Leaving Certificate

What is the Leaving Certificate?

Most Senior Cycle students choose the established Leaving Certificate programme. This 2-year programme covers a wide range of subjects (see ‘Leaving Certificate subjects and assessment’ below).

Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level. Irish and Mathematics can be studied at Foundation Level. Foundation Level is geared to the needs of students who might have difficulty with subjects at Ordinary or Higher Level.

Leaving Certificate 2024

You can get information about the assessment arrangements for the Leaving Certificate 2024 exams (pdf).

The oral exams for Irish and foreign languages ran from 23 March 2024 to 28 March 2024. The exams for music practical performance will take place between 8 April 2024 and 19 April 2024.

The Leaving Certificate 2024 written exams will take place from 5 June 2024 to 25 June 2024. The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has published the exam timetable (pdf) and more information for Leaving Certificate 2024.

Leaving Certificate 2024 exam results will be released on Friday, 23 August 2024.

Leaving Certificate subjects and assessment

The Department of Education publishes syllabus and curriculum information. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment provides a list of Leaving Certificate subjects.

Senior Cycle and Leaving Certificate reform

The Department of Education has announced plans to reform the Senior Cycle and Leaving Certificate. It has set up the Senior Cycle Redevelopment Programme Delivery Board to oversee changes.

A selection of schools will be invited to become pilot schools. You can read about changes to the Senior Cycle on gov.ie.

Marking system for examination grades

The examination scale has 8 grades, the highest grade is Grade 1 and the lowest grade is Grade 8.

The 8-point grading scale replaced the 14-point scale at both Higher and Ordinary levels in 2017.

Marks between 100% and 30% are divided into seven grade bands (1-7). Each band is 10% wide.

The scheme means that the Common Points Scale used by the CAO to determine entry into higher education institutions, was also revised in 2017. You can read more on the Department of Education’s Transition website.

Grading scale for Leaving Certificate from 2017
New grades* % Marks
H1/O1 90 - 100
H2/O2 80 < 90
H3/O3 70 < 80
H4/O4 60 < 70
H5/O5 50 < 60
H6/O6 40 < 50
H7/O7 30 <40
H8/O8 0 < 30

*Grades at Higher level are prefixed with H. Grades at Ordinary level are prefixed with O.

Marking system (2015/16)

Percentage Range Grade
90% or over A1
85% but less than 90% A2
80% but less than 85% B1
75% but less than 80% B2
70% but less than 75% B3
65% but less than 70% C1
60% but less than 65% C2
55% but less than 60% C3
50% but less than 55% D1
45% but less than 50% D2
40% but less than 45% D3
25% but less than 40% E
10% but less than 25% F
Less than 10% No grade

Leaving Certificate exam fee

Getting a copy of your old Leaving Certificate results

You may be asked for evidence that you have completed State examinations when you apply for a job or for further education. It is always useful to have a copy of your results as well as the original Certificate, especially if you plan to work or study outside Ireland.

The State Examinations Commission can give you a certified statement of your results.

More information

State Examinations Commission


Tel: (090) 644 2700
Fax: (090) 644 2744
Page edited: 17 April 2024