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06 Jul 2022

Good Luck: Over 2,000 students begin State exams in Laois today

Leaving Cert: Other options if you don't get the points you need

More than 2,000 Laois students are due to begin their Leaving and Junior Cert this morning as the exams sit again for the first time since 2019. 

In total 2,247 Leaving Cert and Junior Cert students will begin their exams in the county today.  In the Leaving Cert  1,050 students - 537 male and 513 female - while a further 1,197 Junior Cert students, comprising 623 male and 547 females will start their exams. 

The figures are up on 2019, when the last Leaving and Junior Certificate took place before the Covid 19 brought an end to the traditional exam format.

In 2019 there were 2,134 secondary school students  sitting State exams. In total, 1,141 students sat the Junior Cert and 939 pupils sat the Leaving Cert exam - up from 904 in 2018 and 875 in 2017.

Nationally, a record breaking 131,431 candidates will begin their Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied and Junior Cycle examinations across the country through the network of some 780 post-primary schools in 2022. This is an increase of 7,052 on 2019 figures.  The examinations will be held in 5,575 examination centres and run until Tuesday, June 28 for Leaving Certificate (Established and Vocational); and Monday, June 20  for Junior Cycle examinations. 

This year marks the full return of externally delivered examinations for all candidates. Last year, Leaving Certificate and Leaving Certificate Applied candidates were provided with the dual approach  of examinations and accredited grades and in 2020 with calculated grades and later examinations. 

At Junior Cycle, State Examinations Commission(SEC) examinations were provided for adult learners and early school leavers in 2020 and 2021 with school-based assessment replacing these examinations for all other candidates. It is also  noteworthy that this year marks the first full year of examinations in the reformed Junior Cycle. Until  2019, only English, Science and Business had been examined under the reformed curriculum.

The SEC is to provide deferred exams for students who experience illness, family bereavements and those with Covid under strict conditions.  

The deferred examinations series will commence on June 30 at a limited number of regional  venues and will run until July 16. Full details have been issued to schools. 

Chairperson of the State Examinations Commission, Mr Pat Burke and his fellow Commissioners extend their very best wishes on behalf of the SEC to all candidates for the 2022 Certificate examinations. 

Speaking before the start of the examinations Mr Burke said: “The Commission  welcomes the return of in-person examinations for the entire 2022 Leaving Certificate, Leaving  Certificate Applied and Junior Cycle cohort. The state examinations are a significant step in their  educational journey for candidates, their families and schools. The adjustments made to the  examinations this year have been designed to support students in their preparations. However, the  support of families and the wider community for candidates sitting examinations is so important especially in light of the disruption to learning created by the pandemic.” 

Speaking about the provision of deferred Leaving Certificate and Leaving Certificate Applied  examinations Mr Burke said: “In terms of candidate wellbeing, we believe that the provision of  extended arrangements for deferred examinations represents a significant improvement to the  examinations system, providing an appropriately supportive response for candidates who find  themselves in very challenging circumstances at examinations time and unable to take their  examinations as a result.” 

Mr Burke also expressed his appreciation to those involved in the conduct of the examinations. “I wish to fulsomely acknowledge the support of all involved in delivering the examinations this year.  This includes school principals, deputy principals, teachers, and other school staff. This also, of course, includes parents and guardians, as the ultimate source of care and support for students, and the  students themselves who are to be commended for their resilience,” he said. 

In conclusion, Mr Burke said: “The Board and staff of the State Examinations Commission are very  aware of the effort which students and their families have invested in the forthcoming examinations  and extend their best wishes to all. For our part, we in the State Examinations Commission will do our  utmost to deliver the examinations as smoothly as possible and ensure that the examinations meet the  highest standards of quality and fairness."

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