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State Exams

missmozart
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9/13/2016 7:26:43 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
I've created this thread in honour of the eve of the Junior Certificate Results Day tomorrow which myself and a few thousand other Irish students are definitely NOT looking forward too! Anyways, I know that different countries have different education systems regarding state exams and I'm really curious as to the similarities and differences between them.

So I am going to briefly discuss Ireland's and if you want to contribute, feel free to add about your country.

In Ireland, we have two state exams, the Junior Cert and the Leaving Cert.

For the Junior Cert which is sat in the equivalent of 9th grade/Year 11, students do 11 subjects, an average of 2-2.5 hours each, with Irish, English and Mathematics being 5 hours long. Students have a choice of doing the exam in higher or ordinary level. Just to give an example of the list of subjects, here are the ones I did (all HLs):

Irish
English
Mathematics
Science- Biology, Chemistry and Physics
Religious Education (it's more difficult than it sounds!)
History
Geography
CSPE
French
Music
Art

The exams are held within two weeks at the end of the school year and the results come out in September after the summer. For the Junior Cert, students will only receive a grade and not a percentage. An A is 85%-100% and a B is 70%-84% etc. In most cases where a mark is in between (eg. 84.6%), examiners tend to mark a lower grade unfortunately.

The Leaving Cert is taken at the end of the last year of secondary school/high school. Students take at least six subjects including the core (Irish, English and Maths). This final exam like most countries, determines the university or college the student will continue their studies in. Results are measured in points and calculated from your top six subjects:

Higher level
90-100%=100 points
85-89%= 90 points
etc.

Ordinary level is slightly different however and if you take maths at higher level, you get an extra 25 points. Therefore, the highest a student can achieve is 625 points.

Students prepare for both examinations for an average of three years each.

That is basically it I guess.
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