Pencil, pen or both? What to use in the Leaving Cert exam! [UPDATED 10th May 2019]
UPDATED ADVICE FROM 10th May 2019
The SEC has now confirmed, by email, that Leaving Cert maths students can continue to use pencil throughout their entire LC maths exam for 2019. Students must make sure to stay within the spaces provided for answers. Supplementary paper will be provided if required, and should be correctly labelled with the relevant question number.
We welcome this common-sense approach and we are very pleased to recommend to all students to use a HB pencil in their Leaving Cert maths exams in 2019.
Background and full details are given below.
The State Examinations Commission (SEC) will be scanning (digitising) exam scripts for Leaving Cert Maths this year. This has led to rumours that pencil would no longer be allowed as a writing implement, and that everything would have to be written, drawn or constructed with ink pens. This would have been a big issue for drawing graphs, diagrams and constructions.
The SEC issued a circular in early May 2019 stating the following:
1. Blue or black ink pens (not gel pens) should be used for other parts of your answers [note: this advice has since been amended to allow pencil throughout].
2. Students can continue to use pencil for drawing graphs and diagrams.
3. Students should write answers only in the spaces provided on the exam paper, and must stay within these areas.
4. Supplementary paper (extra paper) can be requested only when needed, and students should make sure to put the relevant question number in the right hand margin of the extra paper.
CLICK HERE for the full circular.
We participated in further online discussions with Irish maths teachers regarding the pen or pencil issue, and it emerged that some teachers had received updated advice via email from the SEC.
We contacted the SEC again and we received the following advice on 10th May 2019 “Candidates can use pencil for completing the Leaving Certificate Maths exams this year.” This is in line with the email advice received by other teachers.
Based on this advice, we recommend to all students to use a HB pencil in their Leaving Cert exams.
If you have any questions about this, please get in touch with us at any time.