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02/02/2021 Compass Parents

Candidate Information Guide

Coimisiún na Scrúduithe Stáit







Candidate Information Guide.


Results and Appeals Service




1.  Introduction



The Candidate Self Service Portal has reopened to allow all 2020 Leaving Certificate students who sat the later Leaving Certificate examinations to access their results.

Please read this guide in full before you commence.  


The purpose of this guide is to inform you of next steps following the issue of the Leaving Certificate results and provide information that you need about accessing your results, viewing your component marks, viewing your scripts and appealing your results.  To avail of these services, you will need to log into the Candidate Self Service Portal.


2.  Key Dates


The following grid outlines the key dates associated with the 2020 Leaving Certificate Examinations results process:

3.  How to access my results



You will be able to access your results from 12 noon on Tuesday 2nd February. You will need:


    1. your Examination number
    2. the Password you created when you registered your account.

Do not worry if you have forgotten your password, you will be able to create a new one.

    1. access to the email address you used at Registration if you need to change your password

You can access your examination results via the Candidate Self Service Portal at and on


  1. Click on the Login button.  This will bring you to a Login screen
  2. Login to your Account - Enter your examination number and the password you created during the registration process.  You will now see two buttons:


‘Access Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades’ this will bring you to a screen where you can access information relating to your previously issued Calculated Grades (if you received calculated grades). 


‘Access Leaving Certificate Examination Results’ This will bring you to the Results screen where you can view your November Examination results download and print off your Statement of Provisional Results that you received in the November Examinations


  1. To access your examination results click on the button ‘Access Leaving Certificate Examination Results’ then click on the ‘Access my Results’ and you will be able to view your results. 
  2. To print or download your ‘Statement of Provisional Results at the Leaving Certificate Examination 2020’ click on ‘Access my Statement of Provisional Results’

4.  Understanding my results


Note: the SEC has provided the CAO with details of these examination results.  This includes results for candidates who did not receive calculated grades and for those who did, details of the any results which are higher than their calculated grades.  


Accessing your provisional statement of results on the Candidate Self Service Portal is the only way you can receive a hard copy of your results. This statement will show you the results you have received for the subjects you sat in the written examinations. 


If you received calculated grades you will continue to have access to your calculated grades through the candidate portal so you can make your own comparison between your examination results and calculated grades.  


The final certificate which will be provided by the SEC, and which can only issue after all of the appeal processes for the examinations have been concluded, will be an integrated certificate showing the best combined set of results between your November examination results and the calculated grades.



5. Change of Levels between calculated grades and the Leaving Certificate examination 

Some candidates received calculated grades at a different level to the level at which they sat the examinations.   The SEC used the following table of grade equivalences to establish the better grade in the case of level changes.  This will also be of assistance in understanding your results if you changed levels.      These equivalences were established as a matter of educational policy in the context of the revised grading scheme and revised common basic points scale introduced in 2017 Leaving Certificate.  


For students with equivalent grades between calculated grades and the leaving certificate examination grade who received:

  • a higher result on a lower level paper


  • or a lower result on a higher level paper 

The calculated grades result will be output on your final certificate unless you notify us you want to be awarded the examination result. (e.g. if you received a calculated grade of H5 and a leaving certificate examination grade of O1, H5 will be included on your final certificate).  


Annotation on Results 

Certain accommodations provided under the Scheme of Reasonable Accommodations at the certificate examinations involve a waiver or exemption from the assessment of a core element of the examination which normally gives rise to an explanatory note (annotation), indicating the nature of the adjustment, on the provisional statements of results and on the final examination certificates.   


Due to the unprecedented circumstances associated with COVID19, for the 2020 examinations, and the exceptional nature of the arrangements which applied this year, a decision has been taken not to include any annotations on the results of the 2020 Leaving Certificate, whether calculated grades or examination results, either at the time of issue of the provisional results or on the final examination certificates. This is an exceptional measure which is being applied for 2020 only and does not interfere with normal examinations policy in relation to the annotation of examination results.  



Access to Marks and Component marks

On 9am Wednesday 3rd February by logging into the ‘Results page’ you will also have access to your actual marks and component marks.  


Notification to CAO 

The CAO has been advised of any improved grades if you have previously received calculated grades, and the grades for those candidates who were not previously provided with calculated grades.  We have not notified the CAO of any change of grade for results which are equivalent as there has been no improvement in your result (e.g. CG at H6, exam result at O2). 


The SEC is advised that individual Higher Education Institutions will contact candidates who are eligible for deferred places during week beginning 8 February.  


If you are entitled to an improved CAO offer on foot of these results, you will receive a deferred college offer from the CAO to start your course in the 2021/22 academic year. If you have started first year of a course and become entitled to a higher CAO offer and chooses to accept same in the following academic year, attendance for the first year on the new course will remain eligible for free fees and SUSI funding as appropriate


  1. The viewing of scripts facility

The Viewing of Scripts service provides you with an opportunity to see how your script was marked in order to make an informed decision about whether or not to appeal your result.  We strongly recommend that you take the opportunity to view your script before making an appeal application.  Viewing also gives you the opportunity to make comments for the attention of the appeal examiner.


Marking Schemes can be found at 


How do I apply to view scripts?

You can only apply to view your scripts through the Candidate Self Service Portal.    The viewing of scripts application service will be available from 9am Wednesday 3rd February and will close at 5pm Thursday 4th February 2021.  You will need your username and password which you will get when you registered on the portal.  


How do I view my scripts? 

If you make an application to view scripts we will provide online access to view these Scripts on the Candidate Self Service Portal from noon Tuesday 9th to noon Wednesday 10th February.


What will I see when I view a script that has been marked online?  

You will see a digital image of your script which will include a report of the marks assigned to each question (or part, sub-part, etc.) according to the marking scheme.  In the script itself you will see any annotations (crosses, ticks, underlines, etc.) that the examiner applied to you work while marking it.  Online marking provides for monitoring of examiner’s work in the same way as paper-based marking.  While you will only see one final set of marks you will know that your script has been monitored as the annotations will be green while an examiner’s annotation will be in red. Further information about the annotations that you encounter on the online marked scripts will be found in the subject-specific marking scheme.



This year the following Leaving Certificate subjects have been marked using the SEC’s online marking system.  

 Scripts completed through the medium of Irish and marked online?

If you have completed your online script through the medium of Irish, bonus marks may be awarded.  For those such subjects which have been marked online (with the exception of French), the bonus marks awarded will be appear on the last page following your script.  In the case of French, the bonus marks awarded will appear on the report, which accompanies your script, as a separate item.


Other than the subjects in the table above, all other scripts were marked manually on the paper scripts. 


Why are there two sets of marks on my manually marked script?  

Some manually marked scripts have two sets of marks – this happens when a script has been selected for quality assurance in the marking process. Each examiner’s work is monitored by a more senior examiner, called an Advising Examiner.  In this quality assurance process, each examiner must send a number of scripts to their Advising Examiner who reviews the marking applied to the script.  Sometimes the examiner has not marked in line with the marking scheme – either too hard or too easy – and the Advising Examiner will remark the script in line with the scheme and will provide feedback to the examiner to improve their marking.  The Advising Examiners marks are considered the final marks.  Examiners use red pen when marking, and Advising Examiners use green pen when monitoring.


What can I do if I think, on viewing my script, that there has been an error in the marking or in the grade I was given?

It depends. The two options are 


have the marking of your script reviewed through the appeals process – see The Appeals Process section  of this guide 

seek rectification outside the appeals process – see the Seeking Rectification Outside the Appeals Process section of this guide.


Both of these options are explained in greater detail in the relevant sections below. 



Appeals Process 



Making an appeal  

The appeal application service will be available through the Candidate Self Service Portal.  


How do I apply to appeal my result?

In order to make an appeal application, you should login to the Candidate Self Service Portal.  The application to appeal will be available from 9am on Tuesday 10th February until 5pm on Friday 12th February 2021. Under no circumstances will late appeal applications be accepted.  


The appeal application service is being provided free of charge this year. 


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.  Upon successful completion 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.


Do I need to have viewed my scripts in order to make an appeal?

No. However the SEC recommends that any candidate considering an appeal should view their script(s) in order to make an informed decision. By viewing your script you will have the opportunity to see how the published marking scheme has been applied to your work.


Will I be able to raise specific issues for the appeal examiner to consider in the course of the appeal marking?   

Only if you opt to view your script.  The opportunity to raise specific issues with the appeal examiners is restricted to candidates who view their script.  As part of the appeal application you will be given the opportunity to complete a ‘Candidate Observation form’ (AP1).   You must complete a separate form for each examination script that is the subject of the appeal.  In the case of Maths you will be provided with a separate form for each paper as each paper is marked by a different examining team.  The comments that you record through the online Candidate Observation form will be associated with your appeal script.

In making an appeal, it is not necessary to raise any specific issues - it is entirely optional. 


If you decide to appeal, your appeal is clearly important to you. You alone have control over, and responsibility for making a valid appeal within the set timeframe. 


What happens during the Appeals Process?

Your script is sent to an appeal examiner.  This is a different examiner from the one who originally marked your work.  The appeal examiner will review the marking of every part of every question, even if you have not made any specific observations about it.  The appeal examiner will consider whether the mark awarded by the original examiner is correct and reasonable, in line with the marking scheme.  If it is, the appeal examiner will award the same mark again.  If it is not, the appeal examiner will award what they consider to be the correct mark.


The quality of the work of the appeal examiners is monitored by the Chief Examiner and a senior team.

Scripts originally marked online will be marked on appeal using the online marking system.    


Is everything remarked during the appeals process? 

All of the work you submitted as part of the 2020 leaving certificate examinations are fully revisited as part of the appeal process.  



Is the same marking scheme used during the appeals?

Yes. It is essential in the interests of equity and fairness that appeal marking is carried out in accordance with the marking scheme for that subject. This ensures that appeal examiners apply the same standards during the appeal marking as were applied to all candidates in the original marking. 



If I am just a few marks short of the next grade am I likely to be awarded them on appeal?

Not necessarily. The appeal process exists to ensure that the marking scheme has been applied consistently and fairly to your work. Appeal examiners are not searching for additional marks to “bring a candidate up to the next grade”. In justice to all other candidates who took the examination, examiners can award only those marks due to you according to the marking scheme. Indeed, it is possible that the appeal examiner could either add or deduct marks as they work their way, question by question, through your work. 


Can a result be downgraded on appeal?

Yes, the results published on 2nd February are provisional and accordingly a result can be downgraded in certain circumstances. This is because the appeal process exists to ensure that the marking scheme was fully and properly applied to the work produced at the examination. Consistent and fair application of the marking schemes ensures equitable treatment for all candidates.



In what circumstances can a downgrade occur?

A downgrade could result automatically if a candidate loses sufficient marks for either of the following factual/technical reasons:-


there is a clear error in the summation of marks or there has been incorrect inclusion of marks, (e.g., credit given for a question or part of a question that should have been disallowed), and/or,


if a candidate has been awarded marks for an answer that is clearly and unambiguously not in accordance with the marking scheme.


In addition, a Chief Examiner can recommend a downgrade where the reduction in marks derives from an error of judgement by the examiner (as distinct from (a) and (b) above). In such circumstances a 


downgrade would not normally occur where there is a marginal difference. In other words, a revised lower mark is only reckoned where the Chief Examiner considers that the original mark was sufficiently out of line with the criteria set out in the marking scheme and the standard applied in the original marking.


Are there likely to be many downgrades?

The expectation is that the number of downgrades should be relatively small. This is because candidates have had an opportunity to view their scripts and the expectation is that only those who clearly believe that there are reasonable grounds for an appeal will seek one. It is important, therefore, to carefully review your marked script before reaching the decision whether or not to appeal.


When will I receive my appeal results? 

It is not possible to state at this time when the results of the appeals will be available.  The SEC will make every effort to process the appeals as quickly as possible balanced with the need to allow the appeal examiners sufficient time to carry out a to carry out their work thoroughly.   The appeal results will be made available through the Candidate Self Service Portal and candidates will be informed of the date at a later stage.  


The SEC automatically informs the CAO of all changes of results.   


Seeking Rectification Outside Of the Appeals Process (ROAP)

Outside of the formal appeal process, what can I do if, on viewing a script, I see what I believe is a clear discrepancy between the mark awarded and the grade awarded?


This facility applies only where it is clear that the total mark awarded is inconsistent with the grade awarded and where the matter can be resolved administratively (i.e. without recourse to the examination paper or the marking scheme).


 In the event that you discover a clear discrepancy between the mark awarded and the grade awarded, you should email with Rectification in the subject line.  You should also include your Examination number, Subject and level and describe the inconsistency between the mark awarded and the grade awarded:


An examinations script carries a final mark on the front page.  Examiners complete a marking sheet when they have completed all of their marking.  The marking sheet is a list of the candidate numbers of the candidates whose work is assigned to that examiner.  The examiner is required to record the final mark as shown on the front page of the answer book against the relevant candidate number.  When the Marking Sheets are returned to the SEC, the marks records are entered onto the SEC’s database by clerical staff.  


The SEC operates this facility of seeking rectification outside of the appeals process for the purpose of putting right:

a)   an error in transcribing the overall mark from the front of the answer book to the marking sheet, or

b)   an error in keying the mark from the marking sheet onto the examinations database 


This facility applies only where it is clear that the total mark awarded is inconsistent with the grade awarded and where the matter can be resolved administratively (i.e. without recourse to the examination paper or the marking scheme).  


The test therefore for what can receive immediate attention after the viewing of scripts is a very rigorous one which will be scrupulously applied. If there is any issue interpretation regarding:


Transferring of marks from inside the script to the front cover

Computation of marks

The application of the marking scheme

Claims that the work has not been fully marked

Disallowed questions


Then this will require the expert judgement of an examiner through the formal appeals process and cannot be resolved through this administrative facility.  


Important: If you opt for this facility, you will probably not know the outcome before the closing date for submitting an appeal.  It may be prudent, therefore, to also lodge an appeal, so that if the point raised is not upheld, or requires interpretation by an examiner, you will not have denied yourself access to the appeals process because the closing date has passed. If the point raised by you in the Rectification email is upheld, you will be given an opportunity to withdraw the appeal.  



What if I discover an error in an online marked script? 

In the event that you discover a discrepancy between the mark awarded and grade awarded in a script that was marked online, you should contact the Online Marking Team in the SEC at:  or via phone on 090 +644 2768/2460/2869.


Data Protection

Candidate will have access to their own marked scripts online, which will show the examiner marks and they will also have access to the Marking Schemes.  The details of our Data Protection regulations are available on the SEC Website.


  National Parents Council-Post-Primary Helpline


The National Parents Council-Post-Primary, with the support of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, will operate a helpline for students receiving their results next Tuesday, 2 February 2021. The helpline will be staffed by qualified guidance counsellors and will provide advice to students and parents regarding the examination results The helpline can be contacted at 1800 265 165, and will remain open until Friday evening, 5 February 2021. 



10.  Support from the SEC 


If you have any questions, you can contact us by email  


There will be helpdesk support available at 1800 111 135 between 9am to 5pm until the 12th February.    


State Examinations Commission 


2 February 2021