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The Junior Certificate Programme/Cycle

The Junior Certificate was replaced with the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) on a phased based over the last number of years. The JCPA is a classroom-based component to the assessment which is based on work completed by the student during second and third year. Students in second year sit standardised tests in Maths and English reading (or Irish reading in Irish-medium schools). Standardised testing in Science is also included.

For students, the new junior cycle means that the curriculum available in their schools will be a mix of subjects as well as short courses and other learning experiences.There is a wide range of subjects available, but all subjects are not offered in every school.  More information on these short courses and learning experiences is available from CurriculumOnline here.


English, Irish and Maths are studied at either ordinary or higher level and all new subject specifications are at common level.

The classroom-based assessments in second and third year are also set at a common level . Assessment arrangements for Junior Cycle 2023 can be viewed here


You can find information on the development process involved in all the junior cycle subject specifications here along with further information on the Junior Cycle Framework, Principles, Statements of Learning and Key Skills here

The Junior Certificate School Programme

The Junior Certificate School Programme (JCSP) has been designed to help young people who are at risk of leaving school early and who would benefit from special support when they are working towards the Junior Cycle exams. Schools that offer the programme are given extra resources to facilitate teachers to develop a team approach to supporting the students.

Students taking the Junior Cycle exams study the normal Junior Cycle syllabus. All students participating in the Junior Certificate School Programme must be entered for the Junior Cycle exams. All JCSP students are entitled to a profile - this is an individualised record of their achievement.


Citizens Information


Curriculum Online