Junior Cert begins the path to extinction

59,823 students get their Junior Cert results today


This morning post-primary principals are distributing results of this year’s Junior Cert exam to the 59,823 students in their care.

The 30,553 male and 29,270 female candidates in this year’s exam will open their envelope to discover which of the 600,000 individual grades in 26 different subjects they have achieved.

The overall pattern of these grades is similar to last year, which will bring joy to students and parents.

Given the 1.7 per cent increase in students taking the Junior Cert overall, there is inevitably an increase in uptake in almost all subjects.

The first piece of positive news is that there is a strong movement upwards to higher level papers in the core subjects of Irish, English and maths from among students who would have to work hard to pass or achieve an ABC grade at this level.

The second piece of positive news is that most of these higher-level students are securing a pass grade or better. However, the ABC percentage success rate at higher level drops by 1-2 per cent, which is to be expected in these circumstances.

Some 27,360 students took Irish this year at higher level, an increase of 1,256 on 2012. Not surprisingly the ABC rate at higher level dropped back 2 per cent to 78.2 per cent. The numbers taking ordinary level increased by only 217 to 23,245, while foundation level numbers dropped 17 per cent to just 1,388.

In English, 43,332 students took higher level, an increase of 1,647 on 2012.

The numbers of ordinary level candidates dropped 407 to 14,632. Again, not surprisingly, the overall ABC rate at higher level fell 1.5 per cent to 75 per cent.

Some 30,500 students took maths at higher level, an increase of 2,587 on 2012. The ABC rate dropped 0.9 per cent. The numbers taking ordinary level dropped back 1257 to 24,687.

Foundation level numbers also dropped 310 to 3,901.

This year’s Junior Cert results will be one of the last under the current model, in place since 1991. The reforms announced by Minister Ruairí Quinn in October, 2012 will be introduced on a phased basis from 2014 onwards. The new English curriculum will be the first to be introduced to first years in 2014, followed by Irish, science and business studies for first years in 2015.

Under these reforms, the terminal Junior Cert exams will be replaced by school- based assessment, with an emphasis on the quality of the students’ learning experience.

Exam number
From 4pm today, students
no longer in the same
school where they sat the examination in June, or adults who did the Junior Cert through the VTOS or BTEI schemes, can get their results with their exam number and candidate PIN through www.examinations.ie

Applications for a review of Junior Cert results, which can only be made through the school, should be received by the State Examination Commission by 5pm on Friday, September 27th.

The fee is €32 per subject , refunded if a result is upgraded. It is planned to post the results of the appeals in the week ending November 8th.

The official marking schemes for all subjects will be published on the SEC website www.examinations.ie in the coming days.