Exam body failed to budget for rise in student numbers

Posted in Teaching on December 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A failure to budget for a growing number of students sitting exams has been blamed for mounting losses at the State body which oversees the Leaving and Junior Certificate tests. The State Examinations Commission has reported that the size of its annual deficit more than tripled last year to over €2.2m …” (more)

[Seán McCárthaigh, Irish Examiner, 26 December]

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Girls continue to outperform boys in Junior Cert

Posted in Life on September 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Girls continue to outperform boys at Junior Cert level, with more female than male students scoring A grades in 18 out of 21 higher-level subjects this year, according to the 2017 results. Girls also scored higher than boys in most subjects at ordinary level …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 15 September]

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Paying for Leaving Cert appeals

Posted in Teaching on August 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – This Friday and Saturday thousands of Leaving Cert students will avail of the option to review their examination scripts. It is an admirable exercise in transparency and greatly to the credit of the State Examinations Commission (SEC) that it operates in this way …” (more)

[Brian Fleming, Irish Times, 30 August]

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Leaving Cert and the points race

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – I must confess to becoming fatigued at your regular conflation of the State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the Central Applications Office (CAO). The SEC administers the Leaving Certificate (still the widest held qualification in Ireland); the CAO administers entry to higher education …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 18 August]

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Exams body says Junior Cert students can avoid 10% penalty

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Thousands of junior cycle students will have a chance to avoid a 10% penalty in this summer’s English exam if teachers allow them a last chance to complete a classroom-based assessment task, the State Examinations Commission has said …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 February]

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1,700 Leaving Cert exams get grade boost after rechecks

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Nearly 1,700 Leaving Certificate grades from August have been revised upward after rechecks were sought. The number of students who have benefited is unclear as there were nearly two results, on average, submitted for recheck by each of the 5,465 people who appealed a grade to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) this year …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 13 October]

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CAO offers for students as appeals upheld

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A number of CAO applicants can expect late college offers this week after a number of Leaving Certificate appeals were upheld. The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has announced that the original results of some 1,698 papers have been upgraded following appeals by students …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 12 October]

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Exam body receives 10,000 appeals from Leaving Cert students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 10th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Almost 10,000 Leaving Cert exam results were appealed to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) this year. It costs €40 to appeal one subject in the Leaving Certificate, though the fee is returned if the result is upgraded …” (more)

[Aine McMahon, Irish Times, 9 October]

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No extra marks for junior cycle students in ASTI dispute

Posted in Teaching on October 4th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission has said it cannot award extra marks to thousands of junior cycle students who face losing 10% in their English exams next summer due to a union dispute …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 October]

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New online marking scheme to be trialled for exams

Posted in Teaching on June 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A new online marking system is being trialled in the State exams this year. Instead of papers being marked in the traditional way, students’ scripts will be scanned and converted to digital images that examiners will access on their home computers …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 June]

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Students chasing honours maths bonus risk being out of their depth

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 28th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students who take higher-level maths in a bid to get bonus points for college are at risk of being out of their depth, a major new report warns. ShareSome students who made the jump to ‘honours’ maths in the Leaving Certificate took the wrong decision, according to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 28 April]

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Concern at ‘basic skills’ of many Leaving Cert maths pupils

Posted in Teaching on April 28th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert examiners have expressed concern at the lack of basic skills of some students sitting the higher level maths paper. In a report published on Thursday by the State Examinations Commission, it says a significant minority of candidates are struggling to complete simple procedures …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 April]

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Exams body ‘cannot probe’ claims of Leaving Cert leaks

Posted in Legal issues on April 26th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Confidential documents used by Leaving Cert oral examiners were leaked while students were being tested across the country. However the body responsible for overseeing second-level examinations said it cannot investigate allegations that the documents had been shared among students unless it is told of the school or location where the alleged leak occurred …” (more)

[Joe Leogue, Irish Examiner, 26 April]

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Exam body to explain why disabled students refused support

Posted in Teaching on November 24th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission has bowed to pressure from the Ombudsman for Children and disability rights organisations over a lack of transparency and said it would provide an explanation to disabled Leaving Cert students who are refused exam support in the 2016 exams …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 24 November]

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Leaving Certificate results and rechecks

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 20th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Following receiving my Leaving Certificate 2015 recheck results last week, I was offered my first CAO choice. Unfortunately as this and most universities are now six weeks into lectures …” (more)

[Nicola Barr, Irish Times, 20 October]

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Exams body blocks access to Leaving Cert marking scheme

Posted in Teaching on October 12th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has refused a Freedom of Information request for details of how it altered its marking scheme for a controversial Leaving Cert paper last summer …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 12 October]

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College course points to rise over top test results

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Certificate points needed for many high-demand degree courses look set to rise again as nearly 700 students more than last year received over 450 points. The improved exam results could particularly impact engineering and technology courses which have more students seeking entry through the Central Applications Office (CAO) than in 2014 …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 15 August]

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Is there manipulation of Leaving Cert grades?

Posted in Teaching on August 15th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Each year policy-makers and employers watch whether Leaving Cert grades go up or down. A rise in the number of students getting ‘honours’ – an A, B or C – as happened this year in higher level Irish, for example, is generally seen as a sign of rising standards.But the issue is much more complicated …”(more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 15 August]

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Impact of bonus points in Leaving Cert to be reviewed

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 13th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The impact of bonus points in the Leaving Cert is under review following concerns that too many students are now opting to take higher-level maths. Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said the introduction of bonus points in 2012 ‘achieved what we wanted’ in raising the ambition of students in a key subject …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys and Kathryn Hayes, Irish Times, 13 August]

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156 state examiners fired in last five years

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on July 27th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“More than 150 examiners have been sacked by the State Examinations Commission in recent years for breaking strict rules for assessing school exams …” (more)

[Emma Jane Hade, Independent, 27 July]

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