Student ‘ecstatic’ after winning court case over exam scores

Rebecca Carter says appeals process should be completed before college year starts

 Rebecca Carter of Castlebridge, Co  Wexford leaves the High Court in  Dublin. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

Rebecca Carter of Castlebridge, Co Wexford leaves the High Court in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins


A Leaving Cert student who has won a High Court case over the counting of her points has said the exam appeals process should be completed before the college year starts.

Wexford student Rebecca Carter, whose Leaving Cert exam points were wrongly totted up by State Examinations Commission (SEC) markers, has been allowed take up a place in veterinary medicine at University College Dublin (UCD).

Ms Carter (18) had repeated her leaving certificate exams and had received 554 points, just six short of the required number for veterinary medicine at UCD. The points required for the course had dropped to 555 in the second round offer which had left her only a point short.

Ms Carter had sued the commission, challenging its decision not to re-check her points score in time to allow her obtain a place at UCD.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys told Ms Carter in the High Court on Wednesday had her points been correctly added up, she would have achieved an extremely high mark that would easily have qualified her for a place at the UCD course.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys directed the commission to carry out the necessary corrections to her exam paper by noon on Friday and notify UCD two hours later of the result.


Speaking to RTÉ’s Six One, Ms Carter says the appeals process is unfair to students.

She said Mr Justice Humphreys had initially been told that UCD had agreed to reserve her potential placing until September 30th.

“UCD last year brought in a new policy where they don’t accept any students after the 30th of September and the SEC weren’t aware of the change in policy so they were quite shocked, as were we,” she said.

Ms Carter said she hopes the SEC take the judge’s recommendations on board and that the appeals process is reviewed. “It is important that for any students going to UCD in the future that the system will be reviewed and that the appeals process finishes before the academic year starts.”

She also spoke of her relief of having taken on the SEC and won.

“My heart was broken for the past few mnonths, I haven’t smiled as much since 3pm today when the verdict was read out. When the judge said he hoped the SEC review their system and ordered them to re-mark my script by Friday, I was ecstatic,” she said.