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How to appeal a calculated grade

If you’re not happy with any of your calculated grades, you can appeal them


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news


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If you’re feeling disappointed after receiving your Leaving Cert results, there are steps that you can take.

If you feel that you were marked unfairly for any of your calculated grades, you can appeal the grade and ask for it to be reviewed.

Not sure about what to do? Find out how to chat with someone online about your calculated grades.

What to do if you are not happy with your calculated grades

If you decide you want to do something about your calculated grades, you have two options - appealing the grade, and sitting the exam in November. You can choose to both appeal the grade and sit the exam if you’re not happy with the outcome of the appeal.

How to appeal a calculated grade

The appeals process will open on 14 September 2020 at 9am. Students who want to appeal a grade can log into the Calculated Grades Student Portal and select the grades they want to appeal. There is no fee for appealing a calculated grade.

In the portal, you will be able to see the estimated mark provided by your school, and the adjusted mark after the standardisation process took place.

The deadline for submitting an appeal is 16 September 2020 at 5pm.

How the 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.

If students are still not happy, they can choose to sit the written exam in November.

How does the appeals process affect the CAO?

If your points go up following the appeal, there is a chance your first choice of course could offer you a place, but it may also be full at that stage. If this is the case, you may be able to defer for a year, meaning the college will hold your place on the course until the following year.

Can I start college this year if I appeal my results?

The Department has said that they cannot guarantee that students who appeal their calculated grades will get their result in time for starting college this year. Students who take part in stage one and two of the appeals process will hopefully be able to start college this semester, but it may be a few weeks after other students.

Students who choose to move onto stage three of the appeals process (having the process reviewed by an independent scrutineer) are not likely to have their results in time for the start of the college year. If this is the case, they may need to defer the offer, meaning the college will hold your place on the course until the following year.

Sitting the Leaving Cert in November

The written exams for Leaving Cert 2020 will take place on 16 November 2020, and will be scheduled for evenings and weekends.

Students can choose the exams they want to sit, they do not have to sit all of the exams.

After sitting the exam, students will be awarded the highest grade between the calculated grades process and the written exam. This means that if you get a lower mark on your written exam, you can keep the higher result from your calculated grade. If you get a higher mark on the written exam, it will replace the lower calculated grade.

CAO offers and written exams

If your new results from your written exams mean you qualify for a higher offer on the CAO, you will have an opportunity to take that offer as soon as it is possible to join the course.

This will most likely be in September of 2021, because the college year will have begun by the time you sit the written Leaving Cert exam.

Need more information on Leaving Cert appeals and the CAO?

During the Leaving Cert results and CAO offers, the Youth Information Chat will be there to answer your questions. The chat is available from 4pm to 8pm, Monday to Friday

Feeling overwhelmed or want to talk to someone right now?

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Published Sep­tem­ber 3rd2020
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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