Leaving Cert students must confirm exam choices before deadline next week

Online portal will open from noon on Tuesday until 6pm on Friday, April 30th

Leaving Cert students have a final chance to choose their exams and subject levels for the receipt of accredited grades next week.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) online portal will open from noon on Tuesday, April 27th, until 6pm on Friday, April 30th, for candidates to finalise these details.

Under this year’s system students may choose to receive accredited grades, sit written exams or both, and they will receive whichever result is highest.

Students who plan to take written exams will still be able to change their subject level on the day of the exams.

However, the level in each subject that candidates select now will be their final level for the purposes of accredited grades.

This is because the process of determining students estimated grades is set to get under way in schools next month.

All candidates are required to complete this process, even if their choices have not changed since earlier this year.

All candidates will be alerted by text message or email to a guide on this phase of the portal that is due to be published online at 2pm on Friday April 23rd (examinations.ie)

Proficiency tests

Candidates taking the non-curricular language subjects – such as Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian, among others – are also being given a chance to obtain accredited grades.

These students will be required to sit a 90-minute “proficiency assessment” in their school on May 8th.

Many candidates for these subjects did not opt for accredited grades earlier this year as it was unclear at that stage what arrangements would be put in place for those studying “out of school” languages. However, they will have a chance to do when the portal reopens next week.

Separately, more than 280 students who appealed the results of the deferred 2020 written Leaving Cert exams are due to find out if they have received upgrades today.

The appeal process has resulted in 50 upgrades across 15 subjects. There were no downgrades.

The number of upgrades represents 11 per cent of all appeals this year. By comparison, the number of upgrades awarded in the previous year was 17 per cent of the total number of appeals.

The SEC will be providing the CAO with details of those results that improved through the appeals process. It is unclear how many, if any, students will be entitled to a higher points course choice on foot of these upgrades.

The SEC is not releasing further information given the very low numbers of candidates at each subject and level.

False or misleading information

Separately, Leaving Cert candidates’ accredited grades may be permanently withheld if there is evidence of misleading information being used to generate estimated marks by teachers under new legislation.

The details are contained in new Bill that will provide a legal basis for the SEC to run the new accredited grades system this year.

There is also provision for students’ accredited grades to be withheld in the event of any attempt to “improperly influence” teachers or schools in relation to the grades.

Teachers will be obliged to inform school principals about any in inappropriate communications, while principals should contact the SEC.

There is also an indemnity for teachers and schools against any legal action that may flow from the results, as long as the Minister for Education is satisfied that individuals performed their functions in “good faith”.

This legislation – known as Education (Accredited Grades) Bill 2021 – also provides for the issuing of a certificate of final results in relation to students who sat the deferred 2020 Leaving Cert exams.