Most Senior Cycle students choose the established Leaving Certificate programme. This 2-year programme covers a wide range of subjects.
Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level. Two subjects, Irish and Mathematics, can be studied at Foundation Level. Foundation Level is geared to the needs of students who might have difficulty with those subjects at Ordinary or Higher Level.
Leaving Certificate 2022
The Department of Education has published assessment arrangements for Leaving Certificate 2022 (pdf).
The Department intends that Leaving Certificate 2022 will have an alternative set of exams for students affected by family bereavement, COVID-19 illness and certain other categories of serious illness.
Leaving Certificate 2021
In 2021, you had the choice to sit the written examination in June or get an accredited grade from the State Examination Commission (SEC) or both. You can find out more about the Leaving Certificate 2021 and accredited grades.
Students got a State Certificate of Calculated Grades in 2020.
Leaving Certificate subjects and assessment
Marking system for examination grades
The examination scale has 8 grades, the highest grade is Grade 1 and the lowest grade is Grade 8.
The 8-point grading scale replaced the 14-point scale at both Higher and Ordinary levels in 2017.
Marks between 100% and 30% are divided into seven grade bands (1-7). Each band is 10% wide.
The scheme means that the Common Points Scale used by the CAO to determine entry into higher education institutions, was also revised in 2017. You can read more on transition.ie.
|New grades*||% Marks|
|H1/O1||90 - 100|
|H2/O2||80 < 90|
|H3/O3||70 < 80|
|H4/O4||60 < 70|
|H5/O5||50 < 60|
|H6/O6||40 < 50|
|H8/O8||0 < 30|
*Grades at Higher level are prefixed with H. Grades at Ordinary level are prefixed with O.
Marking system (2015/16)
|90% or over||A1|
|85% but less than 90%||A2|
|80% but less than 85%||B1|
|75% but less than 80%||B2|
|70% but less than 75%||B3|
|65% but less than 70%||C1|
|60% but less than 65%||C2|
|55% but less than 60%||C3|
|50% but less than 55%||D1|
|45% but less than 50%||D2|
|40% but less than 45%||D3|
|25% but less than 40%||E|
|10% but less than 25%||F|
|Less than 10%||No grade|
Getting a copy of your Leaving Certificate results
You may be asked for evidence that you have completed State examinations when you apply for a job or for further education. It is always useful to have a copy of your results as well as the original Certificate, especially if you plan to work or study outside Ireland.
The State Examinations Commission can provide you with a certified statement of your results - see 'How to apply' below.
Leaving Certificate exam fees
There was no fee for the Leaving Certificate 2021 written exam or accredited grades. Information about exam fees for 2022 will be published on the State Examinations Commission website.