Thousands of students are taking to exam halls as the 2021 Leaving Certificate gets underway.
Students sat down to English Paper I from 9.30am.
Due to public health measures, there are more than 5,000 exam centres being used to allow for social distancing.
This year sixth year students have the option of sitting the exams, accepting calculated grades or choosing both.
Carl O'Brien, education editor with the Irish Times, told Newstalk Breakfast only students themselves will be able to see which they did better in.
"Students will be automatically credited with the higher of the two grades in their final results.
"And those highest grades will appear in their final Leaving Cert in September, so no one's going to know whether you got your A1 in English Paper I from the accredited grades or the written paper.
"The Leaving Cert will appear the same as it did every single year [and] will be accepted in the same way by employers and educational institutions and there'll be no questions.
"As a student, you'll be able to find out what your performance was in the accredited grades and the written exams if you did choose those options.
"Ultimately there's going to be a facility there where you can find that out - but no one will know besides yourself, so I think that's something certainly students can have confidence in."
Ireland 'may never go back' to this system
He said he believes this year's students will be better off.
"I think students have a really good deal this year: I am not aware of any country in the world where students have a choice between doing the exams and taking the accredited grades.
"And I think having that choice really helps to ease a lot of the the student anxiety that many will be feeling this morning.
"Let's say you're taking the written exam today, chances are you've availed of the accredited grades, you have those in your back pocket, and - if you like - the written exam it's like a free shot to do better.
"That's unprecedented, and chances are we may never go back to a system like this - so the key thing is to embrace it and take your chances and give it your best shot".
And he added that this is a result of students being listened to.
"I think it's a real sign of student power: this is what students by-and-large wanted.
"They wanted choice, they managed to persuade the Government to take those measures because they've been really active on social media, they've a very well organised Irish Second-Level Students' Union and their message was heard.
"And they managed to get that through in the face of opposition from teachers unions, which is no mean feat".
On Tuesday, Education Minister Norma Foley said she had every confidence schools will be able to deliver accurate accredited grades.
"Teachers are more than familiar with the process now I suppose than last year, given this is their second year in," she said.
"I think teachers are professionals to the last and I think experience and familiarity brings with it a considerable assurance in undertaking any process.
"The guidelines were very, very strong this year in terms of how to manoeuvre your way through the process.
"Remember as well it is a shared process within a school in that it is not just an individual teacher providing an estimated mark.
"That is also agreed with the cohort of teachers within a subject area and you also have the oversight of the principle so it is very much a shared process and I have every confidence they are in a position to deliver on it," she told Newstalk Breakfast.