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Leaving Cert Reform may allow points for failure


Posted by Elizabeth Clarke, on 11/08/2014. Leaving Cert Reform may allow points for failureTags: Education And Politics


Recent proposals suggested by an Irish Universities Association (IUA) task group suggest a number of reforms to the Leaving Certificate points system.

The reforms are suggested to take place in two phases, with the first set of changes possibly coming into place for students sitting the Leaving Certificate in 2017.

Among the changes being discussed is a widening of of the gap between points awarded for honours and ordinary level subjects, so as to award students for their greater effort put into honours level subjects. It is also being suggested that points may be awarded to students achieving a mark of 30-39% in honours papers. Currently, anything below 40% is a fail grade and merits no points, discouraging some students from sitting higher level papers.

A proposed new grading system would see an end to the classic ABC/123 scale, instead taking on a H1-H8 and O1-O8 scale. Also among the drafted proposals is the introduction of ‘relevance points.’ These points may be awarded to students for subjects taken that are directly relevant to their college course. The aim of ‘relevance points’ is to discourage students from taking subjects considered easier than others that may have no relevance to their future line of study.

The introduction of bonus points for sitting honours maths in 2012 is proof that the points system can be used to positively influence student subject choice.


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