Almost 60,000 students receive Junior Cert results

Of those who took higher level paper, 11.2% scored an A grade, up from 10.7% last year

Jessie Buttanshaw and Megan Lynch, (right) with their Junior Cert results at The High School, Rathgar, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Jessie Buttanshaw and Megan Lynch, (right) with their Junior Cert results at The High School, Rathgar, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

The 59,522 students who sat this year’s Junior Cert get their results on Wednesday, with figures showing a continued rise in the proportion of candidates taking higher level maths.

Some 55.3 per cent of maths candidates took the higher level exam, up from 53.7 per cent last year and 51.6 per cent in 2013.

The rise is attributed to the introduction of project maths, which puts a greater focus on statistics, probability and the practical application of algebra.

In 2008, when the rollout of the new syllabus began, just 42.8 per cent of Junior Cert maths candidates took the higher paper.

Of those Junior Cert students who took the higher level paper, 11.2 per cent got an A grade, up from 10.7 per cent last year.

Some 74.7 per cent of candidates got an “honour” – an A, B, or C – which was relatively similar to previous years, and on a par with the other main subjects, with the exception of Irish, which had an honours rate of 84.5 per cent.

School

Six Junior Cert students got 12 As this year and a further 98 students got 11 As.

Junior Cert results: how the students fared

Planned Junior Cycle reforms, on which teachers are balloting this month, will limit the number of subjects students can take at this level to 10. As a result, schools are watching trends in popularity, and there are fears some subjects such as history could get squeezed out somewhat in the new curriculum.

The figures this year show technology is one of the fastest growing subjects, albeit from a low base. Some 3,258 students took the subject this year, an increase of 10 per cent on 2013. Almost 90 per cent of students took the higher paper.

The number of students taking German is up 13 per cent since 2013 to 11,422,, but the number taking French is down 7 per cent to 32,044.

The number taking religious education is down 5 per cent to 27,408.

A total of 53,982 students took history this year, 783 less than last year, but this roughly matched the overall drop of 1 per cent in the number of Junior Cert students this year.

The biggest slump was in typewriting, with just 129 candidates this year, less than half the 2013 total.

However, it did produce the highest honours rate with 95 per cent of higher level candidates getting an A, B or C.

Students can seek a review of their Junior Cert results by appealing through their school before 5pm on September 25th. It costs €32 per subject, which will be refunded if a result is upgraded.

Abolish

However, a campaign, including strike action, by secondary teacher unions the ASTI and TUI has led to its revival, albeit in a modified fashion with future exams to last no longer than two hours.

ASTI president Máire G Ní Chiarba congratulated students, parents and teachers involved in the 2015 Junior Cert exams.

“The Junior Cert is valued by students and their parents because it is an independent State-certified validation of students’ knowledge, skills and efforts mid-way through their second-level education.

“All students are treated equally in this State exam, which ensures a high level of quality and equity across the system. The Junior Cert is invaluable in guiding students as they prepare for senior cycle, the Leaving Cert and beyond.

Congratulating those getting results today, the TUI called for measures to enhance the Leaving Cert Applied and Vocational Programmes to ensure all students continued their education into the senior cycle.