Leaving Out

This morning students across Ireland have been receiving their Leaving Certificate grades. First of all let me congratulate the 2020 Leaving Certificate Class for their success in what has been a very difficult year!

The release of Leaving Certificate results will trigger even more of a scramble than usual for university places through the CAO process. This year things are likely to be very different from previous years as (a) the process is much shorter in duration (students who get into university will be having their first lectures just three weeks from today) and (b) the distribution of grades is unlike previous years because they are based on “calculated grades” rather than examination results. This has led to an increase in top grades across many subjects. Here is a useful summary from the Irish Times:

(I know it looks small but you can click on it to make it legible…)

Note the number of top grades in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Physics has gone up because of the general grade inflation and because the number of students taking them has gone up. This is potentially good news for our recruitment here in Maynooth but it’s probably not so simple. For example, it may be that bigger departments elsewhere try to offset the lack of international students this year by recruiting more home students. We’ll just have to wait and see. By the start of next week the picture will probably be clearer.

At any rate, a certain local celebrity is looking forward to welcoming the new students onto campus shortly…

2 Responses to “Leaving Out”

  1. One thing I would like to know; how does this year’s grade inflation compare with last year? I presume it’s much more pronounced?

    • I only know the data for H1s for some science subjects, this year’s results compared with a three-year average in the past:

      Applied Maths went up from 15.3pc over the past three years to 29.6pc this year.
      Maths saw H1s increase from 5.8pc over the past three years to 8.4pc this year.
      The sciences also saw jumps in all subjects. For instance in Biology 8.1pc of all higher level grades were H1s over the past three years but this has risen to 10.8pc this year while Chemistry rose from 12.1pc to 17.1pc and Physics rose from 10.8pc to 15.6pc.

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