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Half of students who sat postponed Leaving Cert get better results than their calculated grades


Junior Minister for Special Education Josepha Madigan congratulated students on their results. Photo: Frank McGrath

Junior Minister for Special Education Josepha Madigan congratulated students on their results. Photo: Frank McGrath

Junior Minister for Special Education Josepha Madigan congratulated students on their results. Photo: Frank McGrath

One in two students who sat the postponed Leaving Cert 2020 exams received results that are higher than their calculated grade in one or more subjects.

Of the 2,155 students receiving results today, 1,136 have achieved a higher grade or grades.

Overall four in 10 (39pc) grades awarded in the written papers were higher, according to a breakdown of the results from the State Examinations Commission (SEC).

One in three (34pc) grades were lower, while 28pc were the same as awarded in the calculated grades process.

Results will be issued to the candidates at noon today and some may receive a higher CAO offer next week based on their enhanced marks.

Candidates receiving results from the November sitting will be credited with the higher grade achieved between the calculated grade and the written exam.

The option to sit the November exams was offered to all Leaving Cert 2020 candidates, and 2,600 entered to take 6,700 individual papers, but fewer turned up.

Of the overall number of November candidates, 1,700 had also received calculated grades.

The remainder were those who opted out of the calculated grades process and candidates who could not be provided with calculated grades in some or all of their subjects as they were an out-of-school learner or were taking a subject outside of school.

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Most students sat one, two or three subjects.

The SEC has provided the Central Applications Office (CAO) with details of the results. Any student who is entitled to a new CAO offer, based on those results, will be advised directly by the higher education institutions involved.

Those students will receive an offer in July for their preferred 2020 CAO choice, under what is known as CAO Round A.

Unusually, but taking into account the exceptional circumstances, if the student has also applied for other courses in 2021, they may receive a different offer in round one and may choose between them at that point.

Results are also issuing today to 47 Junior Cycle students who sat the postponed exams.

Education Minister Norma Foley and Junior Minister for Special Education Josepha Madigan congratulated the students.

“All of you who undertook the examinations, 2020 was an exceptionally difficult year,” Ms Foley said.

“While some of you may have been disappointed with your calculated grades results, you undertook the challenge of studying for the postponed exams and have worked hard for your results.”

Meanwhile, CAO applications have hit record levels.

When the standard February 1 deadline passed yesterday, 79,303 applicants had registered, the highest ever at this time of the year.

The number is likely to increase further as there is a late-applications facility that opens between March and May.

The increased demand may be attributed in part, at least, to a carry-over of students who sat the postponed 2020 Leaving Cert in November and who may be eligible for
entry in 2021 based on 2020 points.

It may also reflect the expected rise in Leaving Cert numbers in 2021, while Brexit could account for a bounce in applications from EU students who might otherwise have gone to the UK.

The surge in applications is likely to push points up for certain courses, but the Government is committed to opening extra places in 2021, as happened in 2020.

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