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State Exams

Leaving and Junior Cert exams start today with over 130,000 students taking part

It marks the full return of traditional written exams following two years of Covid disruption.

LEAVING AND JUNIOR Certificate exams get underway at centres around Ireland today and a total 131,431 students will take part.

It marks the full return of traditional written exams, following two years of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In February, education minister Norma Foley announced extensive changes to this year’s exams to take account of the disruption to teaching and learning experienced by this year’s Leaving Cert class.

The minister guaranteed that the overall set of results this year will be no lower than in 2021 to ensure that the class of 2022 will not be disadvantaged. 

It’s also the first time Junior Cycle exams have been held since 2019, meaning a cohort of this year’s Leaving Cert class – those who did not do Transition Year– have never sat a State exam before. 

An alternative set of Leaving Cert exams will also be run this year, starting on 30 June. These examinations will be limited to students who experience a close family bereavement, Covid-19 or other categories of illness during the first examination period. 

This year’s examinations will be held in 5,575 examination centres running until Tuesday 28 June. The Applied Leaving Cert wraps up next Thursday, 16 June, and Junior cycle examinations will finish on Monday 20 June.

“This year we are seeing the full return of externally delivered examinations as well as the first full year of exams under the revised Junior Cycle Framework,” the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, said.

“I would like to acknowledge the work of the State Examinations Commission and post-primary schools across the country in ensuring that we can deliver exams similar to those prior to the pandemic.”

The Leaving Cert will go under a major overhaul in September 2023 following plans announced in May.

That will include changes to the final assessment procedure that will introduce ‘teacher-based’ assessment components while exams will be given less weight than they currently have.

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