Schooldays.ie - Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland

username: password: Log in | Register | Forgot Password?

Repeating the Leaving Cert



Repeating the Leaving Cert is not an option lightly taken and needs to be thought about carefully. It can be a realistic option, if the points are narrowly missed and the student is very focused and determined, or if their study or examinations were interrupted by personal circumstances.

Remember you do not necessarily need to sit the same subjects again. Also you don’t have to retake subjects, which are specific requirements for particular Colleges or courses, if they are already obtained. It is very important to check up to date course and college requirements before you make decisions on which subjects to repeat. 

What options do I have regarding places to repeat?


There are a number of options available to students repeating their leaving cert. With a wide range of schools offering repeat leaving cert programs, there is an option at all price levels.

Brookfield College in Kerry offer a full time Leaving Certificate Programme for fifth year, sixth year and repeat students. They offer an  intensive one -year programme with expert teaching and guidance as well as regular assessment for repeat leaving certificate students. Fees are approximatley €5,500



Rathmines College is another popular school among repeat leaving cert students, with much more affordable fees of €300 for the year. With an extensive subject choice menu and small class sizes, Rathmines College prides itself in offering top support to students re-sitting the leaving certificate. Some students may be more suited to studying in Rathmines, as a focus is placed on monitoring attendance and performance of all students.


The Institute of Education is a popular choice among students who are based in Dublin and are self motivated and driven, as teachers treat students as adults, giving them more freedom and responsibility. Timetables are designed by students to suit their needs, allowing them full control over the subjects they choose. However, the Institute of Education will not suit everyone, as a mature and motivated attitude is essential. Fees are high, at approximately €7,000 for the year.


You may choose to repeat the year in your own school, although some schools do not offer repeat leaving cert programs. Talk to your school about your options as you start to consider repeating your exams.


View a list of Repeat Leaving Cert Centres here

Do I have to take all of my subjects again?


No, you are not required to take the same subjects this time around, although it is not recommended that you take on any more than one or two new subjects. English, Irish and Maths are not mandatory for repeating students, as long as you have previously passed.


Geography, Business and Ag Science are popular options for those taking up new subjects, but try and pick subjects that have a slight overlap with those you have already studied. For example, Home Economics and Biology have similar elements, as do Business and Economics.


If you are re sitting the leaving cert in order to meet a subject requirement, and have the points for your desired course, you may only need to repeat the one subject only. For example, if a course requires a B2 or higher in English, and you failed to meet this requirement originally, you may choose to spend the year studying English alone. BEFORE you make decisions on what subjects to repeat, make sure to check the requirements regarding repeat results with the third level colleges you are hoping to attend.

How can I make sure to get better results this time around?


Getting stuck in to another year of intense study after two already is without question an extremely difficult task. However, sometimes it has to be done and can yield fantastic results. Here are our tips on repeating the leaving -

    • Get stuck in from the start - Don’t adopt an ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ attitude. Your time is important as you only have one year to prepare for exams this time around. Begin the year the way you wish to go on and keep on top of study from the start.

    • Don’t be too disappointed- While repeating the leaving cert is not what you had hoped for, allow yourself to be disappointed for a few days, and then move on. Don't lose hope and slip into a bad mood. Losing control of these feelings could cost you your desired end result.

    • Make time to meet friends - Set aside some time to meet your friends. If you try to study for all of your waking hours, you will soon burn out. Everyone has to be allowed to have a little fun, even if that means losing an hour or two of study time at the weekend. Find a balance between work and play and stick to it.

    • Remember that it is only a year - Keep reminding yourself that it is only one year. Imagine receiving an offer for the course you hope to do in less than 12 months time to keep yourself motivated. The year will fly by and soon you will be joining your friends on their student trips and nights out!

    • Learn from your mistakes - Don’t make the same mistakes as last time round. Identify areas that you can work on to do better. Remember that you are at an advantage as experience is on your side this time. Did you spend too much time on the computer last year? Or did you read the question wrong in one of your exams? Don’t let these things happen again this year by identifying your past mistakes now.

If you are worried about repeating the leaving cert or need some advice, make sure to talk to a careers guidance counsellor who will be able to help.

View a list of Repeat Leaving Cert Centres here