Majority of Leaving Cert students opt for mix of exams and accredited grades

Almost 90% of students have signed up for a mix of the two options
Majority of Leaving Cert students opt for mix of exams and accredited grades

Provisional data from the State Examinations Commission shows 88% of Leaving Certificate students have indicated they wish to sit the exams and receive accredited grades in at least one subject.

The vast majority of students will sit Leaving Certificate exams and receive accredited grades, with almost 90% of all students signing up for a mix of both options.

However, close to 40% of students have chosen not to sit an exam in Irish, instead opting solely to receive an accredited grade instead.

Provisional data from the State Examinations Commission (SEC) show 88% of students have indicated they wish to sit the exams and receive accredited grades in at least one subject.

Just 5% of students opted to not sit any exams and solely receive accredited grades, while a further 2% opted for exams only.

The remaining 5% of students did not complete the registration process. 

In terms of Leaving Certificate Applied students, 65% have chosen to sit the exams and receive accredited grades in at least one subject.

A further 1% of students opted to sit exams only, and 24% opted for accredited grades only. A further 10% of students did not complete the registration process.

More than 3,000 students either did not register at all, or registered but did not complete the process. The SEC said it is continuing to engage with schools and students on the matter. 

Overall, 87% of the 63,172 students eligible for the 2021 State exams will receive a mix of both accredited grades and exams. 

Across all subjects, the majority of students are opting for both exams and accredited grades. 

Language subjects see the highest proportion of students opting solely for accredited grades; 38% of students have opted to not sit the Irish exam, followed by 27% of students opting for accredited grades only in German, 26% in French, and 21% in Spanish.

The sciences see the lowest proportion of students opting solely for accredited grades only; Just 7% of chemistry students have opted not to sit the exam, followed by 8% of physics students, and 9% of biology students.

In maths, 80% of students have opted for both accredited grades and to sit the exam, with 14% opting for an accredited grade only. 

In applied maths, 96% of students have opted to sit the exam. 

More than half of students studying non-curricular language subjects, including Polish and Lithuanian, have opted to sit the exams only. 

The SEC believes this higher percentage may be due to the difficulty students taking these subjects, who are typically engaging in these subjects without tuition, had last year in being provided with a calculated grade. 

The candidate self service portal will reopen at the end of April or early May to allow students to make their final selections. At this time, they may revise their options for accredited grades and examinations on a subject-by-subject basis. 

  • Students who are studying some subjects outside of school are required to complete and return an Initial Information Form to their school or centre no later than Thursday. This form is available at gov.ie/leavingcertificate

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