Leaving Certificate (Leaving Cert) students have received a record number of H1s in the results, RTÉ has reported.
A H1 carries a minimum of 100 points and is the highest grade a student can receive in a Leaving Cert subject. Overall, the jump in grades shows an average 2.6% grade inflation on last year.
The increase in top grades in higher-level subjects is significant. For example, the proportion of students securing a H1 in higher level maths jumped from 8.6% last year to 15.1% this year, a 75% increase.
H1s in English grew from 4.4% to 7.6%, and from 11% to 18.2% in History. The 2020 figures over which this year’s numbers have increased were themselves historically high.
The large proportion of high grades will translate directly into higher points for college entry.
Over 61,000 students received their results this morning in total. Of those, more than 52,600 chose to undertake a combination of some exams and some calculated grades.
Just 185 students received no predicted marks and chose to sit exams in all their subjects, while about 5,000 opted for no exams and got calculated grades in all subjects.
Exams vs calculated grades
The State Examinations Commission (SEC) reported that the calculated grades process showed “substantial further increases in the proportion of estimates corresponding to the highest grades, especially at Higher level”.
As well as observing an increase in the grades students received, the commission also noted that marks predicted by schools, in 77% of cases, matched the marks the students were eventually awarded.
Additionally, the SEC provided data comparing results in examinations versus accredited grades in cases where a student had both available.
In 52.5% of cases, the calculated mark was higher than the exam mark, and in 31.3% the two marks were the same. Only in 16.1% of instances did the exam yield a higher grade.
For 2021 Leaving Cert students, round 1 third-level offers from the Central Applications Office will be issued next Tuesday September 7. Students will have until September 13 to accept or reject these offers.
Freshers Week for Students entering Trinity begins on September 20, and teaching on September 27.
Yesterday, Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris expressed a desire to reform the college entry process.