subject you are closest to the next grade. It may not necessarily be the subject in which you received a disappointing result.
When you view your scripts at the beginning of September, if you discover a factual error in the totting-up of the marks written on the front page of your answer booklet, this will be rectified immediately by the SEC and your paper will not have to go for a full recheck.
Just bring the error to the attention of the supervising teacher on the day and they will notify the SEC immediately. Once they receive your script from your school, and if the error involves a totting error on the front cover of your answer booklet, they will rectify the mistake immediately and your revised grade will be communicated to the CAO so you can receive a revised offer if appropriate.
Alternatively, there may have been a totting error in transmitting the marks from your answer book to the total mark and grade on the front cover, or the teacher who corrected your script may have skipped a page and neglected to correct some of your work.
If the error involves uncorrected work or some perceived error in the transmission of marks from the answer sheets on to the front cover of the script, you must apply for a second assessment by a new correcting teacher.
Finally, if on viewing your script there are no obvious errors in the correcting teacher’s work but in your view (or that of your subject teacher) you should have received a higher mark for the paper in question, you can ask your principal for a form to have your paper corrected again. There is a fee of €40 for this work but if the paper is upgraded this will be refunded.
The results of appeals are published in mid-October and if you are one of the 20 per cent – based on the average of recent years – who appeal each year and are upgraded, the revised Leaving Cert result will be sent to the CAO offices in Galway and the organisation will make you a revised offer to you if appropriate.
Unfortunately, given that more than half the first semester will have passed by this stage, in most cases you will have to defer taking up your place until the 2018 academic year.
You need to discuss this with the faculty or college department to determine what the best course of action is. If you are already studying for another course you will not suffer any adverse college-related financial costs because of transferring to another programme at that stage.