Leaving Cert 2018

Leaving Cert Appeals

There have been some big changes to the Leaving Cert Appeals process this year. The 2019 students will see a shorter appeals timeline introduced, with the Leaving Cert Results and CAO Round 1 offers set to take place in the same week for the first time. Before the applications to appeal exam results open, students are given the option to apply to view their scripts. Viewing a script is recommended prior to appealing the result. 

You must apply to view your script using the Candidate Self-Service Portal. You can access this portal here. Applications to view exam scripts open at 9am on Wednesday 14th of August and they close at 5pm on Friday 16th of August.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) will provide two script-viewing services:

  • in schools for subjects marked on paper
  • online for subjects marked online (students viewing scripts online will be given access through the Candidate Self-Service Portal)

Script Viewings will take place during the following sessions:

  • Tuesday the 20th of August from 5pm - 8pm
  • Wednesday the 21st of August from 9am - 12pm
  • Wednesday the 21st of August from 2pm - 5pm
Read our article by clicking here to learn everything you need to know about these new changes. 

Viewing of Marked Scripts 

The viewing of marked scripts is a process whereby a student takes a look at their exam paper to check if the marking scheme has been applied correctly. Most subjects are viewed at the school, however, as some subjects are now marked online, students will view these scripts on a computer. See a list of subjects marked online here

Students must view their marked scripts in person and can be accompanied by one other person. You are now permitted to bring in a mobile phone, tablet or digital camera for the purpose of copying your own scripts. You are not allowed to use the digital device for any other purpose of copying, except your own scripts. 

At the viewing session candidates are provided with a Candidate Observation Report (Form AP1) in which to record any matter that they want brought to the attention of the SEC’s examiners.  One form should be completed for each examination script that is the subject of the appeal. The form must be completed inside the Viewing Centre.

Advice for script viewing day

  • Bring in a mobile device or camera to copy your script.
  • No writing implements are allowed into the viewing centre 
  • Leave a sheet of paper and pen outside the viewing centre
  • If you discover an error in marking, leave the viewing centre and record both the number of the question and the answer that you are disputing.
  • Note the reason why you are disputing the marks for your answer, on your rough paper. e.g. Question 9 (d) All points on the marking scheme are covered; only 9 out of 12 marks scored.
  • Repeat the process as many times as are required for as long as it takes you to go through your exam paper.
  • Return your exam paper and marking scheme to the Superintendent at the viewing centre.
  • Return the completed Candidate Observation Report from(s) to the Organising Superintendent so that they can associate the form with the relevant script.

Making an Appeal - The Process

An appeal is a process whereby you ask for your exam to be remarked. You can apply for a viewing of your exam papers (scripts) without carrying out a appeal. However, it is highly recommended that you view your script before you apply for an appeal. 

In order to make an appeal application, you should use the online Appeals Application Service on the Candidate Self-Service Portal which will be available from 5pm on the 16th of August, 2019. You access this service online using your Examination Number and PIN.  

Once you have logged in, you will be presented with details of the subjects of the examinations that you sat. To apply for an appeal, you should tick the ‘Appeal’ box across from the subject(s) you choose to appeal and complete the online appeal application.  This application will be the same for all scripts whether marked manually or online.

The appeal fee is €40.00 per subject in the case of the Leaving Certificate and €15.50 per subject in the case of the Leaving Certificate Applied. Appeal fees must be paid in advance. The fee will be refunded to you if your result is upgraded. The refund will be made through your school if you are entered by school.

Upon successful completion of the fee transaction, an Appeal Confirmation form will be emailed to you and you should ensure the details on this are correct as late appeals will not be accepted under any circumstances. Candidates have until 5pm on the 22nd of August, 2019 to do so.

Results of appeals will be issued in mid-September. 

After the appeals results are issued, candidates are entitled to view their scripts again, including the responses recorded by the appeal examiner. If the candidate is still unhappy with their grade and feels that they should have received a higher one, they can appeal to a panel of Independent Appeal Scrutineers. The candidate can then raise concerns regarding the marking of their paper/s with the panel.

Successful Appeals

The SEC will inform the CAO directly of all changes in results. The results of the appeals will be released in mid September (previously mid-October) so if a student receives a later offer after an appeal, then a transfer will be less disruptive than it was previously. 

If you have requested to appeal some of your Leaving Certificate examinations, and if your results are changed on appeal, your position on the Order of Merit list will be altered to reflect your new points score. If you are deemed entitled to a place on a course based on your upgraded Leaving Certificate results you will receive an offer. If all of the places for that course have already been allocated, you will receive a deferral of the offer for the following academic year. The decision to offer a place is made by the HEI in question and not the CAO.

View all Key Dates for the Leaving Cert Appeals Process

You can find full information, guidelines and details in the SEC Candidate Information Booklet. 


Keep a folder of important documentation, including correspondence and dates relating to LC results, SEC Appeals and CAO Offers.


My son has received his first choice and has accepted the course. He still wants to view his scripts and possibly appeal his grades in a couple of subjects. I know that it is possible for marks to go down - would he lose his current place if that happened and he no longer satisfied the course entry requirements?

The college can remove a place from somebody who is not fully entitled to it. If your son loses points when the results of his appeals are released, then someone else may be more entitled to the place on that course. He should consider whether the appeals are really worth his while.

My son/daughter wishes to appeal some of their grades but for some reason does not want to view their scripts. Can they appeal their grades without viewing their scripts?

Your child can submit an appeals application without viewing their scripts, however, it is recommended to view scripts as this will give them clarity about where they gained/lost marks. With this information, they will have a better idea of whether submitting an appeal is worth their while.

What if my son or daughter wants to view the marking on their Leaving Certificate scripts?

They must apply to view their scripts through the Candidate Self-Service Portal. See Key Dates

Scripts may be viewed at the school, during set hours on this date. 

The Organising Superintendent appointed by the SEC to your child's school will assign them to a viewing session. The student may bring one additional person along with them, ideally their subject teacher, where possible. 

How much does it cost to view scripts?

It costs nothing to view scripts, but there is a charge per subject if you then wish to proceed to the recheck stage. The fee is fully refundable if a script is upgraded on appeal.

What happens at the script viewing?

The candidate is awarded a viewing time by the school which they will need to attend as they can only view their Leaving Cert scripts in person.

Where it is not possible for a subject teacher to attend young people often invite a parent or older sibling along to view their scripts with them.

Remember, the viewing is a process whereby you take a look at your marked script(s) to check if the marking scheme has been applied correctly. There is no charge for viewing.

Scripts marked online are viewed online.  To see a list of these subjects which you can view online, click here.

An appeal is the process whereby you ask for your exam to be remarked. There is a charge for this (€40.00 per subject - which is refunded if an upgrade is granted)

You can apply for an appeal without carrying out a viewing of your script. However, it is highly recommended that you view your script before you apply for an appeal.

To apply to view your script, you must submit an application through the Candidate Self-Service Portal. The application for viewing scripts will open at 9am on Wednesday the 14th of August and you must submit your application by 5pm on Friday the 16th of August.

Script viewings will take place between Tuesday the 20th and Wednesday the 21st of August. 

What should we look for?

The first thing to check is that your marks have been added up correctly on the results sheet.

In the event that you find an error, this can be appealed, on the day, with form AP1 and means that a grade can be corrected without reassessment of the paper or the marking scheme.

However, the SEC (State Examination Commission) advises candidates to also lodge a formal appeal on the paper to cover all eventualities.

The formal appeal will look at the calculation of marks within questions, any disallowed questions and any dispute regarding the full marking of a particular question.

What happens next?

You must apply to appeal your grade on the Candidate Self Service Portal. The deadline for submitting appeals for 2019 is 5pm on Thursday the 22nd of August. 

The fee for each subject appeal is €40 and €15.50 for Leaving Cert Applied. This fee is refunded in the case of each upgrade. The appeals process operates within a fairly tight timeframe (see  Key Dates) so it’s important to ensure that deadlines are met and forms are completed and submitted on time. Oral and practical exams can only be reassessed when a full recheck has been requested.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of appealing a LC result?

There are pros and cons to the Leaving Cert appeals process.

On the minus side, it means an additional cost at what can be a very expensive time for any family. It may be disheartening and bring additional stress to the young person to go through an extended period of reassessment, without any positive change in the outcome.

On the plus side, the appeals process can help eliminate any doubts or recriminations about the exam result and help the young person move forward to the next stage of their lives. It also gives an opportunity to view good independent grading and feedback on their work which is helpful.

Also, if upgraded, you will be refunded. If it means the difference of getting a college course or not, it is worth a shot

The possibility of a downgrade (though rare enough) should also be born in mind.

Full details from the SEC are available here