How many written Leaving Cert exams should my daughter opt for in June?

Students who sit written exams have greater control over their eventual results

The coming days are important for all 2021 Leaving Cert students who are considering their final options for accredited grades, because the State Examinations Commission portal is due to open today and close on Friday, April 30th. File photograph: iStock

The coming days are important for all 2021 Leaving Cert students who are considering their final options for accredited grades, because the State Examinations Commission portal is due to open today and close on Friday, April 30th. File photograph: iStock

 

My daughter has applied to receive “accredited grades” in the Leaving Cert and also intends to sit a number of the written Leaving Cert exams. Have you any advice on how many she should sit?

I would strongly advise your daughter – and all other Leaving Cert students for that matter – to sit all Leaving Cert subjects where CAO points scores may be a consideration.

By doing so she will have a greater level of personal control over her eventual grades.

She can, for example, opt to receive an accredited grade in a subject at ordinary level, but choose to take the written paper at higher level in June. She will be awarded the highest grade when the results are issued in August.

Given the restructuring of exam papers to take account of tuition time lost over the past two years, those taking written papers may do particularly well, leaving those who opt only for assessed grades lower down the national list of CAO points scores.

The coming days are important for all 2021 Leaving Cert students who are considering their final options for accredited grades, because the State Examinations Commission (SEC) portal is due to open today and close on Friday, April 30th.

This window is crucial for students to confirm their registration for any subject and at whatever level they now want to be assessed for accredited grades by their teachers.

Students also have the chance to reintroduce, if they so wish, a subject they may have dropped when they originally registered with the portal in February/March.

It is my strong advice that all students should discuss with their teachers the level at which they recommend that you take their subject.

If they recommend that you drop from higher to ordinary, or from ordinary to foundation level, they are effectively telling you that they won’t be able to give you a pass grade at the level you are currently planning to be assessed at.

As per the regulations governing the accredited grades process, there can be no discussion between a student or a parent with any teacher concerning the assessment process.

However, that SEC rules do not preclude advice from a subject teacher regarding the appropriate level at which a student is advised to take a Leaving Cert subject.

No further amendments to the details in a student’s portal file can be made after the current window to do so expires.

After May 14th, teachers will review students’ work over the past two years to determine the appropriate percentage mark to bring to the meeting with fellow subject colleagues of that subject.

After the internal school processes are completed, the recommended percentage mark will then be submitted to the SEC by the end of the first week in June.

Using a standardisation process similar to 2020, the SEC will generate an accredited grade for every student in all subjects where they opted to receive them.