New Leaving Cert marking system could lead to more rechecks

This year sees the first time the new markings are used

New Leaving Cert marking system could lead to more rechecks

One Leaving Certificate student from Kildare who got 615 points | Image:

Education experts are warning a new way of grading the Leaving Certificate could lead to more rechecks.

The new system is being introduced this year.

The new grade scheme will see markings like 'A1' replaced with 'H1' for a higher level paper or 'O1' for an ordinary level paper.

While an 'A2' or a 'B1' - between 80 or 90% - will be worth the same amount: either a 'H2' or an 'O2'.

It will see several grades done away with as they are amalgamated, and will no longer uses bands such as A1, A2 and so on.

The new grading system | Source:

The new scale has eight grades at both higher and ordinary levels - the highest grade is a Grade 1, the lowest grade a Grade 8.

Grades 1-7 run from 100% to 30% and Grade 8 is for percentage marks for 0 to 29.9%.

There bands will change at every 10%.

While the new system was announced back in 2015, this is the first year it is being used.

The changes mean the CAO points system has also been revised.

It will see a H1 worth 100 CAO points, a H4 gives you 66 points, while a H5 is worth 56 points - the same as an O1.

How the new system will affect CAO points | Image:

Guidance counsellor Brian Mooney told Pat Kenny he is expecting some changes in the numbers sitting higher level papers.

"The most significant change is that in the past fails started at 40% on both ordinary and higher - as of now, you get no points and are deemed to have failed at higher (level) once you get to 30%.

"And that is going to have a huge, significant affect I think on a number of areas.

"Let's have a look next Wednesday at the number of students who actually sat higher level Irish and higher level maths - because every single year up to now, you get to the mocks, a student gets 30-something percent in their mocks in higher level Irish or English (and they say) 'I failed, I better not take a chance'".

"In the past if you failed at 40%, that was it... When you look at the number that registered every year with the State Exams Commission in November to sit maths and higher level and sit Irish at higher level and you looked at the number who actually sat it in June there was always a difference of 3,000 or 4,000 who literally just disappear.

"I suspect they won't disappear this year. They'll have a go to get to 30%".

But he also says the new system could see more rechecks from students.

"I reckon we're going to have an awful lot of rechecks.

"If you see you're eight points you may not appeal.. but if you're only one or two short, you will see that paying the money to have your paper rechecked (is worth it).

"If you get your result next Wednesday and you don't get your CAO offer, it is really worthwhile the following day asking to review your scripts across all your subjects because effectively only then will you see if you're on 79 or 71".