Monday 19 August 2019

Unhappy with a result? Then view your script

 

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Stock image

Aoife Walsh

If a candidate is anyway unhappy with a result, they should apply immediately to view their script(s). Examiners have a huge number of papers to get through and mistakes can be made in totting up scores, assigning marks or they may miss part of the script altogether.

Helpfully, as part of changes introduced this year, students can log on to the Candidate Self-Service Portal where they have access to marks for individual exam components such as practicals, orals and projects. They can also see how they performed in individual papers in subjects that have two papers.

Viewing an exam script gives the candidate the opportunity to see exactly where marks were awarded and lost. It may offer reassurance as to why they have been given a particular grade, or they may see a mistake that would give them grounds to appeal.

It is possible to appeal without viewing the script; however, I strongly advise against this.

An application to view a script must be made online, via the State Examinations Commission (SEC)'s Candidate Self-Service Portal, by 5pm today. There is no charge to view a script.

There are separate viewing arrangements, depending on whether the exam was marked in the traditional way, or was one of the subjects for which online marking was introduced: Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, LCVP and Politics and Society.

Scripts that were marked on paper can be viewed in the school only, at one of three designated sessions on August 20 and 21.

Papers that were marked online can only be viewed online. This can be done at home, but if a school is offering the opportunity to come in to view papers marked online - which many schools plan to do - then I highly recommend that candidates avail of it.

The candidate must be present for the viewing and no other person may view on their behalf.

However, the candidate may be accompanied by another person, such as a teacher or parent. It is helpful to invite someone who is familiar with the subject and the exam. If a student intends to ask a teacher, they should give plenty of notice and understand that they may not be available.

The marking scheme will be available at the viewing to assist understanding in how marks were allocated. Oral and practical work will not be available to be viewed but will be re-marked if a candidate decides to appeal.

The candidate should first check that the grade on the paper is the same as the one in their results. If there is a difference, it may be because of an administrative error, which does not have to go through the normal appeals procedure.

If this is the case, they should speak to the organising teacher or principal immediately. In the case of such an error in an online marked script, the SEC can be contacted by phone, or email at onlinemarkingqueries@examinations.ie

The SEC will advise the CAO of any such discrepancies and, if necessary, offers will be rectified. As a precaution, candidates should also make a formal appeal.

Next, the candidate should work through the paper and ensure all sections have been marked and added up correctly. Then they should check all the answers against the marking scheme.

Pens and paper are banned from the viewing, but a mobile phone, tablet or digital camera will be permitted. This will allow students to make and retain a copy of their script to which they can refer in the event that they decide to appeal.

If a possible error has been spotted, it is essential not only to appeal, but to complete an AP1 form, otherwise known as a candidate observation form, outlining the specific details (see right).

If the paper was marked in the traditional way, the AP1 will be available at the viewing. If it was marked online, the opportunity to complete the AP1 will come as part of any appeal application process. So, it is essential to take excellent notes and photographs in order to provide the necessary detail in the event of an appeal.

In the case of Maths, which is one of the subjects marked online, Papers 1 and 2 were marked by separate teams of examiners and there will be a separate AP1 form for each paper.

There is helpful information on page 26 of the SEC Candidate Information Booklet, which candidates should read before attending the viewing.

Irish Independent

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