While all Leaving Cert students aiming to go to college hope to get enough points to earn a place in their desired course, the reality is a significant number won’t get their first choice. While many will accept offers for alternative courses, some will opt to repeat the Leaving Cert exams. Here's your How To guide for repeating the Leaving Cert.
Where to repeat:
  • A number of schools allow graduates to register as a sixth year student and repeat the exams there. This can be beneficial as you will already have uniforms and books and the surroundings are familiar to your teen. They may also have a support system of friends in place, making what can be an emotional situation easier to manage.
  • Another option is to repeat in another secondary school. Sometimes teens can feel a little sensitive about returning to their old school to repeat the Leaving Cert, so a change in scenery can be beneficial in this case.
  • Some private colleges offer repeat Leaving Cert courses. This is a more relaxed environment where students can wear their regular clothes and teachers adopt the role of college lecturers rather than acting as the authority figures secondary school teachers can be. It can also be a useful transition stage between school and college for your teen.
Your teen doesn’t have to study the same 7/8 subjects they did in school. While there are obvious benefits to this, sometimes it can be better to re-evaluate subject choices.
Many colleges require minimum grades in Irish, Maths and English as well as a foreign language. If your teen struggled with any these and didn’t count them when adding up CAO points or felt they dragged their overall grade down, they can replace them with new subjects. Once they have received the minimum Leaving Cert grade during their first sitting, this will count for future college applications. However it cannot be added to future points calculations.
Dropping a time-consuming subject will free up a lot of time for other subjects and even a brand new one. It will also boost their confidence and morale.
Use this time to map out an alternative academic route in case your teen isn’t able to get the points they need for their desired course.
Work Hard:
Make sure your teen resists the urge to slack off. A year seems like a long time and as they start to cover familiar material again, it’s natural for them to feel as though they can take it easy. This will prove disastrous when it comes to exam time though as they will have lost the habit of studying and absorbing information. Encourage them to keep working during the year.