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Leaving Cert students celebrate their results in 2018. Sam Boal
State Exams

Over 2,000 Leaving Cert students who sat written exams to receive results today

Of the 4,925 grades being sent to students today, 40% were higher than their Calculated Grade results.

STUDENTS WHO SAT written Leaving Cert exams last year are due to get their results today – over 40% of grades are expected to be higher than the Calculated Grades students had received.

The State Examinations Commission said that provisional exam results indicate that 1,705 (39%) grades are higher, 1,220 (28%) are the same and 1,413 (34%) are lower than the Calculated Grades the students received.

Instead of holding the traditional State exams last year, the Irish Government opted for a Calculated Grades system to assess students based on their teachers’ knowledge of work the students had already done.

However, students also had the option of sitting written exams if they were unhappy with their Calcualted Grade results – 1,700 of around 60,000 students chose this option. The student can choose whichever result is higher – so if their written exam result is lower than their Calculated Grade, they can still stick with the Calculated Grade result.

Students who were learning a Leaving Cert subject outside of school and so didn’t have a teacher to calculate their grade would have to sit these exams in order to get a result. 460 students in this category are receiving 582 grades in 40 individual subjects.

The remainder of the students had opted out of Calculated Grades in favour of written exams. 

2,155 students sat the 2020 written exams, held from 16 November to 11 December, across the Leaving Certificate Established, Leaving Certificate Applied and Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme. A further 47 adult learners and early school leavers who sat Junior Cycle examinations will be receiving their results today.

At the start of exams, around 2,600 Leaving Certificate candidates were due to take examinations across 6,700 individual subject entries. The numbers presenting for the examinations was significantly lower at 2,155 in 48 individual subjects producing 4,925 individual grades, the Department of Education said.

When the results will be out

From 12pm, Leaving Certificate students can access the results of the written exams on the State Examinations Commission Candidate Self-Service Portal (here).

Leaving Certificate Applied students will have their results issued to them directly by email. Results of the Junior Cycle examinations for adult learners and early school leavers have been sent to the schools or centres where they sat the examinations.

Minister for Education Norma Foley said: “I want to congratulate all of you who undertook the examinations. 2020 was an exceptionally difficult year for all of you.

“We are still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, and you have been through so much even in these extraordinary circumstances. While some of you may have been disappointed with your Calculated Grades results, you undertook the challenge of studying for the postponed exams and have worked hard for your results.

“Due to public health measures in place, you will not be able to celebrate the way you would have liked, but I know that you all understand the role each one of us has to play in keeping one another safe.”

Minister of State for Special Education Josepha Madigan offered her congratulations: “Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a ghabháil leis na daltaí ó rang 2020.

“The class of 2020 has had a very challenging year and I extend my warmest congratulations to those of you who are receiving results today. You have worked hard and come through very difficult times.

“You now have the opportunity to take time to consider all the options which are available and can lead you to your chosen path, whatever it may be. Life is full of possibilities. Whatever your results today – there will be opportunities for you.”

Appeals and help

A Leaving Certificate Exam Helpline, run by the National Parents Council – Post-Primary, with the support of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, will open today at 2pm and will provide advice to students and parents regarding the examination results.

The helpline, which receives support from the Department of Education, can be contacted at 1800 265 165. It will remain open until this Friday 5 February.

The State Examinations Commission will also operate a helpline for candidates. This SEC helpline, at 1800 100 135, will be open from 9am today until 5pm next Friday, 12 February.

Students unhappy with their results will have access to an appeals process, the Department of Education said.

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