Written answers

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Department of Education and Skills

State Examinations

Photo of Matt ShanahanMatt Shanahan (Waterford, Independent)
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155. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of students that recently took their HPAT exams; his views on whether these exams took place in and around the time of the pre-examinations those students with an ambition to study medicine would have focused more on the HPAT than the pre-leaving certificate; his further views on whether these students are now at a distinct disadvantage in view of the recent announcement that their calculated grades will be partially based on those pre-results; his plans to provide equity for these students; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10093/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) independently administers the HPAT on behalf of the universities’ medical schools and the RCSI. Neither I nor my Department has a function in the administration of the HPAT, and my Department does not hold information in relation to the number of students taking the HPAT.

I published detailed guidance for schools on calculated grades on 21 May. The document sets out information on the process of estimating marks for students to receive calculated grades, and this has been sent to all schools. The document, together with Frequently Asked Questions, are available on my Department’s website.

In arriving at an estimated mark for each student, teachers are asked to use their professional judgement, drawing on existing records and available evidence. Teachers will use a number of records in assessing a student’s performance and progress; for example, classwork and homework; class assessments; examinations in school at Christmas or summer, mock exams and also coursework. They will not be simply passing on results from mock examinations or other tests and the estimated mark will not be based on any one assessment or piece of coursework.


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