Leaving cert results and appeals

If you are a student who has just finished their Leaving Cert and isn’t happy with how your result went, we will tell you all you need to know about the appeal process for your Leaving Cert results below. 

Source from: Citizens Information – Leaving Cert Appeals

What you need to know first

The Actual Appeal Process

What happens during the appeal process? Your script is sent to an appeal examiner for re-marking. This examiner is different from the examiner who originally marked your work. In some subjects involving practical/project work it may be necessary for an appeal examiner to visit the school to re-mark work stored by the school.

Is the same marking scheme used for re-marking?

Yes, it is essential in the interests of equity and fairness that the re-marking on appeal is carried out in accordance with the marking scheme for that subject. This ensures that appeal examiners apply the same standards in re-marking as were applied to all candidates in the examination. The marking schemes in all examination subjects are published prior to the Viewing of Scripts and are available in our Examination Material Archive or from the Organising Superintendent at the viewing session.

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 fairness to all other candidates who took the examination, examiners can award only those marks due to you according to the marking scheme.

For example, it is quite possible for a candidate to be 1 mark short of the next grade point in a subject with a maximum of 600 marks. The appeal examiner does not conduct the appeal on the basis of seeking that additional mark for the candidate. Indeed it is possible that the appeal examiner could either add or deduct marks as the marking scheme is applied afresh question by question to your work.

Can a result be downgraded on appeal?

Yes. The results published in August 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 any of the following factual/technical reasons:-

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

the 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 it to be in line with what would be awarded by the generality of examiners.


You can appeal your Leaving Certificate results.

If you appeal your mark in a written exam, your script will be sent to an appeal examiner for re-marking.

Appealing your mark in the written exam

Students who are not satisfied with the marks they get in one or more subjects of their written Leaving Certificate examination can appeal those results to the State Examinations Commission. Before you appeal your result(s), you can view your examination script and then decide if you still want to appeal. See ‘Viewing your written exam script’ below.

Appeal process

Your script will be sent to an appeal examiner for re-marking. This will not be the same person who originally marked your work. The same marking scheme is used for re-marking. This means that appeal examiners apply the same standards in re-marking as were applied to all candidates in the original examination. There is further information about the appeal process on the SEC’s website.

If you are not happy with the outcome of your appeal, you may request an appeal review by the Independent Appeals Scrutineers. Application forms for an appeal review are provided with your appeal results.

Rectification outside of the appeal process

If you have viewed your script and believe there is a clear discrepancy between the mark awarded and the subsequent grade awarded, you also have means of redress. You should ask the Organising Superintendent at the viewing session for a Rectification Outside of the Appeal Process Form (Form ROAP1).

This rectification service applies only where it is clear that the total mark is inconsistent with the grade awarded and where this matter can be resolved administratively. 

Information on appealing your results and rectification outside of the appeal process is available on the SEC’s website.

One person may accompany you when you are viewing your script. You cannot arrange for someone else to view your script in your place.

Viewing your written exam script

When you get your exam results, you can apply on the Candidate Self Service Portal to view your examination script. This allows you to see how your work was marked so you can make an appeal if you think there was a mistake.

When you apply, the Organising Superintendent appointed by the State Examinations Commission assigns you a viewing session in the school.

You can bring a digital device (mobile phone, digital camera or tablet) to a viewing session to make a copy of your script. You must attend in person.

At the viewing you are given a Candidate Observation Report Form to take away. You can use this form later, if you want to bring any matter to the attention of the examiner at appeal stage.

Scripts marked online in 2021

Online access to scripts marked online closed on 12 September 2021.

The Department of Education has published a Candidate Information Guide to Examination Results by Subject.

The SEC’s Viewing of Scripts service is the only chance for you to see your examination paper before the appeal closing date. If you request access to your script under Data Protection legislation it will take up to 90 days for your request to be processed, by which time the appeal process will have closed.

Read more about viewing scripts in the Candidate Information Guide to Results and Appeals (pdf).


Information about appeal fees for 2022 will be published on the State Examinations Commission website.

How to apply

Information about appeal applications for 2022 will be published on the State Examinations Commission website.

Where to apply

State Examinations Commission, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland

Tel: (090) 644 2700, Fax: (090) 644 2744

Homepage: http://www.examinations.ie/

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