Students will be told their Leaving Cert timetable on June 1, the Education Minister has confirmed.
Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Joe McHugh said that his department was planning for the exams to begin on July 29, with a timetable issued at the beginning of June.
Mr McHugh said that this would allow public health advice to be given and ensure a long enough timeframe for plans to be made.
Asked about a "Plan B" in the event that the exams are impacted by illness or bereavement, Mr McHugh said that the Department of Education's working group on the issue would plan for all eventualities and had a number of contingencies it was working on.
"We won't go into this in a blinkered way. We are living in the real world," he said. The Minister also confirmed that fees for the state exams, which had been due in the coming weeks, would now not be due for payment until after the exams are held.
Mr McHugh was criticised by his Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin counterparts, who both said that he had failed to provide clarity on the issue.
Fianna Fáil's Thomas Byrne said that uncertainty had been caused by ongoing leaks to newspapers, which had confused the messaging around the Leaving Cert.
Sinn Féin's Donnchadh Ó Laooghaire raised the issue of Irish students applying to UK colleges. He outlined one case where a student has two conditional offers to study medicine in the UK.
However, those offers will expire if results are not released by August 31.
Mr McHugh said that he was aware of the issue, which he said affects some 4,000 students, and had contacted the UK Education Secretary to raise it.