Forty-five students who received their diploma this year were not given any results due to fears of cheating.
The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has confirmed that a total of 45 graduation certificate results have been temporarily withheld from students who participated in this year’s state examinations.
A SEC spokesperson said results were provisionally conducted across a range of subjects – Irish, English Math, Geography, French, Art, Chemistry, Business, Politics and Society, Building Studies and the Professional Leaving Cert Program.
« These include the complete withheld results or withheld marks from candidates found to be in violation of the SEC’s examination regulations, » the spokesperson said.
The decision to withhold the result or marks is subject to appeal.
The spokesperson confirmed that the 45 provisionally held scores compare to 57 in the graduate certificate exams and 11 in the junior course exams taken in 2019.
He stated that no data was provided for 2020 due to the small number of candidates who took the postponed exams.
Seventy-two Leaving Cert results were permanently withheld for the 2018 exams which was a sharp increase from the 57 results permanently withheld in 2017.
These totals followed 100 withheld results for 2016 and 101 for 2015.
Those suspected of cheating on this year’s Leaving Cert represent a tiny percentage of the 60,000 students who will attend Leaving Cert this year as 87% chose a combination of written exams and certified scores.
The spokesman stressed that the principles of natural justice are applied when following up on suspected fraud cases.
He said: “Details of available evidence, such as supervisor reports, confiscated materials or items, prepared memos or works showing evidence of collusion, are provided to the candidate through his/her school.
He added: “The candidate is invited to provide a response to the evidence presented and the school authorities are also free to make comments if they see fit. The final decision is communicated in writing to the candidate again via his school.”
The spokesperson said: “While every effort is made to conclude the investigation before screening results are released, it is not always possible to do so. In these circumstances, results are withheld on the basis of impartiality pending further communication with the schools and candidates involved.”
At each Exit Certificate Exam Center, notices are placed in prominent places to warn students of penalties for cheating.
Students are warned that they risk having their exams completely cancelled if they bring iPods, MP3/4 players, or mobile phones into the exam hall.
Students are also warned that they risk having their exam canceled if they help or try to help another candidate or obtain or try to get help from another candidate.
Candidates also face having their exams canceled if they attempt to communicate with other students at the testing center during the exam or by electronic means with people outside the center.
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“In order to be fair to all candidates, the SEC must be satisfied that the marks awarded were fairly obtained and will investigate any suggestion, suspicion or allegation of fraud or other wrongdoing in connection with the examinations,” the spokesperson said.
He said: « This is necessary in order to uphold the integrity of the Irish state examination system and to uphold fairness and fairness within the system in order to enable all candidates to display their achievements on an equal footing.
He added, « The SEC will strongly warn any student who might be inclined to cheat of the dire consequences that could result. They could lose marks or the full score in a subject; they could miss the results of the entire examination; or they could be barred from entering any of the state exams for a while. » specific ».
The most common penalty applied is withholding the result in the subject in question. In the event of a more serious breach of regulations such as transcription in more than one subject, withholding of all results and/or exclusion from re-examination may apply.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, suspected fraud can arise in a number of ways including: The examiner may discover similar work by more than one candidate when correcting work from the same position or the examiner may discover a brought note, notes, or paper. By a candidate trying to gain an advantage in the test.
Cheating can also be detected when an exam supervisor sees a candidate using prohibited items such as books or cell phones or trying to contact another candidate at the center.
A SEC spokesperson stated: “Any cases of suspected duplication, improper assistance by a third party, plagiarism or purchase of prepared parts by a third party are thoroughly investigated by the SEC, and the candidate is subject to sanctions. As stipulated in the rules and program. For secondary schools. »
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