Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.54 14 May 2019


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The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has insisted that no State exams will be marked by a computer.

The SEC says reports suggesting that a new online marking system will see students' exams corrected by computers are 'misleading', and that the process will still be carried out by examiners.

Online marking is set to be rolled out the majority of Leaving and Junior Cert subjects over a three year period, beginning this year.

The 2019 exams will see six Leaving subjects (maths, chemistry, physics, biology, LCVP link modules and politics & society) and four Junior subjects (English, French, science and business studies) marked online.

It comes after the system was tested in 2016 and 2017.

Under the new system, exam answer books are scanned electronically and then marked online by an examiner.

According to the SEC, examiners have expressed a "strong preference for online over paper-based marking" as it eliminates much of the traditional administrative work.

They add that all examiners will receive "comprehensive training" in using the software involved.

In a statement, the Commission explained: "Online marking involves scanned images of examination scripts being marked by examiners on a computer, not by a computer.

"The computer is not marking any work. All candidate work is seen and marked by an examiner, as has always been the case."

There will be some 'minor changes' to the appearance of exam answer books to allow for the scanning, and students will be told to complete their answers in black or blue pen (with pencils allowed for diagrams and graphs).

The SEC stresses that while exam papers will be scanned and become an electronic script for marking, the original paper answer books will be kept.

Main image: File photo of Leaving Cert exam papers. Picture by: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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