What to do when you are unhappy with your Leaving Cert grades
If you feel you should have done better, you can view your script to decide if it’s worth having it rechecked
If you are unhappy with a particular grade in any subject in the Leaving Cert, or if there is an identifiable error in the results you got today, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) will give you whatever supports you need to rectify the problem. Photograph: iStock
If you have any questions about your Leaving Cert result you can get free, expert advice, in real time, from our career guidance panel at irishtimes.com/cao.
If you are unhappy with a particular grade in any subject in the Leaving Cert, or if there is an identifiable error in the results you got today, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) will give you whatever supports you need to rectify the problem.
Errors on your results sheet
First, in the case of an error on your results sheet, bring this to the attention of your school principal immediately, or in the case of external candidates contact the SEC directly.
You may have taken a subject at higher level and received an ordinary-level grade. Or you may be missing an entire subject on your results sheet or have received a grade for a subject you did not take in your Leaving Cert.
In all of these cases, it is simply an administrative error and will be rectified immediately. There may be some delay in the correction being registered with the CAO system, so you may not get the correct offer you are entitled to next Monday, but rest assured, if it is a case of an SEC administrative error you will very quickly receive the course offer to which you are entitled.
If, on the other hand, there is no factual error on the report sheet but you believe your grade does not reflect the pattern of your performance in a subject over the past two years, or your perception of how you performed in the exam in June, you will find a form in the envelope with your results, allowing you to apply to view your scripts on the evening of Friday, August 31st , or on the following day, Saturday, September 1st .
To view your scripts, you must return this form to your school principal by Tuesday, August 21st. You must personally view the script: you cannot send someone to view it on your behalf, although you may be accompanied by a parent or teacher or someone else you nominate.
There is no charge for viewing a script and no limit to the number of scripts you can view. As you will be able to see the exact percentage you got once you view your script, you should view every script if you’re looking for another five or 10 points for a place on your preferred course.
Why should you view a script if you are happy with the grade you received?
Each grade, such as H1, H2, H3, etc, represents a 10 per cent band. When the SEC sends out scripts to be remarked by teachers every September, about 20 per cent of such re-marked papers are upgraded. One could therefore assume those candidates who are within 1 per cent of the next grade up stand a higher chance of receiving an upgrade than those who are 4 per cent short.
By viewing all your scripts you will know in which subject you are closest to the next grade. It may not necessarily be the subject in which you are disappointed.
What happens if I discover an error in calculating my score on a marked paper?
When you view your scripts in your school at the end of August, if you discover a factual error in the totting of the marks written on the front page of your answer booklet, this will be rectified immediately by the SEC and your paper will not have to go for a full recheck.
Just bring the error to the attention of the supervising teacher on the day and they will notify the SEC immediately.
Once they receive your script from your school, and if the error involves a totting error on the front cover of your answer booklet, they will rectify the mistake immediately and your revised grade will be communicated to the CAO so you can receive a revised offer if appropriate.
Alternatively, there may have been a totting error in transmitting the marks from your answer book to the total mark and grade on the front cover, or the teacher who corrected your script may have skipped a page and neglected to correct some of your work.
If the error involves uncorrected work or some perceived error in the transmission of marks from the answer sheets on to the front cover of the script, you will have to apply for a second assessment by a new correcting teacher.
Finally, if on viewing your script there are no obvious errors in the correcting teacher’s work but in your view (or that of your subject teacher) you should have received a higher mark for the paper in question, you can ask your principal for a form to have your paper re-corrected. There is a fee of €40 for this but if the paper is upgraded this will be refunded.
The results of appeals are published in mid-October and if you are one of the 20 per cent who appeal each year and are upgraded, the revised Leaving Cert result will be sent to the CAO and it will make you a revised offer if appropriate.
Unfortunately, given that more than half the first semester will have passed by this stage, in most cases you will have to defer taking up your place until the 2019 academic year.
You need to discuss this with the faculty or college department to see what’s the best course of action. If you are already studying for another course, you will not suffer any adverse college-related financial costs as a result of transferring to another programme at that stage.