Today (Monday 7th of September, between 9am and 2pm), we surveyed 1,252 6th year students receiving their Calculated Grades for the first time in history. Here are the results.
Happy or Unhappy
The majority of students (63%) believe the system of calculated grades has treated them fairly and gave accurate results, but a majority (57%) are also worried they won't be offered their desired college course this coming Friday (11 September)
6 in 10 students were happy or extremely with their grades, while almost 1 in 4 (23%) reported being unhappy or extremely unhappy with their calculated grades.
42% of survey participants said they reckon their relationship with their teacher influenced their marks - of which 55% said it negatively affected their grade.
On the influence that teachers' relationships with their students may have affected results, Studyclix.ie founder Luke Saunders had this to say:
"As a teacher myself, I have always been opposed to teachers grading their own students' work for the purpose of state examinations. I see the role of a teacher as that of an advocate for their students I feel that one of the really strong points of the Irish education system is that each student is graded anonymously and judged ob their performance in an
exam. However, obviously the circumstances this year are unprecedented and I think, for the most part, the majority of teachers have done as good a job as can be expected."
Appeals and Resitting November
60% of students said they could have done better if they sat the exams - but few intend to actually do that in November.
"From my experience as a teacher, the majority of students tend to overestimate how they think they will do in exams. Often, in a normal year, a difficult topic or an unusual question will come up that can throw even well-prepared students. I am not at all surprised to see that there is little appetite for sitting the Leaving Cert in November. Since Leo Varadkar
took the decision to close schools back in March, the last 6 months have been an emotional rollercoaster for the 6th years of 2020. I am sure for many students today, and indeed Friday when they receive their course offers, will bring welcome closure to what has been a hellish year to sit the Leaving Cert".
Survey results found that 40% of students intend to appeal their grades.
And only 6% of students indicated they would defer their college place despite widespread predictions that many students were considering that action.
On the high number of students considering appeals, Luke says:
"I am really surprised to see that 4 in 10 students are considering appealing their grade In a normal year, only 15% of students would appeal their grades. I think the actual number of students who will appeal will fall drastically once these students receive a course choice on Friday. Also, I feel there is a misconception out there that you are appealing the
result your teacher gave you. This is not the case, the student can only appeal on the basis that the correct process was not followed in awarding the calculated grade."
On the experience of Deis students, Luke commented:
"We did some analysis of the responses of students who went to Deis schools versus those who went to non-Deis schools. I am delighted to see that there was no significant difference between the views expressed by each cohort. I feel that had we persisted with the controversial school profiling option that was scrapped recently, that our results would have been very different. Similar to the experience in the UK, Deis students would have been livid with the
unfairness of having their grades dragged down as a result of the school they attend."
Commenting on the overall findings, Luke said:
"While the majority of students were happy with the grades assigned to them, it must be remembered that almost one in four (23%) reported being unhappy or extremely unhappy. It is these students who will have the strongest opinion today. Hundred of these students took the time to express their disappointment, dismay and anger on the grades they have been given"