Countdown to CAO: A recheck may bring a higher offer in September
Ahead of the CAO offers on Thursday, Aoife Walsh offers advice to students
A candidate can apply for a recheck of their exam results in as many subjects as they wish, if they feel a paper has been incorrectly marked or they have received the wrong grade.
It may result in an upgrade and even an offer for a higher choice course in September.
I strongly advise anyone considering an appeal, or appeals, to view the script, or scripts, first (see opposite). This allows them to make an informed decision as to whether a recheck is likely to change the outcome.
While there is no charge for viewing scripts, there is a fee of €40 for a recheck in a Leaving Certificate (Established) subject and €15.50 per subject in the case of a Leaving Certificate Applied subject. The fee will be refunded in the event of an upgrade.
Appeal applications must be submitted online, via the SEC's Candidate Self-Service Portal. Appeals have to be submitted between 5pm Friday, August 16, and 5pm Thursday, August 22.
The results will be available online on a date to be confirmed in the week beginning Monday September 16, three weeks earlier than previous years and in time for college registration. The final CAO offers are due on Friday September 20.
The appeal results are transmitted to the CAO electronically and if a candidate who receives an upgrade is found to have missed out on a place in a course as a result of not receiving the correct grade initially, they should receive an offer from the CAO. At that stage, they should contact the college to discuss their situation.
Even though students are usually motivated to apply for a recheck as a result of narrowly missing out on a higher-preference CAO course, it is often the case that when a new offer comes as a result of an upgrade, the candidate decides to remain in the original course.
Last year, 5,197 of the 57,149 Leaving Cert candidates appealed against a total of 9,087 grades - it led to 1,453 upgrades, which is 0.4pc of the 384,000 grades awarded in the exam.
Arising from the upgrades, the CAO issued 313 new Level 8 offers and 46 new Level 7/6 offers.
The appeals process can work both ways, and there is a possibility that a result will be downgraded, but the numbers are always very small. In 2018, there were only five downgrades.
That is not necessarily the end of the appeals process and anyone dissatisfied with the outcome may apply for a review of the decision with an opportunity to view the appealed scripts at the SEC offices in Athlone.
The review is conducted by Independent Appeals Scrutineers, whose role is not to re-mark scripts, but to ensure that all the processes were carried out correctly.