Leaving Cert Results: Extra opportunities for some courses

Katie Hegarty and Maja Nicin, both from Ballinlough and students at Christ King Girls' Secondary School, Cork. Katie intends studying nursing in UCC and Maja intends to study arts in UCC. Picture: David Keane

Just like the back door to the All-Ireland finals, maths students who fail to gain the minimum grades in their Leaving Certificate exam will have a second chance to gain entry to some science and engineering courses.

Maths exams will be held at a number of colleges over the next few weeks for applicants who fell short of the required minimum grade for one or more of their course choices.

Many engineering and science degrees require that entrants have achieved a certain standard in Leaving Certificate maths, even if a student’s overall CAO points total is higher than the published cut-off for Round 1. With this in mind, special exams are arranged each year to give students a second chance to meet a college’s requirements.

As prior booking and registration is usually necessary, it is vital that students who may have been disappointed not to get an offer next Monday because of these requirements should check to see if and when such an exam takes place for the college they wish to attend.

Midday next Monday is the deadline set by Cork Institute of Technology to apply to sit their maths exam, which is scheduled to take place at its main campus in Bishopstown the following day, August 18.

For those who have not met the requirement for a chosen engineering degree at NUI Galway, their special entrance maths exam takes place this day week.

Any student who passes the exam will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and will get an additional CAO Round 2 offer the week after next, providing they have the necessary points for their chosen course.

“Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents,” said NUIG dean of engineering and informatics Prof Gerry Lyons.

Applications must be received by University of Limerick by 5pm next Tuesday for those interested in similar exams — one for ordinary and one for higher level — to have a second chance at a course in science or engineering there.

Those who failed to gain the required maths grade for engineering at Maynooth University will be able to sit an exam on Friday week.

Waterford Institute of Technology also offers a second chance for students in similar circumstances, on Friday August 28, with an optional preparation course running at Waterford College of Further Education.

Many of the courses, or the related preparatory courses, require a fee so check with the relevant college.

External students

Results have gone out today to 38 students who studied for the Leaving Certificate in Libya.

The International School of the Martyrs in Tripoli has used the Irish exams as a school-leaving qualification since 1997. However, Libya’s unstable security situation means it has not been considered safe to send contracted exam staff there since 2011, with students given the option to sit their exams in Ireland or Malta instead.

There were 54 Libyan candidates for Leaving Certificate in 2013, rising slightly to 56 a year ago but dropping to 38 this year, the State Examinations Commission said.

Also getting a grade in one or more Leaving Certificate subject today are 67 students who sat exams in prisons or detention centres, up from 52 a year ago, below the 2013 figure of 70.

These two groups make up some of the 2,616 students classed by the commission as external candidates, who are not registered at second-level schools or on any of a range of vocational or adult training schemes. That is up from 2,578 a year ago but fewer than the corresponding figure each of the previous three years.

The 1,670 repeat Leaving Certificate students getting results is 100 fewer than in 2014, but down from 1,948 in 2013 and 2,946 in 2011.

— Niall Murray

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