How to appeal a Leaving Cert result

Information on viewing exam scripts and appealing a Leaving Cert result
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If you’re feeling disappointed after receiving your Leaving Cert results, try not to worry. There are steps that you can take in this situation. If you are not happy with your exam results and feel that they do not reflect your work or ability, you can arrange to appeal your grade.

You can apply to appeal written examination results, accredited grades, or both through the candidate portal from 9am on Saturday September 11th to 12pm on Monday September 13th. There is no appeal fee for the Leaving Certificate 2021 appeal process.

Appealing an accredited grade

If you are not happy with an accredited grade that you received, you can appeal it. However, appealing an accredited grade is not the same as appealing a mark in the written exam.

Learn more about accredited grades in the video below.

How the accredited grade appeals process works

The appeals process involves making sure that the way the schools and the department inputted the information about your grades was correct. This means that the appeals process won’t involve looking at your work to decide if your grade was fair, instead it is just to confirm the data was put on the system correctly.

If an error was found in the way the data was put on the system, your grade could go up, go down, or could stay the same.

The appeal process will go through these steps:

  • Stage One: Checking that the data was entered correctly by the school
  • Stage Two: Checking that the data was received and processed correctly by the Department of Education
  • Stage Three: An option to have the process reviewed by independent appeal scrutineers if you’re still not happy with the results

The role of the Independent Appeals Scrutineer is to make sure stages one and two were followed correctly. If you still believe your case has not been processed correctly, you can make a complaint to the Ombudsman if you are over 18, or the Ombudsman for Children if you are under 18.

It is not possible to appeal the standardisation process that was used for adjusting grades.

How to appeal a written exam result

Firstly, you can arrange to view the exam papers in one or more subjects at your school. When you get your Leaving Cert results, you will also receive an application form that shows all the subjects you have taken, which will allow you to select what papers you want to view.

There is no fee for viewing your papers.

Filling out the form

You can only apply to view your scripts online through the Candidate Self Service Portal. The viewing of scripts application service will be available from 5pm on Tuesday 7th September until 8 pm on Wednesday 8th September. You will need your username and password which you will get when you register on the portal.

You will then be contacted through email by the Organising Superintendent appointed to your school and assigned one of three viewing times to review your script on Saturday 11th September. Some schools will have an additional session on Sunday 12th September. It is not possible to arrange viewing of scripts on any other date or time.

If you do not receive an email confirming a viewing appointment before the viewing sessions start, you should contact the Organising Superintendent in the school where you sat your written examinations.

Viewing the paper

You can bring one person with you to the viewing. This can include a teacher or parent. The viewing will be at the exam centre where you took your exams (usually your school).

Having a teacher there can be helpful because they will understand the marking system, and will hopefully be able to give an honest answer as to whether your marks were fair or not.

Make sure to check the marks have all been added up correctly, and that the mark you received for each question reflects that marking structure for the paper.

Having the script reviewed

Your appealed script will be sent to an examiner to re-mark. This examiner will be different from the person who originally marked your script. However, the same marking system will be used. It is possible to view the new marks after the paper has been rechecked. Remember that an appeal aims to ensure that your work has been marked fairly – your result may stay the same or be upgraded or downgraded after an appeal.

When will I know the result?

The results of the Leaving Cert appeal should be available by the end of September. This means that the college year may have started by the time you receive the results of your appeal. There is a chance your first choice of course could offer you a place after your receive your new results, but it may also be full at that stage. If you are successful and receive a place on your desired course, you will likely have only missed the first one to two weeks of the course.

You may also be able to defer for a year meaning the college will hold your place on the course until the following year.

Talk to the college you’re hoping to get into to find out more about your options.

What can I do if I’m still not happy with my result?

If you are still not happy with your results, you can further appeal by requesting an appeal review by the Independent Appeals Scrutineers. Forms for this process are provided with your appeal results.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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