Leaving Cert helpdesk: rechecks and appeals

How to have exam papers rechecked and the implications for getting on courses this year


Below is a compilation of helpdesk questions. They have been asked by students and parents and answered by guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett.


It's free to view your script at the school, right? You only have to pay if you are getting it rechecked, right? Do you also get a marking when you are viewing your script? And do you pick your session?  

Viewing of scripts is free. The marking scheme will be there. The school picks your session but I imagine that this could be flexible. Contact your school now if you are not flexible.

I failed ordinary level maths: grade E. Any point in having a recheck?  I have applied for a PLC course level 6. I knew I would not have enough points for college. Do you think I will be able to get the course without maths?  

I recommend that you view your maths script first. If you're a per cent or two off going up a grade then appeal it. Most PLC courses require that you do pass five subjects. In order to answer your question I would need to know what PLC course it is and where. You should contact the PLC college directly.


My daughter got  A1, B2, B2, B3, D1 honours.  For nursing at Queens she would need B2, B2, B2, CC.  Should she get her B3 rechecked in hope of B2 and her D1 in hope of C?  Really afraid of downgrade.  

I suggest that you view the script and see how close she is to going up a grade.  Papers which are 1 per cent shy of the next grade up are more likely to be upgraded than those, say, 4 per cent adrift. Viewing of scripts is free of charge but you must fill out the form that came along with your results. This form needs to be returned to your school by August 18th.
Downgrades can happen but upgrades are more common. About 20 per cent of appeals are successful each year.

I got my results this morning but I think I want to get two or three papers rechecked. If I get them rechecked and I rise in points do those points not come into account until next year ?

No they come into account straight away. CAO will make you an offer in the final round (mid-October). You will have a choice of joining the course mid-October providing that there is room on this course and that you have the necessary points as well as the entry requirements. If the course is full you will be offered a place on for September 2016.

My preferred course is 30 more points than what I got today. I feel like I could have done better, if I got a few subjects appealed is it possible to gain those 30? It is possible but a long shot. Thirty points is a long way to come up and would necessitate a sizeable jump in one or more subjects. I would recommend going into your school and viewing your scripts, preferably with some of your teachers. From this you should be able to get a sense of whether it is possible for you to increase your points and by how much. When you receive your results you should receive a personalised application form also for the viewing of your scripts. This must be completed and returned to your school by August 18th in order to view the scripts. Best of luck.

If I don’t get accepted into my preferred course on the first round of CAO offers, and subsequently gain more points from appealed scripts, can I still end up on that course? And, if so, how?

Yes. The results of the appeals are out in October. If you get an extra 20 points in the appeals then these are backdated to the round-one offers and whatever course you would have been offered with the extra 20 points on round one must be offered to you in October unless the course is full, in which case you will be offered a deferred place the following year.

I have been an A/high B student my whole life but today I only got 420 points including a fail in maths. I feel like someone is playing a joke on me – what are the chances of all my papers going up in rechecks? It just doesn’t make sense.

I’m sorry to hear this. I would recommend strongly that you contact your teachers and ask them to go with you to view your scripts to see what has gone wrong. This is the only way to find out what has happened on your papers and if there is any chance of your grades going up.