What are the easiest Leaving Cert subjects?
Heres a surprise. The much-maligned higher-level maths actually enjoys one of the highest honours rates of all subjects. This fact, plus the bonus points now on offer, means that higher-level maths is expected to increase in popularity over the coming years.
Four out of five higher-level maths students achieved an honour over the past three years. The honours rate has been rising; it was 78 per cent in 2010 and rose to 84 per cent last year. It’s still a reasonably difficult subject in which to get an A, with just under 10 per cent of students managing at least an A2 last year.
A B3 was the grade awarded to the highest proportion of students last year; just over 14 per cent managed that.
6 Design and communication graphics
Of the almost 4,000 higher-level students in this subject, 84 per cent got an honour last year. The three-year average A, B, C rate is 81 per cent and 14 per cent of students were awarded an A last year.
Students are highly likely to get an honour, but A grades are thin on the ground. Over the past three years 79 per cent of higher level students have been awarded an A, B or C grade. Students are least likely to get an A in art, however, with just 1 per cent of students achieving an A1, and a further 4 per cent being awarded an A2 last year. The grade awarded to most students was a C1, with 15 per cent of students making that grade.
The second most popular European Leaving Cert language has had a 79 per cent honours rate over the past three years. 2012 had the lowest honours rate with 77 per cent of students getting an A, B or C grade last year, down from 81 per cent in 2011. Last year, 15 per cent of students got at least an A2 in the exam.
History is often regarded as one of the more difficult subjects in which to do well at higher level. In fact, 78 per cent of students have been awarded an A, B or C in the past three years and 12 per cent of students managed to achieve an A2 or higher in 2012. The A1 rate was six per cent.
Accounting has the highest honours rate of the three business subjects with 78 per cent of students managing a C3 or higher in the subject over the past three years. A large proportion of these students were awarded As. Last year, 21 per cent of higher-level students achieved an A2 or higher.
NOTE: Subjects that have an exam cohort of fewer than 1,000 students were not included in this analysis.
The 10 ‘toughest ’ subjects
1 Agricultural science
Often seen as a good prospect for those wishing to do a subject in a single year. Students need to work hard, however, as one- third of higher-level students haven’t managed an honour over the past three years. Last year, the honours rate was 66 per cent. A respectable 10 per cent of students achieved an A2 or higher last year.
2 Classical studies
Another minority subject with 628 higher level sits last year when the honours rate was a very respectable 76 per cent, but this is quite a bit higher than in previous years. In 2012, 69 per cent of students got an A, B or C at higher level.
Ten per cent managed to get an A last year; a relatively low proportion when compared with other subjects.