Academic grading in Ireland

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In Irish secondary schools, grades are awarded using letters along this scale:

  • A: 85% - 100%
  • B: 70% - 84%
  • C: 55% - 69%
  • D: 40% - 54% (lowest passing grade)
  • E: 25% - 39%
  • F: 10% - 24%

Any score below 10% is classed as NG or No Grade. At Higher Level, a C grade and above is considered an 'Honour' grade.

The new Leaving Certificate grading system involves grades such as H1, H2, O1, O2, etc.

Leaving Certificate results are measured by the number of 'points' awarded to the student. It is usually the amount of points awarded to the student that forms the basis for the student's acceptance or otherwise into a course of higher education (e.g., a university degree course). A number of points between 0 and 100 are awarded to the student for each Leaving Certificate exam sat. The student then combines the points from his or her six top scoring exams, giving a final total score between 0 and 600. The number of points awarded for a particular grade depend on whether the student sat the exam for the 'Higher Level' course or the 'Ordinary Level' course. The number of points awarded for each grade at the two levels are as follows:

Grade Percentage Range Points at Higher Level Points at Ordinary Level
H1/O1 90% - 100% 100 56
H2/O2 80% - 89.9% 88 46
H3/O3 70% - 79.9% 77 37
H4/O4 60% - 69.9% 66 28
H5/O5 50% - 59.9% 56 20
H6/O6 40% - 49.9% 46 12
H7/O7 30% - 39.9% 33 0
H8/O8 0% - 29.9% 0 0

Anything below a H8 or O7 is considered a failing grade, and no points are awarded. 25 bonus points will continue to be awarded for Higher Level Mathematics for H6 grades and above. For example, if an applicant receives a H6 grade, an additional 25 points will be added to the 46 points already awarded for a H6 grade i.e. Higher Level Mathematics now carries a points score of 71 for this applicant.[1]

Changes to the points system can be found at the Central Applications Office.

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