Leaving Certificate

Introduction

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.

Senior Cycle and Leaving Certificate reform

The Department of Education has announced plans to reform the Senior Cycle and Leaving Certificate. A selection of schools will be invited to become pilot schools. You can read about changes to the Senior Cycle.

Leaving Certificate 2022

Registering for the Leaving Certificate 2022

If your school registered you for the Leaving Certificate, you had to confirm your subjects and subject levels on the Candidate Self Service Portal by 15 February 2022.

External candidates

If you are an external candidate (not registered with a school), you must register for the Leaving Certificate on the Candidate Self Service Portal by 12 noon Monday, 14 March 2022.

You must complete a school request form before registering. You can find information on external candidate applications or email entries@examinations.ie.

Leaving Certificate exams

The Leaving Certificate exams will run from Wednesday, 8 June 2022, until Tuesday, 28 June 2022.

The Department of Education has published information about adjustments to the written examinations (pdf) that take into account the disruption to teaching and learning experienced by the Leaving Certificate class of 2021-2022.

You can find the timetable for Leaving Certificate 2022 (pdf) and other information on the State Examinations Commission (SEC) website.

An alternative set of exams will run for students affected by family bereavement, COVID-19 illness and certain other categories of serious illness.

Practical exams

The Leaving Certificate oral exams in Irish and Modern Foreign Languages and practical performances exams in Music will take place outside of school time between Saturday, 9 April 2022, and Thursday, 14 April 2022.

Leaving Certificate subjects and assessment

The Department of Education publishes syllabus and curriculum information. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment provides a list of Leaving Certificate subjects.

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.

Grading scale for Leaving Certificate from 2017
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
H7/O7 30 <40
H8/O8 0 < 30

*Grades at Higher level are prefixed with H. Grades at Ordinary level are prefixed with O.

Marking system (2015/16)

Percentage Range Grade
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 is no exam fee for the Leaving Certificate 2022.

Further information

State Examinations Commission

Cornamaddy
Athlone
Westmeath
Ireland

Tel: (090) 644 2700
Fax: (090) 644 2744
Page edited: 31 March 2022