Wait is over for nearly 59,000 Leaving Cert students

13 students have received top marks in eight subjects

Wait is over for nearly 59,000 Leaving Cert students

One Leaving Certificate student from Kildare who got 615 points | Image: Rollingnews.ie

Updated 07:10

Almost 59,000 pupils are getting their Leaving Certificate results this morning.

A new grading system has been applied to all subjects this year, reducing the number of grades available to eight.

The new grade scheme will see markings like 'A1' replaced with 'H1' for a higher level paper or 'O1' for an ordinary level paper.

While an 'A2' or a 'B1' - between 80 or 90% - will be worth the same amount: either a 'H2' or an 'O2.'

Top marks

State examiners have revealed that 13 students around the country received 90% or higher in eight of their subjects.

Fifty pupils hit top marks in seven subjects, 130 hit the heights in six subjects while 222 took home the highest marks in five.

More students opted for higher level rates across almost all subjects this year - with fewer students failing subjects.

The number of students sitting the Higher Level Irish paper has risen by 10%, the number sitting higher level Maths is up by 8% while there has been an increase of 6% in higher level English.

The number of students taking higher level chemistry has increased by 16% since 2013.

Class of 2017

The Minister for Education Richard Bruton has welcomed the publication of today’s results calling it a “watershed moment for the class of 2017.”

“It is a time to celebrate the end of a very important period in their lives and to recognise the massive contribution of teachers, parents and friends who helped along the way,” he said.

“For students who may not have done as well as they might have hoped, take time to consider all the options which are available and can lead you to your chosen career.

“Whatever your results today – there will be opportunities for you.”

New marking system

The new scale has eight grades at both higher and ordinary levels - the highest grade is a Grade 1, the lowest grade a Grade 8.

Grades 1-7 run from 100% to 30% and Grade 8 is for percentage marks for 0 to 29.9%.

There bands will change at every 10%. While a pass grade will be moved to 30%, from the current 40%.

The new grading system | Source: transition.ie

The changes mean the CAO points system has also been revised.

It will see a H1 worth 100 CAO points, a H4 gives you 66 points, while a H5 is worth 56 points - the same as an O1.

How the new system will affect CAO points | Image: citizensinformation.ie

Guidance counsellor Brian Mooney said: "The most significant change is that in the past fails started at 40% on both ordinary and higher - as of now, you get no points and are deemed to have failed at higher (level) once you get to 30%.

"And that is going to have a huge, significant affect I think on a number of areas.

"Because every single year up to now, you get to the mocks, a student gets 30-something percent in their mocks in higher level Irish or English (and they say) 'I failed, I better not take a chance'".

"In the past if you failed at 40%, that was it... When you look at the number that registered every year with the State Exams Commission in November to sit maths and higher level and sit Irish at higher level and you looked at the number who actually sat it in June there was always a difference of 3,000 or 4,000 who literally just disappear.

"I suspect they won't disappear this year. They'll have a go to get to 30%".

As this is the first year of the new points regime, students are urged not to panic and reminded that there is help available to calculate points.

The State Examinations Commission has information at examinations.ie, and there are various apps available to help calculate points.

A freephone helpline is also being run by the National Parents Council Post Primary at 1800-265-165.

Results will be available online from midday.

Additional reporting: Juliette Gash, Michael Staines