Leaving Cert Results – What’s Next?

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Today, Monday 7th September 2020, over 60,000 students received their Leaving Cert results, this year delivered in the form of a calculated grades system. This system works to establish a student’s grade by using a process of combining teacher assessment, which is then sent to the Dept of Education for standardisation and a final grade is issued to the student. Under the Calculated Grades model, estimated marks from schools were adjusted, as planned, to ensure that a consistent standard was applied across schools throughout the country, when judging the performance of students. Students had access to their grades via the Calculated Grades Student Portal from 9am this morning. 


The CAO process is as normal and the results will be processed in the same manner as every other year. CAO Round 1 offers are due to be released on 11th September 2020. Applicants offered a place in this round will have a week to accept this place


One expected outcome of this year’s results is that there will be more students in competition for high-demand courses because there are more high achievers in 2020. In fact this year’s calculated grades process has produced grades that are on average 4.4% higher than those of last year, according to aggregate data published by the Department of Education. In an attempt to offset the grade inflation, Minister for Further and Higher Education Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD confirmed 1,250 additional higher education places to be offered on certain high-demand courses for the academic year 2020/21.


From 14th September 2020, students can log in to the Calculated Grades Student Portal to appeal the result of their calculated grade. Students will also be able to access their school’s estimated percentage marks and  final percentage calculated marks. There is no fee to appeal.

Any appeal must be submitted by 5pm, 16th September 2020.

In reality, this appeal is limited in scope. A student is able to view the estimated percentage mark their teacher gave them, before it was put through the standardisation system by the Department of Education but  cannot challenge the assessed percentage of the grade that they were originally given by their teacher

Chief Inspector at the Department, Harold Hislop, has outlined how the appeals process will work: “What the school was asked to do was to record carefully for each grade and each subject on a standard form what sources of evidence the teacher was drawing upon when he or she made the judgement about those marks. Those forms are retained in the school… if a student appeals the forms are brought from the school to the Department and they will be available to the candidate.”

The Department of Education has said it has no idea how many students will appeal their calculated Leaving Cert grades.


A free helpline is available from today, provided by the National Parents Council Post-Primary for students, parents and guardians.

It will be professionally staffed by members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, who will help callers with information on issues like the calculated grades appeals process, sitting exams in 2020, reviews and rechecks, CAO applications, non-CAO options and SUSI applications.

Call the IGC on 1800 265 165 for more information


More Info

You can find out more in the Department’s FAQs on the Leaving Certificate 2020 for students, parents and teachers and their detailed guide Leaving Certificate 2020: Your questions answered.



Steven Galvin

Universities Preparing for the New Academic Year
Your Future Is Yours To Choose - Life Beyond the CAO


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