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As a Leaving Cert student I believe that the introduction of bonus points for higher level maths has not only affected students who wish to study in the areas of science and maths, it has manipulated the entire points system.
On receiving my CAO offer, I learned that I had been denied my first choice, Law and Irish. Although I achieved 525 points in my Leaving Cert, I was out by a mere 5 points.
Having worked consistently for two years I was understandably devastated, as the course had risen by a huge 30 points.
However, my situation is not unusual as university courses, be it in the areas of science or even linguistics, have risen astronomically due to the new points system.
Where students should rightfully be tested on their personal skills and talents, the system is instead based on students’ abilities to retain information and perform under severe pressure in exam situations.
Having obtained an A2 in higher level Irish I feel that this should influence my suitability for my chosen course in some way. However, as a result of a lack of mathematical ability, I, along with many others, have been deprived of a course that has very little relevance to maths or science.
While it may be too late for me, I sincerely hope that Ruairí Quinn and his wise colleagues realise that the ideological decision to award 25 bonus points to all honours maths Leaving Cert pupils was unjust and unfair to many hardworking students. This system will exclude more students than it will create jobs for.
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