Q&A: All you need to know about this year’s Leaving Certificate results

Students will receive results based on accredited grades, exams or both this year

Leaving Cert students this year had the choice of sitting written exams, opting for accredited grades, or both, across individual subjects. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Leaving Cert students this year had the choice of sitting written exams, opting for accredited grades, or both, across individual subjects. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

How did the Leaving Certificate work this year?

Students this year had the choice of sitting written exams, opting for accredited grades, or both, across individual subjects. Most opted to mix the forms of assessment, which allowes students to receive the better of the two grades.

The ‘accredited grades’ model is similar to calculated grades from last year in that it uses teachers’ professional judgment, followed by a standardisation process. The system has been rebuilt using new computer code and quality assurance checks are in place, the State Examination Commission (SEC) said.

Is school historical data still being used to calculate grades?

School historical data is not being used for calculating Leaving Certificate students’ accredited grades this year – but further “refinements” to last year’s system are being explored. The data was removed from the Leaving Cert calculated grades system this year with an aim to ensure that certain schools were not given special treatment over others. Instead, it will use the range of Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate historical data at a national level.

When will students be able to access their results?

Leaving Certificate students’ will be able to access their results online or at their school from 10am on September 3rd, the SEC has said.

When results are issued, neither candidates nor schools will know whether the provisional result awarded was from an examination or an accredited grade, the SEC said. This information will be available four days after they receive their results - on September 7th from 5pm. Students will then get their first chance to see a breakdown of their grades, showing whether the grade was achieved via accredited grades or written exams.

How will students receive their results?

Students can access their results either online or at their school, though schools are being asked to keep in mind the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and rising incidence rate. Students should call in to their schools at a scheduled time and remain socially distanced in line with public health advice. Groups of students gathering in one venue was “not recommended at this time,” the SEC said.

How will the appeals process work?

The timeline this year for candidates to apply to view scripts and to lodge their appeal applications would be “very short” and deadlines “strictly applied” to ensure the appeal process can be completed as quickly as possible, the SEC said.

Candidates will have from 5pm on September 7th until 8pm on September 8th to make their application to view their scripts and will be provided with an opportunity to view their marked scripts across three sessions on September 11th. Schools will have the option of an additional session on the morning of September 12th. It is not known yet when the outcome of appeals will be given to students.

Is the appeals process different for accredited grades and written examinations?

Candidates who sat examinations only will have access to the examinations appeal process, while candidates who received accredited grades only will have access to the accredited grades appeal process. Students who sat both in any given subject will have the choice of applying to appeal either or both processes, according to the SEC guide circulated on Thursday.

When are CAO offers due?

Round one CAO offers will issue on September 7th at 2pm. The reply date for accepting round one offers will be September 13th.