This is the final chance for students to confirm subject levels for Leaving Certificate Accredited Grades 2021.
The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has announced the reopening of the Candidate Self Service Portal between 12 noon on Tuesday 27 April 2021 and 6pm on Friday 30th April 2021.
This is the final chance for candidates to review and finalise their level selection, and their choices of Examinations, Accredited Grades, or both, for the 2021 Leaving Certificate for each subject in which they are entered.
Candidates made their preliminary choices when the Candidate Self Service Portal opened in early March and this second phase requires them to review and confirm their final options for each subject.
Candidates taking examinations will be able to change their subject level on the day of the examinations. However, for the purposes of Accredited Grades, the level in each subject which candidates select now will be their final level for the purposes of Accredited Grades.
All candidates are required to complete this process even if their choices have not changed since March.
Candidates already entered for the 2021 Leaving Certificate, who did not register on the portal in March, have the opportunity now to complete the registration process and to make their final subject level choices. This is the final chance to do this in order to be considered for accredited grades.
A text message has been sent to candidates alerting them to the availability of the guide later a follow-up e-mail has also been issued. Details of the process will also be notified to all schools and other centres of education where the 2021 Leaving Certificate examinations are due to take place.
The Candidate Self Service Portal helpline will be available throughout Phase 2:
1800-111135 or 1800-111136
The SEC recognises that a lot has changed for candidates since early March when the portal first opened:
– Students have been back at in-school learning for several weeks;
– Details of the further adjustments to the examination papers have been published;
– The opportunity to undertake the Oral tests in language subjects and the Music practical performance test has passed;
– Coursework completion dates in some subjects have also passed.
All of these factors are likely to have an impact on candidates’ decisions about their Leaving Certificate and it is necessary to capture updated information for both the Examinations and for Accredited Grades.
For candidates taking the Non-Curricular Language subjects, arrangements have been developed so that they have the opportunity to be provided with an Accredited Grade in their subject, by sitting a Department of Education organised Proficiency Assessment in their school on 8 May. Many of the candidates entered for these subjects did not opt for Accredited Grades in Portal Phase 1 in March. With this new opportunity, it is likely that they will be updating their choices in the Non-Curricular Language subjects to include Accredited Grades.
With the Portal reopened, candidates have all of the options which they had in March, other than being able to add new subjects. To ensure that their decisions are correctly recorded, all candidates will be required to:
- Review the options they made in each subject and make a final decision as to whether they want to receive Accredited Grades; sit the examinations or both;
- Review the level (Higher, Ordinary and, as appropriate, Foundation) which they initially selected and confirm or change this level;
- Withdraw from any subject which they are no longer studying.
Leaving Certificate Applied Year 2 (6th Year) candidates will make their selections of examinations and Accredited Grades for each subject and Task in which they are entered.
This is the final opportunity for candidates to indicate the level at which Accredited Grades will be awarded. After the portal closes, the Accredited Grade levels will be locked in and cannot be changed by either candidates or schools, as teachers will have started to engage with the estimation process.
Candidates need to consider their choice of level in each subject very carefully. If a candidate selects a level different from the level which they have been studying, they could receive an estimated mark from their school lower than they had expected.
Candidates who choose to sit the examinations will be allowed to change the level on the day of the examination.
Selection of Examinations, Accredited Grades or both
Candidates are advised to give themselves as much choice as possible by keeping their options open in their subjects for as long as possible. However, some things have changed since Portal Phase 1 which they should consider:
- Candidates should be mindful in subjects with multiple components (such as Orals, Practicals, and Coursework), that they may have missed the opportunity to complete the related components. If they do sit the examination, they will receive a result based only on the written examination, and will forfeit the marks for the other components. If candidates have not completed the related components in these subjects and know at this stage that they are not going to sit the examinations, they are asked to update their selections to reflect this.
- In any subject where a candidate sits the examination and also opts to receive Accredited Grades, they will be credited with the better of the two results. If they change levels between their level selection for Accredited Grades and their examination, the comparison of the better of their examination result and their Accredited Grade will be made by reference to established equivalences between Higher, Ordinary and Foundation levels, so that the candidate will receive the result which is most advantageous to them.
- Candidates selecting examinations only should be aware that an Accredited Grade will be available to them as a contingency later on in the event that they cannot sit the examination in June (rather than have chosen not to sit the examination). However, if they sit the examination in a subject and have not opted for an Accredited Grade they will be provided with the result of the examination only, and will not have access to the Accredited Grade.
Role of Schools
Schools have been provided with details of the choices made by candidates following Portal Phase 1 in March, and have been asked by the SEC to review the details in order that they can assist candidates with their final decision making. Schools have also been provided with details of those candidates who did not register on Portal Phase 1, or who registered but did not make their selections. Schools have been asked to ensure that all candidates complete the process when the portal reopens on 27 April 2021, and to assist any candidate who needs help.
The SEC will use the information provided by candidates to refine its plans for the examinations. The final details of candidate subject and level choices will be provided to schools in advance of the in-school phase of the Accredited Grades process which commences on 14 May.
2020 Leaving Certificate Appeals
The SEC has also now completed the appeals in the 2020 Leaving Certificate written examinations which were held late last year. The appeal results are issuing directly to candidates online through the 2020 Leaving Certificate Student Portal. Candidates will be notified of the publication of the outcomes of the appeals through text and email.
Ultimately, 2,155 candidates sat the Leaving Certificate examination which was held in schools in November and December 2020 leading to the award of 4,925 grades in 48 individual subjects. Following the issue of the results on 2 February 2021, a total of 468 subject appeal applications against the grades awarded were made by 284 Candidates across 28 subjects.
The appeal process has resulted in 50 upgrades across 15 subjects. There were no downgrades. The number of upgrades represents 11% of all appeals. By comparison, in 2019 the number of upgrades awarded was 17% of the total number of all appeals. No further information will be provided, given the very low numbers of candidates at each subject and level.
The SEC will be providing the CAO with details of the results which improved through the appeals process, noting that this determination will be made by reference to the calculated grade and the grade awarded on appeal for candidates who also received a calculated grade in the subject. Candidates entitled to a higher points CAO offer will receive a deferred offer to commence their course in the 2021/2022 academic year.
The next stages in this process for candidates are access to re-marked scripts and formal confirmation from Independent Appeals Scrutineers (IAS) that all procedures for the Leaving Certificate Appeals were properly carried out.
SOURCE: Materials provided by State Examinations Commission
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.