Saturday 21 October 2017

Rate of success drops in appeals on exam grades

(stock image)
(stock image)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

There has been a drop in the number of successful appeals against Leaving Cert grades following major changes in the exam system this year.

The overall average rate of upgrades in 2017 is 14.5pc, compared with 17.5pc in 2016.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has attributed the drop to the introduction of wider grade bands, which meant that many of those seeking an upgrade had a bigger mountain to climb in order to get their grades raised.

Traditionally, grade bands covered a 5pc stretch of marks.

However, from this year, the bands cover a 10pc stretch, which meant that a student with a mark of 73pc had to jump to 80pc, rather than 75pc, in order to reach the next highest grade.

The wider bands were part of a suite of changes, including a new points system, that were designed to take heat out of the race for college entry.

Some 5,615 of 58,543 candidates appealed against 9,806 grades in individual subjects, leading to 1,425 upgrades.

As usual, the majority of appellants saw no change, but there were four downgrades.

The results have been transmitted to the Central Applications Office and will be available on the SEC's website, www.examinations.ie, from noon.

As a result of the upgrades, some candidates can expect to receive a new CAO offer or their first offer. Each year, about 200 CAO applicants receive an offer arising from the appeal outcomes.

In the case of appeals, the candidate's work is re-marked by a different examiner.

Students who want to view re-marked scripts must complete the application form that accompanies the appeal results and return it to the SEC, through the school that entered them for exam, by next Monday.

External candidates should return the form directly to the SEC. All applications must be with the SEC by 5pm next Tuesday.

The viewing will be held in the SEC's Athlone offices on Saturday, October 21.

If students are still unhappy after this process, they can refer their appeal to a panel of Independent Appeal Scrutineers.

Irish Independent

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