Leaving Cert students should get points for sports, charity work, school plays and other extra-curricular activities, a Fine Gael senator has said.
Joe O'Reilly believes 15% of marks should be set aside for such activities.
It comes amid the ongoing discussions around reform of the Leaving Cert system.
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris earlier this week suggested the current senior cycle doesn't properly prepare students for life beyond school.
Senator O'Reilly - Leas-Chathaoirleach of the Seanad - told Newstalk Breakfast that he believes 15% of marks should be set aside for non-academic activities.
He said: “5% would be given for social activity - all things around charity work, visiting needy people, and indeed environmental work.
“Then we’d give 5% for cultural and artistic activities, such as participation in school plays or musicals or painting murals.
“Thirdly, we’d give 5% for sporting and athletic participation.”
The Fine Gael Senator believes it would give the activities an important standing in schools, while also helping young people develop “empathy, a wider intellectual curiosity and a skillset”.
He stressed that academic achievements would remain the “premiere” focus, and proposed that a panel of teachers in each school would oversee the activities and marking.
One concern raised is that such a focus on extra-curricular activities would perhaps benefit schools in middle class or wealthy areas, disadvantaging DEIS schools in the process.
However, Senator O'Reilly argued that it could be a “great leveller” by giving all schools an opportunity to put further emphasis on social, cultural, artistic and sporting activities.
He also believes students with these additional skills would "bring more" to academia than is currently the case.
It comes on the same day that this year's CAO application process opens, with students having until February to apply for college and third-level places.
Options for apprenticeships and further education options will be included in the CAO portal for the first time.