Opposition parties have criticised the delay to the Leaving Cert results, claiming its 'outrageous' and a 'massive blow to students'.
Education Minister Norma Foley last night announced students' calculated grades won't be published until 7th September, several weeks later than the usual mid-August date for exam results.
First round CAO offers, meanwhile, will be issued on 11th September.
Minister Foley acknowledged the that many students will feel "anxious while awaiting their results" - but said officials need to take the time to ensure they get the process right.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the situation changes "absolutely everything" in the schedule for students hoping to move to third-level education.
He said: "For this to come out on a Thursday evening... it's absolutely unbelievable. It's outrageous. I don't understand why we need to wait until September 7th.
"This is a cohort of students that has been through an incredibly stressful situation up until this point. You'd imagine you'd do everything possible to ensure nothing else would happen."
He criticised the Minister for not answering questions about the situation in the Dáil earlier on Thursday, and for not appearing publicly to announce the decision.
He said: "This has been very, very poorly handled.
"Now we have no idea how students are going to arrange their accommodation, how third-level colleges are going to deal with this situation.
"I've been told it's going to take at least a month from the issuing of the results for the potential for a student to actually enter third-level.
"This is just another situation on top of all the other missteps... you would have thought the Department would have gone head over heels to avoid this delay."
Sinn Féin's Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, meanwhile, said the announcement had left Leaving Cert students 'high and dry'.
In a statement, he said: "This is not the fault of schools and teachers, who have held up their end of the bargain and submitted calculated grades on time.
"The responsibility for this debacle lies squarely at the door of the Department."