Leaving Cert 2021: Record number of students get top grades this year

Leaving Cert 2021: Record number of students get top grades this year

Aaron Dineen, who was a student at Coláiste Éamann Rís, Cork, with fingers crossed for his leaving certificate results. Picture: Denis Minihane.

The number of top grades awarded to Leaving Cert students has increased across the board this year under Ireland’s unique two-track exam process. 

More than 61,000 Leaving Cert students got their results online this morning. 

With Ireland believed to be alone in terms of the choice offered in final exams, students have received a record number of H1s — the highest grade available, carrying a minimum of 100 CAO points. 

The percentage of students receiving H1s increased across almost every subject when compared to last year, data released by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) shows. 

Students will receive just one set of results this morning, and those who opted for both written exams and accredited grades will receive the better of the two marks. 

They will not know which set of marks it is until next Tuesday after the first round of CAO offers are issued. 

Students' focus now turns to CAO

Following today's record results, the focus now turns to the CAO. 

An additional 4,650 college places have been created in high-demand courses such as veterinary, dentistry, and health sciences, including medicine. The Department of Further and Higher Education is expecting fluctuations in CAO points this year, a spokesman for the department said. 

Changes in points are dependent on grades, as well as the number of available places and the number of applicants, he added. 

"As we are in the midst of a global pandemic and economic flux, there may be more volatility this year than there would be in a typical year." 

• The SEC's candidate self service portal opens here at 10am today, Friday September 2, 2021. Any student who has not yet registered will need their Examination number and the first four digits of their PPSN to register at that link, which they must do to access their results, as well as a mobile phone number and an email address. 

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