The number of upgrades awarded to Leaving Certificate candidates has more than doubled this year compared to last.

Almost 3,000 individual grades awarded in this year's exams have been revised upwards during this year's appeals process, compared to 1,450 last year.

This follows a significant rise in the number of students appealing their results this year.

The increase in successful appeals raises questions around the overall marking of results in the Leaving Certificate exams, and is likely to lead to concerns as to the validity of marks awarded. 

While 16% of papers appealed last year resulted in an upgrade, a slightly higher number 17% - were revised upwards this year.

But the appeals success rate is considerably higher in some subjects.

In Higher Level Maths 23% of appeals were successful and 24% of students who appealed marks they received in their Higher Level Spanish paper received an upgrade.

A very small number of students sat the Higher Level Japanese exam. Thirteen appealed their result and five received an upgrade. That represents an appeals success rate of 38%.

The rise in the number of appeals has been attributed to significant publicity surrounding the appeals process over the past year, and also to steps that were taken to make the viewing of scripts easier for students. 

They included a new provision whereby students are able to view online a breakdown of the marks they received, before deciding whether or not to appeal.

The appeals process was highlighted this year after a student took a case to the High Court, arguing, successfully, that the process was too slow, and was unfair to students.

The State Examinations Commission was ordered by the High Court to speed up the appeals process. This year's appeal outcomes are being published several weeks earlier than previously.

A small number of students, who did not actually appeal their results, also received upgrades.

Thirty additional papers Higher Level Maths papers were reviewed after an issue with the marking of Paper 1 came to light during the appeals process and 26 candidates received an upgrade as a result. 

The State Examinations Commission says that these 30 cases related to candidates who were within one mark of the next grade.

The issue that arose had to do with one question - Question 3(b) - and was worth one mark out of a total of ten awarded for the section.

An additional 19 students who did not appeal results received upgrades in other subjects

This is not the first time that an issue raised during the appeals process has resulted in candidates who did not appeal receiving an upgrade.

The SEC said says this kind of exercise, whereby other papers are examined, is part of its wider quality assurance process.

Of all appeals brought this year, just two resulted in downgrades.

There is a charge of €40 per subject appealed, with the cost refunded if an appeal results in an upgrade.