St Declan's College

State Examinations - Online Marking

State Examinations - Online Marking

Important Notice regarding State Examinations 2020

The State Examinations Commission is rolling out online marking for an increased number of Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle subjects in 2020.

It is extremely important that all examination students familiarise themselves with these changes.

(Further information and copies of answer booklet samples can be accessed at the following link )

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


History New for 2020

Geography New for 2020

French New for 2020

Business New for 2020

Accounting New for 2020




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




German New for 2020

Spanish New for 2020

Business Studies*


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
  • Candidates will also be required to provide their Day and Month of Birth on the front cover along with their examination

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 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 English, Accounting 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
  • 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 numbers to the right of the page margin on the supplementary answer book.

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:

  • A 4-page supplementary answerbook which will consist of a cover page and three lined
  • A 4-page graph paper booklet consisting of a cover page and three pages of graph

A sample of the two new answerbooks and two supplementary books can be found on our website.

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.

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