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Leaving Cert 2022: Students will again have more exam choice due to Covid disruption

Additional choice was incorporated in Junior and Leaving Cert exams this year and will again next year.

Leaving Cert choice to be increased (File photo)
Leaving Cert choice to be increased (File photo)
Image: Rollingnews.ie

Updated Jun 30th 2021, 9:40 PM

NEXT YEAR’S LEAVING and Junior Cert exams will also incorporate additional choice for students to account for the disruption faced by students due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For this year’s State exams, the format of the written exams was adjusted to provide additional choice to students.

These adjustments were confirmed in December of last year and the Department of Education said today that the changes to the 2022 exams will be “similar”.

A revised document with changes to reflect syllabus content specific to the 2022 State Examinations will be published next month.

Minister for Education Norma Foley said that students heading into their final year next year “had a difficult year and it is important that we acknowledge this”.

There is to be no change to the overall length of the exams but Foley told RTÉ’s News at One this afternoon that students will have more time to finish their papers.

The Department of Education also confirmed that there will again be an alternative set of Leaving Certificate examinations next year following the main exams for students who could not sit their exams due to close family bereavement, Covid-19 illness or “certain other categories of serious illness to be determined”.

There will be no second running of Junior Cert exams, however.

‘No plan’

This year, Leaving Cert students had a choice of whether to sit an exam in each subject or receive a calculated grade, to be known this year as an SEC-Accredited Grade. Students who opted to sit an exam will receive whatever result is higher between the two.

Asked today whether the Accredited Grades option would be in place next year, Foley said there was “no plan” for calculated grades but that the government was “ruling nothing in and nothing out”.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) later welcomed the news and called for full details on the changes to be issued in the coming weeks so students and teachers know where they stand ahead of the upcoming school year.

TUI General Secretary Michael Gillespie said: “It has always been our position that those students who will be sitting State Examinations in 2022 should be provided with greater choice in the written examinations to compensate for disruption to learning caused by the pandemic.

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“We welcome today’s confirmation that this will now be the case. To ensure that students and their teachers know exactly where they stand at the start of the next academic year, it is essential that full details on the changes across the breadth of subjects issues in the coming weeks.”

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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