More than 61,000 Junior Cert students get their results today.
The overall number sitting the exams rose by 2.3% this year to 61,654.
This year, 240 students got 10 As or more - but that's a 43% dip from the 2016 total.
According to The Irish Times, the number of students achieving As fell across many individual subjects - including Irish, Geography, History, French and German.
Maths has slightly bucked the trend - it saw a 2.4% increase in the number of top grades.
This year sees a revised English marking scheme in place for the first time, with exam results combined with continual assessment.
The subject is also the first to see the old grading system phased out, with all subjects set to change to the new scheme over the coming years:
Education Minister Richard Bruton congratulated students receiving their results today.
He observed: "Today marks the completion of your junior cycle and it is a proud moment for yourselves, your parents and your teachers.
"Today you are seeing the well deserved results of all the hours of hard work and dedication that have gone into preparing for your exams.”
The Teachers' Union of Ireland is congratulating pupils, and says it's important they go on to complete their Leaving Cert.
TUI President Joanne Irwin said: "In many cases, focus will now turn to finalising subject choices for the Leaving Certificate. If I could give one simple piece of advice to students in this regard it would be to choose areas that they are most interested in and that really engage them."
She said students should enjoy their celebrations tonight, but stressed that "they should do so responsibly and not put the wellbeing of themselves or others at risk".
Parents are also being urged to talk to their children about the risks of underage drinking ahead of tonight's exam celebrations.
Niamh Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer of Drinkaware, observed: "Family members, in particular parents, are the single strongest influence on young people’s attitudes towards alcohol. Parents should be empowered by this and get involved in their child’s plans for results night celebrations.
"Now is the time to have that all-important conversation about alcohol.”
The Junior Cert results will be available online from 4pm, while students will be able to collect results from their schools throughout the day.