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System 'doesn't have infrastructure to predict grades fairly' - student


Leaving Cert student Marie Cormican says predictive grading could lead to ‘chaos’

Leaving Cert student Marie Cormican says predictive grading could lead to ‘chaos’

Leaving Cert student Marie Cormican says predictive grading could lead to ‘chaos’

A Dublin Leaving Cert student has said she doesn't believe the Irish education system has the ability to predict grades fairly after it was announced yesterday that the State exams have been cancelled due to public health concerns.

Students will instead be assessed based on grades awarded by their schools.

However, candidates who want to sit the traditional exams will also be facilitated at a later date.

Castleknock teenager Marie Cormican (18) is a Leaving Cert candidate at Mount Sackville Secondary School, Chapelizod, Dublin.

"I have read a litany of open letters and editorials trumpeting the 'fairness' of such a method," she said.

"The Irish education system is one of the best in the world, but simply does not have the infrastructure to predict grades fairly.

"In the UK, students are aware from the beginning of the two-year 'A-Level' cycle that every piece of work is being scrutinised.

Students sit two sets of official mocks before their main exams and have already secured college places on a preliminary basis."

Marie believes that attempts to implement such a system in Ireland would result in "chaos".


"This system is far from perfect. Over 75pc of predicted grades turn out to be inaccurate and that is within a battle-hardened administration.

"Imagine the chaos such would bring if implemented in Ireland. It is both unfair and unprofessional to place this burden on teachers.

"Although the thought of having to sit our exams in late summer is unprecedented, so is this dreadful virus.

"Sitting a physical exam and standardised paper trumps all options as by far the fairest."

Meanwhile, Joseph Murray (18), from Knock, Co Mayo, said the decision to cancel the Leaving Cert came as a "bit of a shock".

"No matter what happened I always thought the exams would go ahead somehow," said Joseph who is a Leaving Cert student in St Louis Secondary School in Kiltimagh.

"The calculated grades model will not suit everyone and it is certainly not a perfect solution, but in the midst of a pandemic I don't think anything could be.

"However, the seemingly robust appeals process and giving us the option to sit an exam at a later date provides everyone with an option."

Joseph said he was "relieved" to have clarity.

"The last number of weeks have been rife with anxiety, so to receive a definite answer has alleviated a significant amount of my stress."