Leaving Cert Points System

Note: Please check out new points calculator

For the junior cert, we can get an A, B, C, D, E, F, NG. Anything from A-D is a pass, anything below is a fail.

  • A = 85-100%
  • B = 70 – 84%
  • C = 55-69%
  • D = 40-54%
  • E = 25-39%
  • F = <24%
  • NG = so poor, it’s not worthy of a being marked.

For the leaving cert however, we have the points system. 6 subjects, 100 points per subject… a maximum of 600 points + 25 bonus points if you do higher level maths.

Usually, we’ll do at least 7 subjects and write off our lowest mark. The points system is as follows;

leaving cert points

So if you do all ordinary level subjects, 600 points isn’t your potential maximum… it’s 360. So 6 A1’s at ordinary level is the equivalent of 6 C3’s at higher level.

Depending on the subject, it might be a lot harder to get a C3 at higher level than an A1 in ordinary level, so if you’re thinking of dropping down to ordinary level, make sure to look at both papers and compare the two… it might be easier to pass a higher level paper than it is to get an A in an ordinary paper, especially if you’re not used to the structure / past exam questions of an ordinary level paper.

You can do 50 subjects if you want, and i know some people do… but only your best 6 will be counted. Every year on the news, you’ll hear about some student who gets 50 A1’s in their leaving cert… good for them – but for the rest of us we’re saying “what a complete waste of time and energy” πŸ™‚

If you get 6 A1’s, you should know your own ability. It’s not as if you can cram the night before exams and get an A1.. so why bother doing more than 7 or 8 subjects?

Well, some like to show off and go for the glory… the headlines and press coverage act as rewards. Others just take on as many subjects as they can, just because they can… Β for the challenge, for the craic (some people actually enjoy learning).

No matter how much you love or hate the leaving cert, you’ll end up with ‘x’ points and that figure could well dictate your future. When the results come out, the table above will lead to tears or high pitched screams.

101 thoughts on “Leaving Cert Points System”

  1. Lauradunne25

    I hate maths, is anyone with me, like wat is the point of x and y?

    You will never use it again unless you go and be a maths teacher.

    Im here trying to study maths and its just not sanking in at all. HELP i dnt want to fail

    1. Maths is used in medicine, engineering, science and law. If you want to work in any of these fields you will have to have a strong knowledge and understanding of maths. It is the most important subject when it comes to the real world, you will find this out with experience and when you go to college.

  2. I hate maths, is anyone with me, like wat is the point of x and y?

    You will never use it again unless you go and be a maths teacher.

    Im here trying to study maths and its just not sanking in at all. HELP i dnt want to fail

    1. the whole point of x and y is to signify the unknown, such as: x+2=4, x=2 because 2+2=4. The formula is
      x+2=4
      x=4-2
      4-2=2
      so x=4
      this formula works with almost any algebra equation

    2. Also, maths is supposed to be hard. If you work hard you will get it. just keep studying, or ask a teacher

    3. you are an idiot. There is loads of jobs out of maths
      -actuary
      -quants
      -game designer
      -investment banking
      i could name 20

    4. Belive it or not we are the last year to do this type of maths,its all changing next year to maths that cuold actualy,in very rare cases be used in life,it still sounds fairly pointless but x and y shit can never be used in life exept for torturing us.But whats even more ridiculous than x and y is how vital maths is to do courses that maths in no way aplies to,i think the government needs to take it easy when it comes to maths especialy with the high fail rate.

    5. The point of maths (that seem like a waste of time) is to develop parts of your brain, that without maths, would not get developed. They seem stupid, but their necessary. Try and apply maths problems to your everyday life. I find that helps me a lot. Hope I helped πŸ™‚

    6. see i suppose x and y are for situations where you dont know the numbers that are missing .. its easier to fill them in so you can figure out the numbers , besides making up new methods while working around no numbers jano ?

    7. Maths isnt a waste of time , to be honest what your saying sounds like lazy talk. Ive notied all sorts of maths interfering into my daily life, the X and Y can be used from shopping for clothes to days out. it also shows u how to deal with simple life situations from placing objects in certain places ect. If you use maths smartly and look around its every where.

    8. Rosemary McLaughlin

      X and y are there to represent ANYTHING, in other words we talk about x because we do not know its value that is the only reason it is called x.
      So x can be any number or anything just like in real life when you can someone Mister X cos you don’t know his name.
      Then we can substitute it (the x or the y or the z or the unknown number) with any number and the answer/equation will work.
      Hope this helps

    9. Maths can be used for thousands of jobs and the point of maths is that its part of our universe, its like maths is your senses without them you wouldn’t have an understanding of the world around you and you would be useless. I think its interesting that one thing can be used from measuring the size of a galaxy to how much you spend on clothes.

  3. i hate english, what good is shakespeare and patrick kavanagh to me when im older? seriously? english should focus on writing, spelling and all that….

    1. I may be 8 years late but English obviously does focus on grammar, spelling, punctuation and all that lovely stuff, but studying poetry, novels and plays etc help us to appreciate texts and give us a more complex rage of vocabulary. In my opinion having a wide range of vocabulary can help with so many things!

  4. turkey-in-black

    In my opinion, unless you want to become a maths teacher after you leave school, maths should be an optional subject as well. Obviously you had to do it on primary school, where you learned all the things that you actually will need in life. Adding, dividing, multiplying, subtracting, percentages, fractions, etc. I don’t see why students should be forced to learn how to solve equations like : Let f (x) = x2 ? 7x +12.
    It’s no use if you want to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with maths, you won’t need to know how to solve all those confusing equations and if you’re not good at maths it will only lower your points in LC.

  5. i hate maths too,doing my leaving cert teacher is a bitch and will not help me im brutal at it its my weakest point and ive a feeling im gonna fail because of this

  6. The reason they have Maths is because it’s one of the only subjects that challenges your brain with logic, and doesn’t just ask you to learn something off by heart.

    I also dislike Maths, but a lot of it is useful. Even the complex numbers – without them we wouldn’t have animation, or, the Netherlands wouldn’t be able to make the dykes.

    If we’re making subjects optional, do Irish. That one really sucks.

    Question though, in Medicine it asks for 700+ points – is that your HPat, or what?

    1. its 480 points in the leaving and you add those points to your hpat to get a combined 700

  7. Yeah it includes the point’s that you got in the H-Pat.. I love maths.. if i get frustrated with another subject i do a bit of maths and it helps to relieve the stress.. i think thats what its there for.. well for me anyway

  8. yeah like why doestn math grow up and solve its own problems . i just had to say that because maths is so annoying

  9. iWantedToBeAvet

    Listen kids, do all your studying and subjects. someday u will regret not getting the points u needed for that dream course. SERIOUSLY dont b immature u will regret it

    1. If you did Ordinary Level in JC then you have no choice but to do Ordinary in the LC ! soz! πŸ™‚

    2. Actually I’d like to state that I did Ol irish, maths and italian for the jc and did Hl for the LC
      So unless their was an administrative error I raised the level.

  10. Not being rude or anything, but do you honestly expect to do well in the LC if u tlk lyk dis?

    Maths is hared yes, but that’s the point. It’s meant to be a challenge and it gets you thinking. I’m fairly useless at maths myself to be honest but if it WAS a choice subject I would probably still do it, because it’s useful to know.

    1. ELLIE, I understand the message you are trying to communicate here, and I completely agree. But you can’t sit on a high horse correcting other peoples improper use of English, when you yourself can’t spell the word β€œHARD”….

      Not to brag, but I got 570 in the leaving . . . .

      Truly, good luck to everyone sitting it soon. I know you’ll o great! x

  11. I love maths. πŸ˜€ In fourth year, dying to get down to work now on it. I actually love it. πŸ˜€

  12. i think its bloody stupid the way an A1 higher level is 100 and an A1 ordinary is 60!…also a D3 higher level is as good as getting a b1 ordinary level! how stupid is that its not that much of a gap between the two!! ne 1 agree????

    1. The reason you get more points for the higher level paper than you do for the ordinary level paper is because, in most subjects, the higher level is a harder and more complex paper.

      And also, people are generally to lazy to bother aiming high nowadays. They just go for the ordinary level instead of the higher because they don’t want to put in as much effort. And then, when it comes down to the test, they think they deserve more points for getting a C2 in ordinary level than a person who got a D1 in higher level. It’s ridiculous. The person doing higher level deserves more points because they went for the harder paper.

      And even if you’re not doing higher level for that reason, they still deserve more points than the ordinary levels because, technically, their test is harder.

  13. if you fail maths do you fail your whole leaving cert :O cos
    the way im going with maths its very likely i’ll fail

    1. I was just wondering if you do fail maths what can you do other than repeat? Because the course is changing next year i will have to do another two years if i wanted to repeat. I do higher maths now and the LC is in 3 weeks im just worried it will go bad on the day of the exam and i dont want to have to do an extra 2 years just to repeat one subject.

  14. I hated maths in higher level in 5 th so i decided to do pass I love it so much that I could sit down and study it all night !! but i do fell how ppl fell wit maths cause i’m like that with irish

  15. “Some people actually enjoy learning”. What kind of remark is that? School and the Leaving Certificate aren’t about LEARNING. It’s a memory test. Most people who hate school, hate it because of the fact that you do not learn anything. Real learning is completely different to the Leaving Certificate. I suggest that whoever wrote that should go and educate themself properly.

  16. Maths is impossible and im great at physics and Tech graph. . . i just dont see why im so bad at maths . .. i think i might fail it in the leaving cert but i need it to do aeronautical engineering . . . I WISH MATHS WAS EASIER!!!:(

  17. When they’re adding up your LC points do they have to count English Irish and Maths? Or is it just your best 6 subjects? Please let it be just your best six, otherwise im stuffed!! πŸ™‚

    1. no, you don’t have to count them. you do need to pass english and irish (i think) for arts courses, and maths for science courses, but you don’t have to use them for points! πŸ™‚

  18. I did Higher Maths in the JC and got a B. I never really found maths to be a horrible subject. (for me that was art) I then went into Maths in fifth year and was like “what the fuck is going on”. Everything was differnt there was more letters on the board then numbers. I went down to ordinary level and love it. I would advise anybody who is finding Higher Maths too stressful and difficult to move down. The way I looked at it was “it’s one subject that will occupy about 80% of your time”. If you have done higher maths in the junior and are considering moving down DO IT! You’ve already done most of the course in third year. Get the “A”. Yes it’s only worth 60points but would you get that amount in Higher? If you would then stay it’s up to you. I would have loved to have said “Yes I did higher maths”. But I know what I can and can’t do. You’ll know what you can and can’t do. Make the decision and you’ll be grand. P.S I hate GERMAN with a passion!!!

  19. maths isnt useless its used in everything, engineering, medicine, all kinds of physics, and programming. Using algebra you can find unknowns in certain problems like a chemical formula, you can use trigonometry to determine the path of missiles or guide robots in factories, differentiation and integration lead on to rocket science. Vectors and matrices are used in almost every videogame, in other words fifa and call of duty wouldnt exist if it wasnt for maths. Call me a nerd but you wouldnt even have a computer if it wasnt for maths.

    1. The only place i have found that you can study Anthropology in Ireland is NUI Maynooth, and the entry points from 2010 were 375 πŸ™‚

  20. I got a D in higher english for my junior cert and i was but in higher english this year and i dont think ill do well…..does anyone think i should stay in higher or drop down ??? πŸ˜€

  21. what points do you need for architecture? and what subjucts should i do for leaving cert to do architecture in college? πŸ™‚

    1. try qualifax.ie
      i want to do a course of architecture but for a good one you need 580 points

  22. anyone know do you only find out if your course has gone up in points in august when you get your results?

  23. @Declan… well, there are 600 marks available right? (I do honours so I presume the same amounts go for both) so minimum pass mark is 40% so thats 240 marks needed… so with 376 marks you’d be getting a C (around 62 % i think? ).

  24. its funny hw u need 580 points to do some archetectury course
    and then for some oder architectory course
    u only need 180 or even sometymes none

  25. Jerry ODonovan

    Best of luck to all you kids out there doing your state exams but how do i get a boy of 15 to realise this is now the most important time of his short life.

    1. Jerry chill out if he’s 15 he’s only doin the junior cert right , so am I and don’t push him to hard …push I’m naturally but not over da edge…when it comes to the leaving cert that’s when you poke him with the hot pitchfork…oh n does of ye that say junior maths is easy are wrong I’d say I only got a low C in honours !!!LOL

  26. @Shaunagh- you need 390 points. but that’s in conjunction with subject requrements.. C3 Higher Level in not less than
    three subjects, Grade D3 in three other subjects, Grade C3 in Higher Level
    Irish, Grade C3 in English Ordinary Level or D3 Higher Level, Grade D3 in Mathematics (either Ordinary or Higher Level).

    =) I’m going for primary teaching too xD

  27. There’s loads of websites that list points needed for loads of courses in all the different universities. Try qualifax.ie or careersportal.ie or just go straight onto the university websites and look up the course.

    This year the honours maths students who pass get 25 extra oints in their Leaving Cert!! Whoop! So if you get a D3 then you get 70 points which is ten more than if you got an A1 in ordinary! How amazing is that?

  28. I think maths should be made into two subject
    one which deals with basic maths like business style
    and one which would be more engineering style
    it would make things alot easier for people

  29. Hi, I’ve just started LC 2011-2012 and I need some help regarding points! I’m doing all honours except for maths and I really want to drop to pass Irish. I need to get a B1 in English so I can drop to pass irish to keep my points where I want them. (around 460)

    Does anyone know how hard or possible it is to get a B1 in honours english? I’m a good writer and am doing quite well in the class but I have a lot of revision to do :/

    Any tips/help would be greatly appreciated!

  30. i think that maths should split up after junior cert e.g. (engineering maths) if you want to do engineering (physics maths ) if your a genius hows into all that and (architectural maths) if like me you want to be an architect and the (day to day maths) for evry one eles e.g exchange rate, time things like that that evryone needs in there day to day lifes!!!! you could allso leave people open to choose as many off the maths courses as they want and make day to day maths compulsory so that you dont get board doing the same maths over and over again let me know what you think.

  31. i am doing 3 ordinary level and 5 higher level subjects , and i really want to be a pharmacist but does anyone know the points that are required or were required for this year?

  32. maths is great for the brain.it helps you use your initiative and your head in everyday life.im a higher level maths student and its all i think about.ttyl pals πŸ˜›

  33. Hey people, im just wondering … to study science in college, do I need to have a higher level pass on Maths and any science subject? Please reply πŸ˜€

  34. BlondBrunette

    I really liked math… and i like it again….’
    but i learned absolutely nothing in higher level math, junior cert at school…
    maths was a free class… paper airplanes, uncontrolable “students”… pranks… spit balls…. you name it….
    it was just like in the movies….

    so a few weeks before the exams i had three-five, 2-hour long math lessons with my dad (who should be awarded loads of medals… he even missed an amazing music festival to help we study)…. and i managed to pass!!!!!!!
    …barely… i got a D… but i’m not complaining :DDD

    now i’m picking up the pieces of being a lazy person who got away with it in school… and ive only started paying attention now… am trying really hard to at least pass ordinary level for leaving cert…. looks like i didn’t learn my lesson… but hey… at least i have 4 months this time before the actual exams ^-^

  35. Sitting My Leaving Cert this year.I hateed maths a few months ago and with this new project maths its even more to learn.I started concentration and listening.Doesnt seem half as bad now πŸ™‚ I’m Hoping to pass πŸ˜€ Cant wait to Get this Leaving Cert over and done with πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  36. doing my Leaving cert tomorrow beginning with English and Home Ec. Anyway so maths starts on Friday with Paper 1 I love Paper 1 algebra, complex numbers, and even differentiation but Paper 2 next Monday is gonna be the death of me I hate all this Project Maths baloney it makes no sense at all especially at higher level ain’t gonna like it but you know what I believe I can get at least a C in it I have this one friend who was doing higher up until a week before the end of school and he wanted me to drop with him and I have said many times to him I’m gonna pass this paper and just show like I have said to my Japanese teacher many times that I can pass higher level and if I do I’m gonna rub it in her face.

  37. Leaving Cert English p1 and p2 are a jokes really. They can’t expect us to write decent and well formed answers in the space of 3 hours.
    In the end it’ll all look like this anyway https://p.twimg.com/AuvAJNbCIAECp4K.jpg

    They urge us to stay away from learned off essays and encourage us to write personal essays, which is a second joke considering the amount of time we have to do so.

    Even if you’re extremely good at writing, are well read and know all your quotes there is a high percent chance you will not even get the paper done.
    And to those who do get it done, often will have regurgitated the same essays they have written over and over.

    English SHOULD be made more accessible i.e. broken up into slabs over the two year course by continuous assessment. This will assure information is stored in your mind, and you are tested on your understanding of the English language and it’s topics rather than being just an examination of your memory recollection and have fast you can write.

  38. People misunderstand all the time, the reason for algebra is not the direct use of x and y but in a situation where you a to evaluate a problem where you do not know the actual properties so you must figure these out. Alot of people use algebra Regularly and don’t realise it while still thinking algebra was a waste of time. I request that everyone think about this and you will realise it.

  39. I just feel so sorry for the employers who have to give some of these idiots jobs. I mean come on, not knowing the value of X…….
    In ten years time there are going to be 2 types of people, those who understand the value of X and have big houses, fancy cars and loads of money. Then those who didnt understand…….

    I know the education system in ireland is f**ked, but these kids need to pull their heads outta the clouds and get studying.

    X IS A QUANTITIVE FIGURE, NOT SOMETHING YOU TAKE IN A NITECLUB

  40. in 1st year i got low grades in maths but always passed but in 2nd year i was put into a foundation level class and took the exam for my JC i got an A and tried to get back to ordinary but was told it was not possible i was ongly put in this class because my sister was and now i cant into the course i want for the future im fucked.

  41. Everyone who’s saying that the x=4-2 exuasion was wrong you are all idiots he wasn’t saying x=4 he was saying x=4-2 and 4-2 = 2!!

  42. Daire Jewell

    You can say what you want about maths. But just so you know microsoft, google, ebay need you to know maths to hire you.

  43. Pls i need an help ,I am exempted from Irish can I do an extra subject since I am excempted from during irish

    1. Yes, you can do as many subjects as you want! You’ll have to arrange it with your school however. They may be able to teach you another subject during the time Irish takes place for other students, or you may need to study another subject by yourself, perhaps getting private grinds or help from teachers in your school…

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