SEC Marking Schemes Translated: A Guide

Author: Dan Keating/19 April 2018/Categories: Leaving Cert, English

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We discuss how the SEC mark the Leaving Certificate

SEC Marking Schemes Translated

Are you a leaving cert student looking to get the edge in your revision by studying the SEC (State Examinations Commission – i.e. the body that sets the Leaving and Junior Certificate exams annually) marking schemes themselves so you know exactly what the examiner is looking for? Already bogged down by the complex yet vague language they use?

Related: SEC Marking Schemes Translated (Paper I, Comprehension)

Well, if your answer is ‘Yes’ to the above, this is the guide for you. Keep reading for our translation of one example of the SEC marking schemes used annually by Irish examiners to assess Ireland’s exam students.

Leaving Certificate English Higher Level 2016

Note to teachers and students on the use of published marking schemes

Blah, blah, blah; not really relevant or meaningful to us.

Future Marking Schemes

As above!




Across both papers, students are marked on the following:

1.      Clarity of Purpose (P) 30% of the marks available for the task. How well they attempt to complete a specific task; e.g., if a student is asked to write a persuasive speech, do they write persuasively and in the style of a speech?

2.      Coherence of Delivery (C) 30% of the marks available for the task. Does the student sustain their clarity of purpose throughout each task?

3.      Efficiency of Language Use (L) 30% of the marks available for the task. How well does the student use language; how developed is their vocabulary, and do they use it to meet the demands of each task?

4.      Accuracy of Mechanics (M) 10% of the marks available for the task. How accurate is the student’s spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Paragraphing is important here too.

The examiner will mark you on these 4 criteria in the above order. Therefore, ‘Clarity of Purpose’ is marked first and is also your most important focus. You cannot receive more marks for Coherence of Delivery (C) or Efficiency of Language Use (L) than you can for Clarity of Purpose in any response you complete; i.e., showing that you understand the demands of each task and setting about meeting these is your first priority.

Get that H1 with


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