The Leaving Cert is to change drastically in 2023: Here’s what you need to know

Today, Minister for Education Norma Foley announced a number of changes that will be made to the Leaving Cert, in order to alleviate stress on sixth year students.

These changes include an increase in current assessments, oral exams and project work, with students having to sit certain exams in fifth year, to take the pressure off of their final exam term in sixth year.

For instance, at the end of fifth year (in the year 2024) students will sit their English and Irish paper one exams.

Additionally, two brand new subjects are going to be introduced into the Leaving Cert curriculum, including Drama, Film & Theater studies and Climate Action & Sustainable Development.

As reported by, this new plan means that written exams will now only be worth 60% of the student’s overall grade. The other 40% will be made up from orals, projects and practical exams.

Meanwhile, in-school teacher-based assessments will be monitored externally by the State Examinations Commission (SEC), similar to what occurred during the pandemic.

These radical changes will be introduced on a phased basis, but the plan is this new Leaving Cert programme will be fully rolled out for students entering fifth year in 2023.

Apart from the addition of LCA (Leaving Cert Applied) and Transition Year, which were both introduced in the 90’s/2000’s, the Leaving Cert programme has been left largely unchanged since its creation nearly 100 years ago.




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