Calculated Grades – A Guide for Leaving Certificate Students 2020

It’s not possible to hold normal Leaving Certificate examinations in summer 2020, so
students are being offered Calculated Grades instead.
Calculated Grades will allow you to go on to further or higher education or the world
of work when you leave school. It is the fairest way possible to tackle the effects that
lack of schooling and other problems caused by Covid-19 have had on your Leaving
Calculated grades are offered to you if you are taking Leaving Certificate, Leaving
Certificate Applied (LCA) and the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)
in 2020.
What is a calculated grade?
A Calculated Grade is a grade that can be provided to you following a combination of
school information about your expected performance in an examination and national
data available in relation to students’ performance in examinations over a period of
A national standardisation process will produce a Calculated Grade for each subject
by combining the school data with historic examination data.
Students in post-primary schools, further education and training centres, private
colleges or any other institution through which students have entered for their 2020
Leaving Certificate examination are included in the Calculated Grades process.
How fair is the system of calculated grades?
The Calculated Grades model uses the best information available about your
achievements by asking your teachers to apply their professional judgement and
review several pieces of information about your work over the last two years.
The national standardisation process does not favour any type of student or school.
If you are a particularly strong student in your class, and the information provided by
the school reflects this then you will still emerge as a particularly strong candidate.
The process will ensure that the Calculated Grade will be as close as possible to what
you would have achieved in the examinations.
What will schools do ?
Your teachers will provide an estimation of marks and class ranking for each
subject that you are taking in the examinations. The teachers’ estimates of the
percentage marks are those that you are most likely to have achieved had you sat
a Leaving Certificate in 2020 as normal.
The subject teachers will work together to align the marks for the subject and the
school principal will provide oversight of the alignment process.
The finalised marks and rankings will be transmitted to the Department of
Education and Skills for national standardisation.
Will I have to do extra assignments or assessments?
In coming to their judgements, your teachers will use for example, records of your
performance over the course of study, previous results in the school in the subject
and the level of performance your teachers have observed in this year’s students
compared to those in previous years.
Teachers have been advised to carefully consider how the results of school-based
examinations, as well as other records are used in this process.
Your teacher will take into account your performance on course work components
even if they have not been completed.
Judgements made by the school will be objective and will not take into account
perceptions of students’ behaviour.
If you are being taught by a substitute teacher, the assistance of the previous teacher
can be included in the process.
What informs the estimated marks and rankings?
No. The principal and teachers are not permitted to discuss the estimated marks the
school is submitting with you or with your parents or guardians either before or after
the estimation process.
You must not under any circumstances contact either formally or informally a teacher
or other member of the school staff to discuss the estimated marks or rankings to be
assigned to you.
You must not attempt to influence, pressurise, coerce or provide an inducement (e.g.
gift) to a teacher in relation to your mark either before or after it is assigned.
The reason for this is to ensure that the fairness and objectivity of the process is kept
intact for you and the other students in your school.
Can I discuss my marks with the school?
No. Your teachers will not set additional assessments for the purposes of determining
an estimated percentage mark.
Your teachers’ judgements will be based on evidence of learning and achievement.
Where additional work was completed after schools closed on 12 March up to the
end of formal tuition on 11 May, your teachers have been advised to exercise due
caution where that work suggests a change in performance.
However, teachers are not precluded from taking account of the degree to which
many students under normal circumstances would intensify their levels of
commitment in the run up to examinations.
Yes. As part of the process of Calculated Grades, you will have access to an online
portal where you will be required to confirm the subject level at which you initially
entered for the examinations or you can change to a lower level. You will need to do
this on or before 10 pm on Thursday 28 May. It is essential that students confirm
their levels at this time so that their schools can complete their task of providing an
estimated percentage mark and rank order for each student.
Can I change level?
Where any reasonable accommodation has been approved for you (such as a reader,
scribe or spelling and grammar waiver), your teacher will base the estimate of your
likely performance on the assumption that this accommodation would have been
What about reasonable accommodations for students
with special educational needs ?
No. The earlier arrangement (communicated in March) that full marks would be
awarded for the orals and music performance tests was based on the written
examinations taking place this summer.
As these examinations will not now take place in the summer, this arrangement will
not apply.
Will I get 100% for my oral examination(s)?
If you are taking a subject outside of school your principal will be asked to work with
whomever is teaching you to make every effort to provide an estimated mark. There
must be sufficient evidence of your achievement in the subject for the school to make
an objective judgement.
There will be a separate application process for students studying independently and
not attending any school or other centre to apply to receive Calculated Grades. These
applications will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Every effort will be made to obtain sufficient evidence to provide students with a
Calculated Grade but this may not be possible in all cases. Students will have the
opportunity to sit the 2020 Leaving Certificate examination at a later date when it is
safe and practicable to do so.
Will I get a Calculated Grade for a subject studied outside
of school?
Yes. Calculated Grades will have the same status as Leaving Certificates awarded to
students in previous years.
As usually happens, you will receive a provisional statement of results. At a later time
a formal final certificate will issue from the Department of Education and Skills
confirming the grades.
Students’ Calculated Grades will be transferred directly to the Central Applications
Office (CAO).
The CAO timelines will run as close as possible to normal to allow for students to take
up offers and to transition to third level, further education or work etc.
Will the calculated grades be recognised for
employment and further study?
At this point in time all students are being offered Calculated Grades which means
that you can progress on to the next stages of study or employment. You can sit a
Leaving Certificate later but at this point it is not possible to confirm the date. These
examinations will be provided as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so.
Can I also sit a Leaving Certificate examination later?
It is intended that the Calculated Grades will be provided to candidates as close as
possible to the normal results day.
When will I get Calculated Grades ?
Yes. After the results are issued by the Department of Education and Skills, you will
be able to see a record of your individual percentage mark and ranking that your
school has given to you.
Can I see the estimated result that the school submitted
for them?
You can appeal to the Department of Education and Skills and the appeals process has
three stages involving:
• Stage 1 & 2: Checks will be undertaken to ensure that the data processing was
completed correctly by the school and the Department of Education and Skills
• Stage 3: If you are still unhappy after stages 1 and 2 then you can seek a review by
Appeal Scrutineers, who are independent of the Department of Education and Skills.
Finally, if you remain unhappy you have the opportunity to sit an examination later when
it is safe and practicable to do so. Additional information in relation to Appeals is
available in the Guide to Calculated Grades for Leaving Certificate Students 2020
Due to the nature of the model, the professional judgment of the school will not form
part of the appeals process.
What if I am unhappy with my Calculated Grade?
Further Information:
For further information and resources including wellbeing resources see