Exam Time

The Leaving Cert: a Recheck Guide

This time last year I was waiting patiently for my Leaving Cert results, something that I still have nightmares about.
When I did get them, I was seriously annoyed. I had obtained a C1 in honours English, which had always been my best subject.

I’d received a scholarship for writing, and a week later I learned that I was heading off to pursue English as a college course (and would later change to Journalism), but something wasn’t right. I knew I didn’t deserve that grade.

This is something that could potentially happen to a lot of students this year, and if it does, you’ll need to appeal your result. When you’re frustrated and stressed out, the last thing you want to do is scour the internet for information on this, so here’s a little guide from someone who’s been through it herself.

When you’re given your Leaving Cert results, you’ll also receive an Application form for viewing your scripts. Basically, it’s just a form where you specify which exams you’d like sent back to the school for you to look over. Once you’ve filled this in, you return it to your school in the coming days.

After this, you will be given a viewing session date. The Organising Superintendent will decide and notify you of which session you’ll be attending.

On the day that you’re viewing your script(s), do not bring a phone, pen or camera into the room. No paper or pens/pencils will be allowed either, this is done to prevent tampering with scripts.

It’s advisable to bring your teacher in with you, as they can give their honest opinion on whether or not they feel that the grade was deserved. I’d also suggest bringing a calculator, and re-adding your marks.

If after looking through your scripts you decide that you want to make an appeal, your school will provide you with a personalised appeal application form.

Appeals cost €40 per subject and €15.50 per subject in the Leaving Certificate Applied. Appeal fees must be paid in advance and will be refunded to you if your result is upgraded. The closing date for appeals this year is 5pm on Wednesday, September 7th 2016.

After you’ve filled out your appeal form, you bring it to your local bank to pay the appeal fee, using the bank giro facility on that form. There is a unique reference number on the bank giro form, so it’s important not to use the bank’s own forms.

The appeals process can be lengthy, but if there’s a clear discrepancy between the mark awarded and the grade awarded (an adding mistake), this can be sped up.

Should this happen, you need to ask the Organising Superintendent at your school for a Form AP1 and complete it. The Organising Superintendent will attach this form to your script, and it will be sent to the Commission in Athlone where it will receive immediate attention.

In 2013, over 1,600 grades went up. Most stayed the same and only three went down.

I didn’t find out that my English result went up until I was heading into my sixth week of college (which is almost half way through the semester). For me, getting a B3 was the requirement that I needed for the Journalism course I wanted, and luckily I was able to switch almost immediately.

If you receive a new offer after your points go up, the CAO will notify you. It’s then up to you whether you take that offer, or stay in your current course. If you feel that you’ve missed out on too many lectures, you also have the option to defer the course until next year.

I changed course because I was already doing some of the same modules that were in the Journalism course, but had I been offered my first choice (which was Midwifery, oddly enough), I would have had to defer it.

My last piece of advice is about making that decision on whether or not to appeal. I was sitting in the room, sobbing away to my English teacher who had told me exactly what I didn’t want to hear (that my paper had been marked pretty fairly). But I knew in my heart that I deserved a better grade than that, and there was something telling me to just do it, to get the stupid thing appealed.

Always go with your gut instinct, no matter what anyone else says.