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Written Leaving Certificate examinations in November 2020

Arrangements for holding written Leaving Certificate Exams in November 2020

The SEC is finalising plans to run the standard written Leaving Certificate Exams, beginning on 16 November next. The exams will take place at evenings and weekends and further details will be provided by the SEC at a later date.

Schools will not be able to provide tuition to anyone sitting these exams in November as they have already returned to teaching current students.

Details of the written examinations

The exams will be based on written exams only (that is, not including orals or practicals but including coursework in five subjects which was completed prior to schools closing in March). At this stage, it is not possible to conduct oral or practical exams or to complete unfinished coursework. Oral and practical components are school-based, requiring significant levels of support at school level, including the requirement to take serving teachers out of their schools to undertake state examinations work.

In the case of five subjects, the SEC will also mark coursework which you had completed before schools closed.

These marks will be included in the grading of these subjects, which are:

  • Home Economics (already marked by the SEC)
  • LCVP Portfolio
  • Design and Communication Graphics
  • Physical Education (PE) Physical Activity Project
  • Engineering

In all other subjects, you will be awarded grades based solely on your written papers.

How to apply to sit the November exams

Even if you opted to receive Calculated Grades you can still sit written papers in one or more subjects.

Details of how to apply will be provided shortly by the State Examinations Commission on its website

Combining Calculated Grades results with the results of the written exams

If you decide to sit the postponed Leaving Certificate examination, your final Leaving Certificate will reflect the best results for you.

For example:

if you sit the later exams and you receive a grade lower than the Calculated Grade that you received in the subject, your final certificate will display the Calculated Grade, as this is higher
if you receive a higher grade in the later exam, then this is the grade that will appear on your final certificate

However, it should be noted that results from the November exams will not be available in time to begin college this year.

Dates for the results of the exams

Results from the November exams are not expected before early February 2021 at the earliest.

If you sit the exams and opted to receive Calculated Grades, you will be awarded the higher subject grade achieved between the Calculated Grade and the written exam.

The results will not be available in time to begin college this year.

Appeals process for the written exams

If you sit the written exams you will have access to the usual appeals process. This involves the opportunity to view your script(s) in advance of applying for an appeal. Appeal scripts will be marked by a different examiner to the one who marked the work originally and you will ultimately have access to the Independent Appeals Scrutineer service to confirm that all SEC appeal procedures were correctly followed.

Fees for the written Leaving Certificate exams in November

There will be no fee if you choose to sit the examinations in November.

Reasonable accommodation provision for the November exams

If you were approved for a reasonable accommodation in the original 2020 Leaving Certificate written exams, such as a reader or waiver from spelling and grammar, you will still have this accommodation in the November exams.

Information for DARE and HEAR college applicants

As a significant part of the 2020/21 academic year will already have passed by the time the November Leaving Certificate exam results are issued, you will only be considered for college entry in 2021/22.

If you were already eligible for DARE/HEAR 2020, you can carry forward your eligibility into 2021. But you must follow the procedure for carrying forward eligibility detailed here. (Note that this procedure refers to the current year).

If you were ineligible for DARE and/or HEAR in 2020, you can reapply in 2021