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Changes for the 2019 State Examinations

Increased online marking, changes to exam paper cover design and key LC results and appeals dates

Changes for the 2019 State Examinations

The 2019 State Examinations are fast-approaching and the State Examination Commission wishes to make students and schools aware of certain changes in exam marking, exam paper layout, and changes to the results and appeals timelines for the Leaving Certificate.

In recent years the State Examination Commission has elected to mark certain examination subjects using an online marking platform. The development has been attributed to the fact that online marking "facilitates high quality, reliable marking of candidates' examination responses. Some of the advantages of this marking format include increased accuracy in the calculation of final exam marks and it also eliminates the admistration of the marking on the examiner's side, allowing for a singular focus on the marking of the exam script itself. The SEC intends to roll out online marking to all Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Subjects by 2022.

The following subjects wills be graded using an online marking system for the 2019 State Examinations:

Leaving Certificate


LCVP - Link Modules (Written Paper)

Politics & Society


Junior Cycle




Business Studies

The implementation of online marking will see no significant changes for candidates sitting the exams. However, there will be some modifications to the exam papers themselves and it is important to be aware of this. Candidates sitting exams where online marking will be used should be aware of the following:

  • Candidates must complete their repsonses using black or blue pen only.
  • The four Junior Cycle subjects, as well as Leaving Certificate Mathematics, Links Modules, and Politics & Society continue to have a combined examination paper/answer book.
  • The short answer section in Leaving Cert Biology has been modified to facilitate the scanning process, and is now a separate returnable section.
  • There is a new answer book especially for use in Leaving Certificate Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The main difference is that candidates will indicate the subject, level and paper version (Irish/English) they are using the booklet for by fully shading in the relevant circles on the cover. They are required to clearly mark each question number in the space provided and to use a new page for every answer. The new answer book contains graph paper throughout, so loose sheets of graph paper are not required and will not be provided.
  • The examination paper/answer booklets for the Leaving Certificate Science subjects have all been designed to allow sufficient writing space for candidates. Candidates will only receive supplemetary paper in the event that they have used the space in the question paper/answer book.
  • Candidates should complete their responses using the spaces provided on the examination paper/answer book to ensure that all of their reponses are captured during the scanning process. If candidates write outside of these areas, there is a risk that this will not be seen by examiners. Candidates who do require supplementary paper will be required to record their question numbers to the right of the page margin on the supplementary answer sheet.

Any questions on Online Marking can be addressed to onlinemark@examinations.ie or 090 644 2869/2418/2466

In addition to the modifications made to the exam papers for the purposes of online marking, the design of the covers of the exam papers will undergo some changes. However, there will be no change to the content of the examination papers

The State Examinations Commission wishes candidates to be aware of the following:

  • The Leaving Certificate papers have the same colour coding as before but instead of a solid colour there is now an elliptical design, like the one used for the Junior Cycle papers.
  • The Leaving Certificate Applied papers are no longer a solid cream colour. The 2019 papers will be mocha and white.
  • The The Junior Cycle papers are the same as last year with the exception of the new common level papers in Junior Cycle Business and Science which are ochre and white.

Lastly, the SEC wishes to remind candidates and schools of changes to the Leaving Certificate results and appeals timelines.

Candidates and schools should be aware of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate results will be in schools on Tuesday 13th of August. The results will also be available from 10am that morning on www.examinations.ie
  • The deadline for viewing scripts is 5pm on Friday 16th of August.
  • Viewing of scripts will take place over three sessions: the evening of Tuesday 20th of August, and the morning and afternoon of Wednesday 21st of August. Scripts marked online will be made available for online viewing and this will also be time bound.
  • The Appeal application deadline is 5pm on Thursday 22nd of August.
  • Candidates must register for an online account with the SEC in order to access all of the Results and Appeals services. To register, candidates will need their PIN letter from the SEC, an e-mail address and a mobile phone number. The PIN letters will issue in Mid-May adn the SEC will be providing more details at that time and later in the Candidate Information Booklet and on www.examinations.ie.

Any questions regarding Results and Appeals can be addressed to entries@examinations.ie or 090 644 2702/2857/2849

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