Numbers add up as more students tackle higher maths in Leaving Cert
There has been a surge in the number of students taking on higher maths in the Leaving Cert exams, which kick off today

Numbers add up as more students tackle higher maths in Leaving Cert

8 Jun 2016

There has been a distinct surge in the number of students taking higher-level maths in the Leaving Cert, with one-third of those starting their exams today taking the harder paper.

This morning, almost 117,453 students across Ireland will sit their Junior and Leaving Certificate exams. It will be an experience few will ever forget and hopefully hours of studying (and cramming) will pay off.

It is understood that some 35pc of students sitting their Leaving Cert this year are taking the higher paper in maths.

‘The state examinations represent the culmination of much hard work by students, their families and schools’

The State Examinations Commission has said that 55,000 students are due to sit maths exams this year and, out of this, 19,202 will take the higher paper.

This is up from 10,435 in 2011.

However, according to The Irish Times, typically 2,000 students each year drop down to ordinary level at the last minute.

The rise in students taking higher-level maths is tipped to accelerate next year as a new policy will enable students who get an E grade at higher level to receive the equivalent CAO points as a grade C at ordinary level.

The Irish exams machine is in motion

Overall, 59,522 students will sit for the Junior Cert exams, 55,044 will sit the Leaving Cert exams and 2,887 will sit the Leaving Cert Applied Programme.

Since the June bank holiday weekend, more than 5,000 superintendents involved in supervising the written examinations have begun taking possession of the locked boxes containing the 4m examination papers that are required by candidates over the 13-day examination period.

More than 4,300 examiners will then be involved in marking the work presented by candidates in the written examinations.

This is in addition to more than 2,300 examiners required to mark the oral and practical exams.

Examiners will also examine over 1.9m individual test items, including exam scripts, art, and craftwork pieces, as well as pieces from construction studies, engineering, metalwork, materials technology (wood), coursework, journals, research reports and portfolios.

All tests will generate just under 1m individual grades, leading to the award of 117,453 exam results.

Overall, some 360,000 marked scripts will be returned to schools for viewing.

It is anticipated that there will be 14,249 appeals processed in relation to tests graded.

The examinations run until Thursday 23 June for Junior Certificate subjects and Friday 24 June for Leaving Certificate subjects. The written examinations in the Leaving Certificate Applied programme finish on Thursday 16 June.

The results of the Leaving Certificate examinations will be available on Wednesday 17 August 2016. Results of the Junior Certificate will be available in mid-September 2016.

“The state examinations represent the culmination of much hard work by students, their families and schools,” said Pat Burke, chairman of the State Examinations Commission.

“The Commission is committed to ensuring that the examinations are conducted to the highest standards in an open and fair manner. It is our objective to enable each candidate to display his or her achievements during what can be a stressful time.

“I know that the continued support of families and the wider education community and beyond is essential at this time. The Commission wishes all those involved the very best over the coming three weeks of examinations,” Burke said.

Exams image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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