Last year of Leaving Cert students using existing points scale

New examinations grading system will reduce number of grades from 14 to eight

This is the last year Leaving Cert students will use the existing points scale for entry into third-level courses.

This is the last year Leaving Cert students will use the existing points scale for entry into third-level courses.

 

Farewell to the As, Bs and Cs – and hello to 1, 2 and 3. This is the last year Leaving Cert students will use the existing points scale for entry into third-level courses.

The new grading system due to be in place next year will reduce the number of grades from the current 14 to eight; there is also a revised CAO points scale for entry into higher education.

It replaces traditional A, B and C grades with a series of 10 per cent bands – seven of which are at higher and six at ordinary level – which will secure CAO points.

The critical difference between the new grading system and the old one is that students securing 30-40 per cent at higher level from 2017 onwards will be deemed to have passed. This mark would secure 37 CAO points, equivalent to a 70-80 per cent score on an ordinary-level paper.

Therefore, a student who performs very well in an ordinary level paper in the Junior Cert should seriously consider taking the subject at higher level, at least initially, given the new grading and CAO points system.

Lesser-known languages

You might not realise it but the Leaving Cert these days is a veritable Tower of Babel with dozens of exams in different languages.

Irish, French and German get most attention – but there are many more foreign tongues both on and off the official curriculum.

Polish is the most popular of the minority languages with more than 700 exam candidates this year, followed by Italian (531), Japanese (339), Lithuanian (223), Romanian (177) and Arabic (143).

Students are also able to sit foreign languages which are not on the curriculum if they meet a number of conditions, including being a member of the EU and speaking the language as their mother tongue.

This explains why there are students sitting exams in Czech, Slovakian and a host of other languages. Though we’re still scratching our heads over why people are still studying Ancient Greek (14).

Tweet of the day: @lessbee97 – Whoever made that paper should be put in the Hadron Collider at 1.92 K #physics #leavingcert

One student’s displeasure at yesterday’s higher-level physics paper

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The number of Leaving Cert candidates due to sit yesterday’s Czech exam