Exam chiefs reveal 13 Leaving Cert students have come out on top of this morning's results

Thirteen students have come top of the bill in this year's Leaving Certificate, examinations chiefs have revealed.

While no-one managed to secure the highest marks in nine subjects, a studious group of school leavers scored 90% or more in eight of their classes.

Some 58,543 students are anxiously awaiting their results with analysis showing they are largely in line with recent years.

Aoife Muldoomnfrom St. Brigids College, Loughrea, Co. Galway celebrating with her mother Lilly her leaving cert results.

Fifty pupils scored Grade One in seven subjects; another 130 scored the best marks in six subjects; and another 222 worked their way to top marks in five of their classes.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC), in the first year of a new eight grade system, revealed that more and more pupils are opting to sit higher level papers across nearly all subjects.

The outcome is that while there are no dramatic shifts in standards, more students ended up with lower grades in the higher papers than last year.

Education Minister Richard Bruton offered some advice for pupils receiving results.

"Today is a watershed moment for the class of 2017 as their school lives draw to a close.

"It is a time to celebrate the end of a very important period in their lives, and to recognise the massive contribution of teachers, parents and friends who helped along the way," he said.

"For students who may not have done as well as they might have hoped, take time to consider all the options which are available and can lead you to your chosen career.

"Whatever your results today - there will be opportunities for you."

Mr Bruton said there were a number of improvements in the Leaving Cert figures.

Some 16,395 pupils - 30% of the class of 2017 - took Higher Maths, reaching the Government's target for 2020.

There was a minimal increase in pupils getting 90% or above in the higher paper. But at the other end of the scale 2.1% of those sitting the toughest test got less than 30%.

The number of pupils taking chemistry increased 16% since 2013. Some 11.2% of pupils got Grade One in the higher level, up half a percent when compared with last year's top marks.

At the other end of the scale, 6.9% of pupils got a Grade Eight.

There was a 4% increase in the numbers taking German.

The new grading system, which runs from One to Eight, is a shift away from the old system which ran from A1 and A2 down to F and NG.

It allows pupils to secure points for college applications if they achieve between 30 and 39% in higher level papers.

Among those receiving results are more than 2,773 students who took the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA), an alternative to the traditional academic exams.

There were also 39 students from Libya who took the Leaving Cert with exams being offered in Malta due to the security situation in the country.

The SEC also said there was a slight increase in the number of pupils sitting non-curricular EU languages this year - 1,431, with Polish the most popular.

AP

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