Leaving Cert 2019: Disappointed? You have plenty of options

Act quickly if you want to appeal a grade or sit a special second-chance maths exam

Annmarie Fay and her daughter Ellie   after getting her Leaving Cert results at Mount Carmel Secondary School, King’s Inns Street in Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan

Annmarie Fay and her daughter Ellie after getting her Leaving Cert results at Mount Carmel Secondary School, King’s Inns Street in Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan


From early on Tuesday morning the queries poured into The Irish Times helpdesk where our team of guidance counsellors have been answering your questions online.

The largest group of disappointed students were some of the 3,430 who had failed to secure 40 per cent on the ordinary level maths paper, thus excluding themselves from consideration by many colleges, who require this grade as a minimum entry requirement for most of their courses.

Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to their dilemma. In a small number of colleges, special maths exams are being offered to ordinary level students in the coming days for those who failed to meet the required grade in their Leaving Cert.

View your script

Maths students who are unhappy with the grade they secured can also apply to review their scripts.

You’ll need to act quickly: students must apply online between Wednesday, August 14th and 5pm on Friday, August 16th through the new “candidate self-service portal” on examinations.ie.

Maths students – as well as students of physics, chemistry, biology, politics, and the LCVP – will be able to view these papers online between 5pm on Tuesday, August 20th, and 5pm on Wednesday, August 21st.

(These scripts can be viewed online because they were scanned and corrected online this year; the scripts from other subjects can be viewed in schools.)

If you decide to appeal the grade, you can apply online on the candidate portal to have your script re-marked at a cost of €40, the results of which will be available in mid-September.

Apply for remarking

The opportunity to apply for a remarking of a script is from 5pm Friday, August 16th and 5pm Thursday, August 22nd.

If you are upgraded – which about 20 per cent of those re-marked each year are – you will be retrospectively offered a place on the course if you then qualify for one.

Given the revised timetable for remarking scripts, you will be able to accept any revised offer and start the course in mid-September.

For students who want to review scripts in subjects other than those listed above, they must follow the same procedure online at the “candidate self-service portal” to apply to view their script.

They will then be contacted by their school and offered a slot on either Tuesday evening, August 20th from 5-8pm or on Wednesday morning, August 21st, 9am-12pm or 2pm-5pm.

They must be personally present to view scripts. They cannot send a proxy in their place.

Area of career interest

An alternative option if you failed to secure the required grades to meet an entry requirement for your chosen course is to apply to your local further education college to study a programme in your area of career interest. This could avoid the need to repeat the subject in 2020.

You might also consider registering with the State Examinations Commission in the autumn to sit the subject again in June 2020 and prepare for it alongside whatever else you choose to do this year.

Special maths exams

There are a further group of students who have not failed maths, but who have not met the minimum entry requirements for admission to a range of engineering and other programmes.

These colleges are offering special maths exams in the coming days to enable these students to have a second attempt at meeting the required higher level grade.

They are available at IT Tralee (August 19th), CIT, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, and IT Carlow (August 20th), TU Dublin (August 21st), Letterkenny IT (August 29th) and WIT (August 30th). Full details on all these examinations and corresponding preparatory courses are available on careersportal.ie