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grade inflation

'Inevitable' that points for most courses will increase due to record-breaking Leaving Cert results

The chair of the CAO says grade inflation seen in the last two years is ‘unfair’ to students who deferred college in 2019.

IT’S “INEVITABLE” THAT points for college courses will increase following the record-breaking results in this years’ Leaving Cert, the chair of the Central Applications Office (CAO) has said. 

Pól Ó Dochartaigh said today that the “hard reality” is that some students will not secure their first choice as the points required for a “large proportion” of college courses will increase.

“The points have gone up and therefore the demand for the places has gone up. The supply of places has been increased slightly,” Ó Dochartaigh said on RTÉ’s This Week radio programme.

When it all balances out, I think it’s likely to be, as it was a year ago, that the points, not for all courses, but for a large proportion of the courses will go up. That is inevitable.

The proportion of top grades awarded to candidates in this year’s Leaving Certificate has risen significantly compared to last year, which, in turn, was higher than in 2019.

Grades are up by an average of 2.4% compared with 2020. However the increase is greater across many higher level subjects. The number of students achieving H1 grades in some popular subjects has increased by over 7%.

Ó Dochartaigh noted that the increases have left students who did their leaving cert in 2019 but deferred going into third level education “very significantly disadvantaged”.

“Any student who deferred for a year or, for whatever reason, was forced to sit out for a year, has actually now not got a level playing.

I think we should find some way of actually re-evaluating that, to give those students, who worked just as hard pre-2020, a way into university.

“We’ve tried to do our best by this years’ students and last years’ students in Covid, but I think we fundamentally have been unfair to the students pre-2020 as a result,” Ó Dochartaigh added.

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