Postponement of the Leaving Certificate

The Leaving Certificate written and practical exams have been postponed. Students have been given the option of accepting calculated grades or sitting their written exams at a later date when it is safe to do so.

Calculated grades will be based on an estimated score provided by class teachers and principals, and information held by the State Examinations Commission.

The Department of Education has stated that calculated grades will be generated using a systematic statistical model. This model will use estimates of a student’s expected performance combined with the school’s statistical profiles of achievement in a subject and level, in line with national performance standards over time. This will involve a comparison of the school’s profile of achievement at Leaving Certificate over the past three years.

The first source of data (on a student’s expected performance) will come from the subject teacher. It will then be aligned in the school, with teachers consulting on the results before the principal reviews the process. The school then sends the data to the Department of Education and Skills for the second part of the process.

A Guide to Calculated Grades for Leaving Certificate students 2020 (pdf) explains how the system will work in more detail.

There will be no exam fee for 2020. All exams fees that have already been paid will be refunded.

If you are a student with special educational needs, your teacher will base their estimate of your  performance on the assumption that reasonable accommodation would have been available.

Provisional results may be issued in early September, but this date has still to be confirmed. Results will then be sent to the CAO system.

Students will be able to appeal their result. Students who are still unhappy with the calculated grades awarded will also have the option to sit a written Leaving Certificate exam in the subject(s) when this becomes possible.

The admissions process for higher education, managed by the Central Applications Office (CAO), will operate as closely as possible to the usual timeframe for offers.

You can read more about the new Leaving Certificate arrangements on