Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Sinead Kenny from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Sinead Kenny

Design Engineer

Smart Futures

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Sinead Kenny
If it is possible to get some work experience during the summer holidays or weekends, it would be great. Find out if there are any positions (voluntary or otherwise) available in your local IT or University. Get involved in a hobby such as model making, this would be very helpful as it would help with dexterity & impart an understanding of the ways in which different materials interact when assembled together.
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Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Leaving Cert 2017

Leaving Cert Appeals

The Appeals Process helps young people to get clarity on their results. It also helps to ensure that results are a fair and accurate reflection of the student’s exam performance.

Review and/or Recheck

A review is a process whereby a student takes a look at their exam script to check if the marking scheme has been applied correctly.

A recheck is a process whereby you ask for your exam to be remarked. You can apply for a recheck without carrying out a review.

It is highly recommended that you review your script before you apply for a recheck. It is the first step is figuring out if you have grounds for an appeal.

Procedure

When they are given their Leaving Cert results your son or daughter will receive an application form for viewing of scripts as well. There is also an online appeals facility if the young person is not available to attend the school in person. The form must be completed and returned to the school in time for the required deadline.

Reviewing of Exam Scripts

Given the length of the exam scripts and the fact that pens, pencils or any electronic recording devices such as mobile phones, are not permitted in the viewing centre, it can be a challenge to record everything on the appeal application Form AP1, which is provided on the day.

Advice for script viewing day

  • Leave a sheet of paper and pen (as well as your Form AP1) outside the viewing centre.
  • If you discover an error in marking, leave the viewing centre and record both the number of the question and the answer that you are disputing.
  • Note the reason why you are disputing the marks for your answer, on your rough paper. e.g. Question 9 (d) All points on the marking scheme are covered; only 9 out of 12 marks scored.
  • Repeat the process as many times as are required for as long as it takes you to go through your exam paper.
  • Return your exam paper and marking scheme to the Superintendent at the viewing centre.
  • Transcribe your notes from the rough paper onto Form AP1 and request that it accompany your appeal application.

View all Key Dates for the Leaving Cert Appeals Process

You can find full information, guidelines and details in the SEC Candidate Information Booklet.

Successful Appeals

One of the main concerns for parents in relation to the appeals process is the uncertainty it generates about the coming months. A student may be four weeks into his Computer Science course in Tralee when s/he is offered his first choice course in UCC on appeal. After the roller coaster of the Leaving Cert, the CAO offers, the Appeals process, accommodation, registration and settling in, it can be hard to step back and support the young person as they work towards the best decision for them. No two situations are alike but some of the more common dilemmas and issues that can arise at this time are presented below.

Tip

Keep a folder of important documentation, including correspondence and dates relating to LC results, SEC Appeals and CAO Offers

FAQs

How does the Appeals process work?

On collecting their Leaving Cert results, your son or daughter will also receive an application form allowing them to request a review of their exam scripts.

There is also an online appeals facility if the young person is not available to attend the school in person.

The form must be printed off, completed and returned to the school in time for the deadline.

Full details from the SEC

What if my son or daughter wants to view the marking on their Leaving Certificate scripts?

They must submit the completed application form to the school by a specific date in August. [see Key Dates]

Scripts may be viewed at the school, during set hours on this date. 

The Organising Superintendent appointed by the SEC to your child's school will assign them to a viewing session. The student may bring one additional person along with them, ideally their subject teacher, where possible. 

How much does it cost to view scripts?

It costs nothing to view scripts, but there is a charge per subject if you then wish to proceed to the recheck stage. The fee is fully refundable if a script is upgraded on appeal.

What happens at the script viewing?

The candidate is awarded a viewing time by the school which they will need to attend as they can only view their Leaving Cert scripts in person.

Where it is not possible for a subject teacher to attend young people often invite a parent or older sibling along to view their scripts with them.

Remember, a review is a process whereby you take a look at your script to check if the marking scheme has been applied correctly. There is no charge for reviewing.

A recheck is a process whereby you ask for your exam to be remarked. There is a charge for this (€40.00 per subject - which is refunded if an upgrade is granted)

You can apply for a recheck without carrying out a review. However, it is highly recommended that you review your script before you apply for a recheck.

To view a list of useful guidelines to print and bring with you for viewing scripts: click here

What should we look for?

The first thing to check is that your marks have been added up correctly on the results sheet.

In the event that you find an error, this can be appealed, on the day, with form APL and means that a grade can be corrected without reassessment of the paper or the marking scheme.

However, the SEC (State Examination Commission) advises candidates to also lodge a formal appeal on the paper to cover all eventualities.

The formal appeal will look at the calculation of marks within questions, any disallowed questions and any dispute regarding the full marking of a particular question.

What happens next?

A personalised appeals form is available from the school. The fee for each subject appeal is €40 and €15.50 for Leaving Cert Applied. This fee is refunded in the case of each upgrade. The appeals process operates within a fairly tight timeframe (see  Key Dates) so it’s important to ensure that deadlines are met and forms are completed and submitted on time. Oral and practical exams can only be reassessed when a full recheck has been requested.

Is it worth appealing, if in the final result there is no improvement in the LC results?

There are pros and cons to the Leaving Cert appeals process.

On the minus side, it means an additional cost at what can be a very expensive time for any family. It may be disheartening and bring additional stress to the young person to go through an extended period of reassessment, without any positive change in the outcome.

On the plus side, the appeals process can help eliminate any doubts or recriminations about the exam result and help the young person move forward to the next stage of their lives. It also gives an opportunity to view good independent grading and feedback on their work which is helpful.

Also, if upgraded, you will be refunded. If it means the difference of getting a college course or not, it is worth a shot

The possibility of a downgrade (though rare enough) should also be born in mind.

Full details from the SEC are available here

If the results of Leaving Cert Appeals are only issued in October, and the college academic year is already 5 or 6 weeks underway, what is college policy on awarding places at this stage to students that have successfully appealed their results to the required upgrade?

Colleges do their utmost to accommodate students in the current year if at all possible. However, they do advise students to consider deferral until the following year, since they may be taking on a course that is already several weeks into the first 12 week semester.

If students opt to start a course several weeks into term, they are advised to contact the Student Advisor for their particular subject area. The advisor will give them orientation and advice on what they have missed.

The Programme Office and academics in the subject / course area try to help as much as possible. However applicants are also advised that special provision cannot be made for assessments if they have missed the start of term.

What happens if our son/daughter is awarded an upgrade on their results but a place is not available on the course for which they are now eligible?

If the course is absolutely full, (this is particularly true with courses involving practicals or placement), the college in question simply may not be in a position to accommodate students. Also if students were awarded a later upgrade (eg in December) they would definitely be given a deferral.

How does the deferral procedure work for upgraded students?

If they decide it is wiser to opt for a deferred place, the student needs to indicate to the college that they wish to defer. If the college is only in a position to offer a deferred place they inform the student they are being offered a deferred place. In either case, the following year the applicant reapplies through the CAO placing their allocated course as the only preference. This will then be offered in ROUND A in early July. This is prior to the main round of CAO offers.

Will we be required to pay the full tuition fee, if our child completes a year in third level college before taking up his deferred place?

To date, the DES (Department of Education and Skills) has allowed students to attend third level college in the intervening year between school and taking up a deferred college place without charging full fees for the following year. There is no guarantee however that this situation will continue.

One final point that can be considered when a student is deciding whether or not to defer a place they have secured on appeal, is that some colleges have terms that start later, for instance, Trinity College starts later than many other colleges.

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