| 11°C Dublin

Multiple choice Leaving Cert - and what it means for the class of 2020


Teachers are expected to exercise judgment

Teachers are expected to exercise judgment

Teachers are expected to exercise judgment

Is the Leaving Cert cancelled or postponed?

Effectively, it's cancelled, and the exams scheduled to start on July 29 are not happening.

However, there will be a sitting at some point - November is the earliest date being mentioned - to facilitate students who really want to sit the written papers.

These include those who may not be happy with the calculated, or what are often referred to as predictive, grades they are awarded by their school.

But a November Leaving Cert won't allow me use results from the exam for college entry in the autumn?

That's right. If you decide to sit the exam, the results would come into play for college entry in 2021/22.

However, if a student gets an improved CAO offer on foot of better grades in the exam, they will get a deferred college offer based on points for 2020/21 and will have it in the bag for 2021/22.

Do I have to choose between calculated grades or the exam?

You can do both. Even if you are happy with the calculated grades in most subjects, but feel you could do better sitting the exam in one or more subject, you can do that and combine the two sets of grades for CAO points purposes.

I reckon I'll be happy with calculated grades. Am I finished with school?

In a word, yes. The work that teachers and principals have to do now in deciding on what percentage marks to award you for different subjects will be based on past performance, such as summer and Christmas exams and coursework.

It will also take account of how you rank against your peers in the school.

Is there higher level and ordinary level in calculated grades?

Yes and students are advised to stick with whatever they entered to do in the traditional exams.

Will teachers be using my Junior Cycle results when they calculate my grades?

No. Junior Cycle results will not form part how schools award percentage marks to individual students.

However, when all the schools -there are about 730 - submit their data, the Department of Education will be able to take account of the school's Junior Cycle results as a way of checking that there is no wild variation.

How can I be certain that the calculated grades process will be fair? I get on better with some teaches and I think it shows in my grades.

I also get a feeling that I have been marked down in English, as a way of trying to get me to work harder.

Teachers are professionals and their code of practice is underpinned by the values of integrity, trust, care and respect.

They can be expected to exercise professional judgments in coming up with a percentage mark for each student.

What they are being asked to do is estimate what they think you would get if you had sat the exam in the normal way in June.

So even if they used certain tactics to motivate you, they will balance everything out.

The Department of Education is issuing guidance to teachers about how to approach the process.