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Online Marking

In 2019, some Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle subjects were marked online. More subjects will be marked online in 2020. By 2021, the SEC intends to extend online marking to the majority of the remaining Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle subjects. Certain subjects may not be online marked due to low numbers of candidates or for technical reasons.

You will sit your examinations in the normal way. Your scripts in the subjects in the table below will be scanned on return from the exam centre and will become an electronic script. The paper script will also be retained. The scanned images of your examination scripts will then be marked by examiners using software specially designed for this purpose which facilitates the marking. Your work is being marked ON a computer not BY a computer. Online marking facilitates high quality, reliable marking of your examination responses.

English New for 2020 Mathematics*
History New for 2020 Geography New for 2020
French New for 2020 Business New for 2020
Accounting New for 2020 Biology*
Physics* Chemistry*
Home Economics (written paper only) New for 2020 LCVP Link Modules (written paper only) *
Politics and Society* Physical Education (written paper only) New for 2020
English* French*
German New for 2020 Spanish New for 2020
Business Studies* Science*
Home Economics (written paper only) New for 2020

* Marking online of this subject commenced in 2019

Are there any changes to examination papers and stationery that I should be aware of as a result of my scripts being marked online?
To facilitate the scanning process, there have been some changes to the appearance of the both the examination papers and the stationery such as:

  • The addition of barcodes to the cover and to each page, L-shaped marks in the four corners of each page and ‘hatching’ along the centre spines.
  • Candidates will also be required to provide their Day and Month of Birth on the front cover along with their examination number.

Are there different formats of examination paper?
Yes, there will be two different formats of examination paper where:

  • Certain examinations where the question paper will be separate from the answerbook or other stationery used. This will apply to:
    Leaving Certificate English, History, Physics, Chemistry and Accounting
  • Certain examinations consisting of a returnable question-and-answer booklet that incorporates both the questions and the spaces for answering them. This will apply to:
    Leaving Certificate Mathematics, *Geography, French, *Business, *Biology, *Home Economics, LCVP Link Modules, Politics and Society and Physical Education.

*In the subjects of Geography, Business, Biology and Home Economics, these papers previously had two returnable portions - a returnable question paper and a portion that was answered in a separate answerbook. They will now be answered entirely within one returnable question-and-answer booklet. For an illustration of the changed layout, you can access a specimen here.

In Junior Cycle, all online subjects have a returnable question-and-answer booklet.

Are there different types of answerbook?
Yes, there will be 2 new types of answerbook for use in certain subjects:

  • In Leaving Certificate Accounting, English and History, there will be a new 36-page answerbook. This 36-page answerbook consisting of the cover, instruction page, 32 lined pages followed by two specially rules pages for use in Accounting only.
  • In Leaving Certificate Chemistry and Physics, there will be a new 32-page answerbook. This 32-page answerbook consisting of the cover, instruction page, 26 lined pages followed by four graph pages.

If you are sitting any of these subjects, you will need to indicate the subject, level and language that you are answering through (i.e. English or Gaeilge) by fully shading in the relevant circles on the cover. In the case of English, you will also need to indicate whether you are sitting English Paper 1 or English paper 2 on the day in question. Candidates will also be required to clearly mark each question number in the space provided and to use a new page for every answer.

Can I request extra paper?
The exam papers and the new answerbooks outlined above contain plenty of space for your answers. This means that you should not require supplementary paper and Superintendents are instructed not to provide extra paper unless a candidate runs out of space in their main answer book. This is not a new instruction and applies to all examinations, not just those being online marked. If you do run out of space you can ask the Superintendent for supplementary paper of which there is a new format (see further). You will need to ensure that you write the question number in the space provided.

There will be 2 new types of supplementary books which have been designed to facilitate scanning but which will replace the existing supplementary sheets in all examinations:

What if I write outside the margins/designated areas, will my answers been seen by the examiner?
You should complete your responses using the spaces provided on the examination paper/answerbook to ensure that all responses are captured in the scanning process. While the scanning process will capture an image that includes more than just the spaces for writing, there is a small risk that material written outside these areas will not be seen by examiners.

Will I be allowed to use pencil in the examinations or must I just use Blue or Black pen?
The examination papers in subjects being marked online will include the following instruction "Write your answers in blue or black pen. You may use pencil for graphs and diagrams..." We strongly recommend that you use blue or black pen for writing your answers. The use of pencils (incl. coloured pencils) should be restricted to graphs and diagrams. If you do use pencil, you should be aware that faint pencil may not be clearly visible to the examiner.

Is there anything I should not use when completing my examination?
Correction fluid (such as Tippex) should not be used nor should you rub out any mistakes. Instead, you are advised to cross out your mistake and carry on. This is the case for all subjects, whether they are marked manually or online, as there is a possibility that the cancelled work may merit the award of marks. It should therefore be crossed out but left visible to the examiner. You should also not use gel pens or highlighters.

Email if you have any queries regarding Online Marking.

Print Version

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State Examinations Commission, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 TP65. Tel: 090-644 2700 Fax: 090-644 2744 Email us: Click here link to the Contact Form Page last updated: April 27 2020, 16:40 GMT This website conforms to level Double A of the W3C Guidelines 1.0