The SEC received almost 10,000 appeals from leaving cert students this year.

A total of 5,465 candidates made applications for appeals against 9,500 Leaving Certificate grades this year.

All Leaving Certificate Candidates were given the opportunity to review their exam script at the beginning of September before deciding whether to appeal the results of one or more subjects.

The figures released by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) last week, showed that 1,698 of this year’s appeals were upgraded, which is 0.43% of all grades awarded.

Only one result was downgraded in the appeal process this year.

The number of applications made for appeals against grades dropped by 309 since last year.

The highest number of appeals were seen in higher level English and Biology receiving 1,511 and 1,079 appeals respectively.

One hundred and ninety one of the higher level English grades were upgraded following this year’s appeals process with 256 upgrades for the higher level Biology appeals.

In the processing of appeals, each candidate’s exam is fully re-marked using the original marking scheme. The re-marking of the papers is performed by a different examiner to the one who originally marked the exam in question.

The number of appeals for ordinary level papers were significantly lower than the number of higher level appeals this year.

Mathematics received the highest number of appeals at this level with 431 candidates opting to challenge their initial grade. Seventy three of these grades were upgraded following the appeals process.

Ninety four of this year’s candidates who had not appealed their results still received an upgrade as part of the SEC’s “further quality assurance check.” This assurance check uses the appeals process to minimise any errors in grades before the provisional results are released in August and ensures fairness for all candidates.

All changes in grades arising from both the quality assurance checks and appeal applications have been sent to the Central Applications Office and are also available to candidates on the SEC’s website. (

Students who are still unhappy with their re-marked scripts can refer their appeal to a panel of Independent Appeal Scrutineers by completing an application that was provided to them with their appeal results.

The Independent Appeal Scrutineers are independent of all staff of the SEC and the marking teams. They check that all concerns raised by the candidate have been properly dealt with and they provide assurance to the candidate that all marking has been correctly performed.