Leaving Cert Helpdesk: Is it necessary to view the scripts before applying for a recheck?

A selection of questions answered by the helpdesk guidance counsellors

The Irish Times’ free online helpdesk received questions from teenagers and their parents over what implications the 2019 Leaving Cert results might have for them.

Topics ranged from queries about fees to changing courses to CAO mix ups. The following is a selection of questions answered by Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett, both members of the Institute of Guidance Councillors (IGC).

If my daughter’s points drop after the recheck and she loses her course, will we get refunded if the money has been paid?

Yes. I really don’t think that it would come to this.


My son has withdrawn from Science after three years and has applied for Commerce. He has the points and hopes to be successful in round two or three. If successful does he have to pay full fees or will he still qualify for free fees?

He will be subject to fees. Fees vary depending on the course. I would advise to to speak with someone in the fees office.

Grad medicine applicant with a borderline gamsat with no offer as of yet. What is the likelihood for round 2 offers for places this year ?

It depends on how many successful candidates take up yesterday’s offer. All vacant places will be put into round two.

If I made the mistake of putting a course not in the right order on my level sevens is there any way I would be able to get the choice after considering the fact I meet the entry requirements

It is not possible to change the order of your courses at this stage. Once you are offered a course you can only hope to move up your list of courses but not down, regardless of whether or not you have met the entry requirements.

My son has accepted his Level 8 offer. Should he just ignore the Level 6/7 offer, as there does not appear to be any facility to reject it?

Yes, accept his Level 8 and ignore his Level 6/7 and it will be rejected.

Is it possible not to accept anything and reapply to the CAO next year and change my first choice course?

Absolutely, you can create a whole new application next year with the advantage of knowing what points you have.

My son was offered his fifth choice which was 375 points yet his third choice was 356 points, why wasn’t he offered this?

You need to check the minimum entry requirements as well as any subject requirements. The CAO issues the highest preference course that a candidate meets requirements and cut off points for.

If you appeal a grade, can the result of an appeal be a reduction in marks and grade?

Yes. In 2018 there were only five down grades as opposed to 1,453 upgrades.

Is it necessary to view the scripts before applying for a recheck? My daughter wants to appeal the result in a couple subjects, but for some reason doesn’t want to view the scripts first.

Yes, that is possible. However, I would advise all candidates to view their script first.The marking scheme will be available at the viewing. This would help your daughter see where she gained and lost marks, hence making a more informed decisions regarding appeals.

After a student completes first year in one college, is it possible to apply to transfer to another college? Is it necessary to start first year again if modules are not quite the same or is there an assessment procedure?

Ok, so for example if a student completes commerce in NUIG and then wants to move to business in Maynooth, Maynooth would have to look and see if they have space for another extra student in second year. Then they would have to look at what the student studied in NUIG and see if there is sufficient compatibility between the two courses for him/her to move on into second year in Maynooth. There are no clearly defined rules across all colleges about these transfers. Local decisions are made by colleges' admissions offices and academic departments. I hope this answers your question.

I’ve been offered a course at DCU which I have reluctantly accepted and I am appealing some of my grades, but if my appeals are not accepted and if I don’t get a higher offer on subsequent round, do I have to take the offer I have accepted? What are my options with regards to this course?

You have now accepted your course in DCU. Do as much research about the course as you can, talking to as many people as possible about the course to get a good feel about the course and whether you think you would enjoy it or not. If you do not get any upgrades and subsequently another offer, if you are very unhappy in the course you can pull out of the course.

Colleges collect money from the government for fees twice in the year. The first tranche is taken around October. If you withdraw from the course before this date then there will be no fees issued if you start a new course next year, but if you stay in until after this date you could be liable for extra fees next year in your new course.

My son is unsure whether to do the maths competency test for DIT to meet the requirements for Business Analytics or just to go with the offer of Enterprise Computing in DCU?

Go with the offer. If you son then passes the competency test at DIT he will be made an offer. He can then decide whether to stick with existing offer or move to DIT’s new offer.

Be sure to check to see the course content on both. This should aid his decision. On average how big is the drop in points that is seen from first round offers to final offers?

This varies from course to course. Points are determined by supply and demand. Points of candidates next in line will determine whether and by how much points drop in future rounds.

How many years does the DARE pathway remain open using my current CAO points?

One year but you will still need to apply to CAO in 2020. Fill out application. Insert your 2019 number and fill out section A of the SIF form. All info on accesscollege.ie