How will the Leaving Cert 2021 work?

Leaving Cert students will have the option of a calculated grade, a written exam or both in each subject
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Students taking exams

If you are a Leaving Cert 2021 student you will have the choice to take the written examination in a subject, receive a calculated grade or do both. All students will have to opt in to pick which system they want to do in every subject. For example, this means that you can choose to take a calculated grade for your English exam, but sit the exam for your Maths. You can also choose to sit the Maths exam but also receive a calculated grade in it. 

The Leaving Cert is due to run at the normal time in June, but this is subject to public health advice. 

Leaving Cert 2021

Calculated grades will be given to students at the same time as the examination results. The decision was made to give students the choice because the government has said that it would be unfair to make students sit exams when a large amount of their time in senior cycle has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Leaving Cert practical exams 2021 

If you choose to take the written exams you will also have to take your oral and practical exams where possible. Some practical exams have been cancelled due to health concerns and students taking the written exam in these subjects will be marked on their practical coursework in place of their practicals.

Key information about the Leaving Cert practical exams: 

  • Oral exams will be held during the Easter break or shortly after that time (March 26th – April 15th)
  • The practical performance test in music is planned to take place in the second week of the Easter holiday
  • The day practical exams in construction studies and engineering have been cancelled due to COVID-19 
  • The performance assessment for PE has been cancelled due to COVID-19
  • You do not have to do oral or practical exams if you choose to receive calculated grades instead

Leaving Cert Candidate Self-Service Portal

The candidate self-service portal is a website through which students will be able to choose how they are taking the Leaving Cert and to select their subject levels. For example, on the portal you can log in and select that you are choosing to take a calculated grade in English at Ordinary level. 

The portal will open from 12pm on Wednesday 10th March 2021 and remain open for six days until Tuesday the 16th of March. After these dates if you have not selected to sit the exams you will not be able to do so. 

At the end of April/ beginning of May, students will have a final chance to decided not to sit the exams. They will also be able to confirm the level they are taking (Higher, Ordinary or Foundation) at this time. 

Leaving Cert coursework completion dates 2021

  • Leaving Cert Vocational Programme portfolio of coursework: March 12th March 
  • Economics: March 15th March 
  • Design and communication graphics: 19th March 
  • PE physical activity project:  22nd March 
  • History: 23rd April 
  • Geography: 23rd April 
  • Religious education: 23rd April 
  • Agricultural science: 23rd April 
  • Engineering (project): 7th May 
  • Politics and society: 7th May 
  • Art: 20th May 
  • Technology: 27th May 
  • Computer science: 27th May 
  • Construction studies (project): 28th May 
  • Home economics (textile studies elective): 28th May 

Need more information?

Would you like more information? Maybe you would like to talk through your own situation? Get in touch through our online chat system for 16 to 25 year olds – Monday to Friday 4pm to 8pm.

Feeling overwhelmed or want to talk to someone right now?

If you are a customer of the 48 network or cannot get through using the ‘50808’ short code please text HELLO to 086 1800 280 (standard message rates may apply). Some smaller networks do not support short codes like ‘50808’.

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