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Results Day

Leaving Cert results: Grades adjusted upwards again due to pandemic disruption for students

71% of all grades went up with the adjustment, compared to just over 50% in 2022.

LAST UPDATE | 25 Aug 2023

OVER 61,000 students across the country will receive their Leaving Certificate results today.

For a second year in a row, there was a record-high number of students sitting state examinations.

Post-marking adjustments were also made to ensure grades were on average no lower than last year.

A number of changes, such as additional time and questions, were made ahead of this year’s exams to accommodate the impact the pandemic had on students’ learning.

Of the 61,736 candidates receiving results this year, 58,006 following the Leaving Certificate Established programme, of which 12,848 followed the Leaving Certificate Vocational programme. A further 3,730 followed the Leaving Certificate Applied programme. 

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) will issue the results to students from 10am today.

Minister for Education Norma Foley announced in May that today would be the date that the exam results be issued to Leaving Cert students this year, which was described at the time as a “significant and very welcome step towards pre-pandemic norms”.

In 2021 and 2022, the results of the Leaving Certificate were issued on the first Friday of September, while calculated results were issued on the first Monday of September in 2020.

It’s worth noting that none of this group of students say Junior Cycle exams due to the pandemic, as those exams were cancelled in 2020 and 2021.

Grade adjustment

The State Examinations Commission has said that grade adjustments were carried out again this year to ensure candidates were treated fairly with regard to the impact of Covid-19.

After adjustments, the mean overall results are the same as 2022 and 2021.

No grades were lowered in the adjustment process.

71% of all grades went up with the adjustment, compared to just over 50% in 2022.

Speaking on Morning Ireland today, Minister Foley would not say when the practice of adjusting grades to ensure consistency with previous years would end, but “we will give consideration to what’s required for the class for 2024″.

Referring to the class of 2023, she said: “This group of students are quite unique, and they did not have the privilege nor indeed the experience of taking a state exam [before the leaving cert].

“And so in the interest of fairness to them, I did make the determination that the overall grade profile this year will be similar to that which was achieved last year.

“The papers this year were perhaps more difficult than the papers last year. But in the round, I did make the determination that the grade profile would be similar over the two years, so the uplift was greater this year than last year to achieve that.”

Among higher-level students, 14.6% of grades awarded were H1s, compared to 14.8% last year and 14.3% the year before.

Some 5.9% of ordinary-level grades were O1s, compared to 4.5% in 2022 and 5.2% in 2021.


In a statement today, Foley said she wishes to “extend the heartiest of congratulations to each and every one of the over 60,000 students across Ireland receiving their results today”. 

“This is an exciting occasion in your life, filled with the prospects of the many great and varied opportunities that lie ahead,” Foley said. 

“To all of you receiving results today, I wish you every success and happiness as you embark on the next stage in your life,” she said. 

“Whether the next step on your journey will take you to work, an apprenticeship, further or higher education, or other possibilities, I hope you can enjoy today and reflect on all that you have achieved so far to bring you to this point.” 

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has today congratulated students receiving their Leaving Cert results. 

“We congratulate students receiving their results today and compliment them on their resilience, given the disruption caused to their studies by the pandemic,” TUI president Liz Farrell said. 

Farrell said that while many students “know a direct route that they wish to take, for others the pathway is more difficult to navigate”. 

She said that education is a “lifelong pursuit”, adding that “there is a diverse range of choices available to school-leavers”. 

“Along with the options in technological universities/institutes of technology and universities, students should keep in mind the significant choices in further education/post Leaving Certificate colleges, which are located across the country, offering top quality standalone qualifications with the option of progression to higher education and training upon graduation,” Farrell said. 

She added that students should remember that the CAO points do not define them as a person. 

Drinkaware, the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse, are appealing to parents to talk to their school-leaving children about alcohol prior to the results being released today. 

Meanwhile, the Samaritans urged students receiving their results to reach out for help if they struggle to cope or become anxious about their future.

They also called for students and parents to put wellbeing ahead of results.

“Many young people put themselves under enormous pressure to achieve well. Teenagers and parents need to remember that while exam results are important, it is equally important to support those who are unhappy with their achievements,” Sarah O’Toole, Executive Director for Samaritans Ireland said.

“Many pupils will have an anxious wait for CAO offers over the coming days, while others, including many parents, will struggle over finding a place to live and paying those costs in the current climate.

“We urge students, parents or carers, to try and keep things in perspective and look after their wellbeing during this time.”

The National Parents and Students Leaving Cert Helpline 1800 265 165 will operate between 10am and 6pm from tomorrow until Saturday, 2 September. 

The helpline will be open on Sunday, 27 August from 10am to 2pm and Saturday, 2 September from 10am to 4pm. 

The helipline is a free-phone service provided to Leaving Certificate students and their parents and guardians. It is staffed by qualified and experienced guidance counsellors. 

The State Examinations Commission Candidate helpline is available for queries relating to the Candidate Self Service Portal and the services it provides. 

This helpline will be available at 1800 111 135 or 180 111 136 between 9am and 5pm from tomorrow to Monday, 4 September. 

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