Assessment for certification

Assessment for certification is based on the aim, objectives and learning outcomes of this specification. There are three assessment components in Leaving Certificate Art: practical coursework, an invigilated examination, and a written examination. Differentiation is achieved through examinations at two levels – Ordinary level and Higher level. In each assessment component, a differentiated marking scheme will apply.
Each component will be administered and assessed by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). Work for the practical coursework and the invigilated examination will be based on the same stimulus.

All components of assessment reflect the relationship between the application of skills and the theoretical content of the specification.

Assessment Component Weighting Level
Practical coursework 50% Higher and Ordinary
Invigilated Examination 20% Higher and Ordinary
Written examination 30% Higher and Ordinary


Coursework assessment

The coursework assessment includes two related but separate components – practical coursework and an invigilated examination – which will be completed in the final year of study. Both pieces of work will be based on the same stimulus, which will be chosen by the learner from a coursework brief issued by the SEC. All practical coursework must be the learner’s own work. Authentication procedures will be put in place by the SEC to ensure compliance with this requirement.

Practical coursework (50%)  

The practical coursework component is designed to test the learner’s ability to use the knowledge, concepts and skills developed in their study of Art to produce a realised work, from a stimulus, over an extended time period. The use of primary sources, including observational drawings, life drawing and drawing from the imagination are important.

Learners will receive the SEC coursework brief at the beginning of Term 2 (Year 2).  In the brief, the SEC will outline the time period in which the practical coursework must be completed. During this period, learners will be required to realise one piece of work and plan and develop work for the realisation of a second piece of work during the invigilated examination.

They will include an artist’s statement to explain what they have created, how it was created and why was it created.

The work completed in the school will be monitored by the teacher as the learner’s own work and must be included with the realised work. Authentication procedures will be put in place by the SEC to ensure compliance.

The Invigilated Examination (20%)  

The invigilated examination component will take place as soon after the completion of the practical coursework component as possible, and within 5 hours of a single day. Information on the examination will be included in the coursework brief issued by the SEC. Learners will create a second realised work for this examination, based on the same stimulus and the ideas and work they researched and developed during their overall coursework project.

They will include an artist’s statement to explain what they have created, how it was created and why was it created.

Written examination (30%)  

The written examination will have a range and balance of question types suited to Visual Studies (Appendix 2) and the application of practical knowledge. The questions will focus on a broad understanding of Visual Studies and will require learners to demonstrate knowledge and understanding, and an ability to apply, analyse, evaluate and respond as appropriate.
The written examination paper will assess:

  • recall, knowledge and understanding of art and Visual Studies
  • application of practice, knowledge and understanding from different areas of the specification to familiar and unfamiliar situations
  • critical thinking, the ability to analyse and evaluate information and to form reasonable and logical arguments based on evidence
  • problem-solving skills in relation to Visual Studies and the practical application of art
  • the ability to process information and articulate a personal understanding.

All questions will rely on the learner’s understanding of Visual Studies and their critical and creative use of visual language to analyse artwork.