The Department of Education has announced that oral and practical tests for the upcoming State exams are being cancelled.
Instead, Leaving and Junior Certificate students will be awarded full marks.
The deadline for submission of project work and coursework in a number of subjects has also been pushed out to May 15th.
Minister @McHughJoeTD announces the cancellation of Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Oral and Practical Performance Tests.
Students will be awarded full marks. #covid19https://t.co/R4kRWCMG5z pic.twitter.com/9u1UixHA1X
— Newstalk (@NewstalkFM) March 19, 2020
The department says the decision was taken in light of the closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 virus.
Education Minister Joe McHugh says: "It is the fairest response we could take in the circumstances. It guarantees that no student will score less than they would have if schools had been operating as normal.
"We have seen a new emphasis on remote learning amid the uncertainty about the impact of COVID-19 and the closure of all schools.
"I hope this decision will ease some of the pressure that students are feeling and allow them to focus more clearly on completing project work and preparing for written exams."
The change means all students who were due to take oral and practical performance tests will be given full marks.
This includes oral tests in Leaving Cert Irish and the modern languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese).
It also covers practical performance tests in Leaving Cert music, as well as Junior Cert music and home economics.
Minister McHugh also confirmed changes to deadlines for students to complete project work and coursework in a number of subjects.
Minister McHugh added: “We know we are asking a lot of people in order to stem the spread of COVID-19.
"In response to that I want students and their parents or guardians and teachers to be given flexibility as they work towards the exams.
“All of Government is hugely grateful for the effort, commitment and energy that students and teachers are putting in to continue education in difficult circumstances. I urge you all to keep up the momentum and focus on preparing for the exams.”
He said they are still working on the basis that the rest of the exams will go ahead.