Government Announces Leaving Cert Adjustments for 2022

David Prendeville

This summer will see the return of exam-only Leaving Certificate examinations.
Education Minister Norma Foley announced that extensive adjustments would be made to this year’s Leaving Cert written exams as she ruled out a ‘hybrid model’. This year’s exams are set to offer students more choice and less questions.
This is similar to changes that were implemented in last year’s exams and reflect the disruption caused by the pandemic for students throughout the academic year.
Minister Foley said: “The Leaving Certificate class of 2022 has experienced significant disruption to their learning and their school experience.
In light of this, following extensive engagement with the advisory group on planning for state examinations, I can confirm this plan for significant
changes to the examinations, which takes account of the experiences of students during the pandemic and will provide the best possible
pathway for this year’s Leaving Certificate students.
The students had a number of concerns. They wanted clarity and certainty. I have answered both of those valid concerns by making this announcement
earlier than last year. Students also raised concerns over the potential disadvantage the class of 2022 would face when compared
to the class of 2021 in terms of grade inflation. To alleviate this concern, I have asked the SEC to put in place measures to ensure that the overall set of results in the aggregate for this year will be no lower than last year.”
Foley went on to confirm there would be “extensive changes to the written paper in acknowledgement of the challenges our students have faced.” Saying the changes build on those: “already made to the papers and notified to students last August.
These combined changes mean that students need not be concerned that they will be disadvantaged compared to their peers. The exams will be structured in a familiar way, but with more choice and a reduction in the number of questions to be answered. This will not be the traditional Leaving Certificate exam.”
On the adjustments the State Examinations Commision said that “The adjustments will provide the fairest pathway to successfully completing their post-primary education and enabling them to progress to further and higher education and training, apprenticeships, and the world of work.”
An alternative set of Leaving Certificate examinations will also be run in 2022, shortly following the main set of examinations.
These examinations will be limited to certain categories of students, such as those who experience a close family bereavement, COVID-19 illness and certain other categories of serious illness, during the first examination period. There will be strict eligibility criteria applying to this contingency sitting. Junior Cycle examinations will also take place this summer.
Adjustments to the assessment arrangements for Junior Cycle have been made and advised in August 2021, including a reduction in the number of Classroom Based Assessments to be completed, the removal of the requirement to complete Assessment Tasks and adjustments to the requirements in coursework and practical performance tests. These adjustments provide for more teaching time in schools. On 8 February, The State Examinations Commission released the timetables for the 2022 certificate examinations which will commence on Wednesday 8 June. The Leaving Certificate examinations will run until Tuesday 28 June, the Leaving Certificate Applied examinations will conclude on Thursday 16 June and the Junior Cycle examinations will conclude on Monday 20 June. The Leaving Certificate timetable follows the familiar format with the examinations in new Leaving Certificate Curricular subjects of Polish, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese scheduled to run in conjunction with the examinations in the non-Curricular languages on Monday 20 June.
More information on timetables and changes to the examinations can be found at