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The results are out: How students got on with the Leaving Certificate

It’s all about the Maths results.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE NUMBER OF students doing Higher Level Maths and getting a high grade has stayed broadly steady, two years since the introduction of a scheme to encourage more Leaving Certificate students to do the course.

Just over 14,000 students sat Higher Level Maths this year, up from 11,000 in 2012 when the 25 bonus points for the CAO were first introduced, according to figures released today from the State Examination Commission.

Ten per cent of these students (10.2%) got an A grade, which is a drop of one percentage point on last year. However the percentage of students who got either an A, B or C is almost exactly the same as last year at 72.6%. Just over 4% of students who sat the paper failed, a slight increase on last year.

The subject in which students received the highest proportion of As was Russian, where a massive 82.5% of students got an A grade, reflecting that fact that many native speakers took it as an non-curriculum subject.

Applied Maths had the highest percentage of As of any curricular subject, with 28.2% of Higher Level and a massive 41.6% of Ordinary Level Students getting As.

The highest failure rate was in Physics and Chemistry for the second year in a row. Exactly one third of students (33.3%) who sat the Ordinary Level paper failed the subject.

Classical Studies had the next-highest failure rate with just over one-fifth (21.6%) of everyone who sat the Ordinary Level exam failing.

Compulsory subjects

The percentage of students getting As in English has fallen to 9.3% of Higher Level students, down from 10.5% two years ago. Meanwhile 7.4% of students at Ordinary Level got an A, down from 8.30% in 2012.

The percentage of students getting the highest grades in Irish has also fallen. Just over 14% of students (14.2%) got either an A1 or an A2 at Higher Level – a drop from 17.5% two years ago. Similarly, the percentage who got an A at Ordinary Level has fallen from 2.9% to 2.3%.

However, the overall number of students getting either an A, B or C in Irish has stabilised at both levels, at 88.8% for higher level and 74.9% for lower level.

Just over 76% of students got either an A, B or C in English (at both Ordinary and Higher Level), while the results were different for Maths: 72% of students got an A, B or C at Higher Level, but this figure dropped to 66% at Ordinary Level.

Here’s a round-up of how people got on with the three compulsory Leaving Certificate subjects.

ENGLISH: 

  • The stats: 35,121 students sat Higher Level English this year – almost two-thirds of all candidates who sat the exams this year. 
  • How many As?: Of these, 10.2% got either an A1 or an A2, a slight drop on last year.
  • Most common grade? The most common grade among students was a C2, with 14.4% of students getting that grade.
  • What about Ordinary Level?17,153 students sat the Ordinary Level exam. Of these, 7.4% got either an A1 or an A2.
  • Most common grade? The most common grade was a B3, with 15.6% of students getting this grade. 
  • Failure rate: 1.3% of students at Higher Level failed, while 3.5% at Ordinary Level failed.

MATHS: 

  • The stats: 14,326 students sat Higher Level Maths this year, an increase on both of the previous two years.
  • How many As?: Of these, 10.2% got either an A1 or an A2, a slight drop on last year.
  • Most common grade? The most common grade among students was a C1, with 11.6% of students getting that grade.
  • What about Ordinary Level? 32,427 students sat the Ordinary Level exam. Of these, 6.8% got an A.
  • Most common grade: The most common grade was a C2, with 11% of students getting this grade.
  • Failure rate: 4.5% of students at Higher Level failed, while 8.7% of students at Ordinary Level failed.

IRISH

  • The stats: 18,134 students sat the Higher Level exam this year, an increase on both of the previous two years.
  • How many As?: Of these, 14.2% got an A1 or an A2, a drop of 1.2 percentage points on last year.
  • Most common grade? The most common grade was a B3, with 14.3% of students getting this grade.
  • What about Ordinary Level? 23,331 students sat the Ordinary Level exam. Of these, 2.3% got an A.
  • Most common grade: The most common grade was a C1, with 15.7% of students getting this grade.
  • Failure rate: 0.60% of students at Higher Level failed, while 3.6% of students at Ordinary Level failed.

Need some help? A helpline run by the National Parents’ Council will be operating all day today. Tel: 1800 265 165. 

Read: In numbers – The Leaving Certificate results > 

Open thread: What advice would you give yourself on Leaving Cert results day? > 

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