Study into impact of bonus for Irish on CAO points questions fairness

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“An unpublished study on the impact of bonus points for students who answer the Leaving Cert through Irish has questioned the fairness of the measure. Under rules that date back to the mid-1920s, any student who answers a written exam in Irish may receive bonus marks of up to 10%, depending on the subject …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 February]

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Rise in honours Maths uptake to attain CAO bonus points ‘has not improved standards’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on October 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Bonus points in Leaving Cert higher-level Maths have not necessarily improved standards in the subject. Student uptake of the ‘honours’ paper has doubled since the bonus of 25 CAO points for a minimum 40% mark was introduced, but it has not been matched by a corresponding improvement in students’ ability in maths …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 October]

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CAO points for college entry have crashed the 600-point limit for the first time

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“CAO points for college entry have crashed the 600-point limit for the first time. In a remarkable development in CAO Round 1, the cut-off points for UCD’s prestigious BSc Economics and Finance has hit 601. In the 33-year history of the CAO, it’s the first course where more than 600 Leaving Cert points were needed to get an offer …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 August]

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Six take-away points from this year’s Leaving Cert results

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland1. More performing well in higher level papers. The most significant trend evident in this year’s results is a steady increase in the numbers taking higher level papers and performing well in them. This trend is evident across a wide range of subjects, particularly in the core subjects of Irish, English and maths …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 13 August]

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Review shows students think Irish should become optional for Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on July 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Many students think Irish should become an optional subject for the Leaving Cert as a review of senior cycle education uncovers mixed views on keeping Gaeilge compulsory. Parents would also like to see students have the option to focus on five exam subjects instead of seven. Many students believe all subjects should be optional. The finding is included in a review of the existing senior cycle …” (more)

[Jess Casey,, 29 July]

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Time for Project Maths experiment to end

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Over the past five years fewer than 50% students have attained H3 (and equivalent) or above in Higher Level LC Maths. Assuming this is not due to poor teaching, I believe it is now time to end the Project Maths experiment …” (more)

[Adrian Grenham, Irish Times, 27 December]

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Leaving Cert bonus points proposed in sweeping reforms

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sweeping changes to the Leaving Cert, including bonus points for more subjects and a system of continuous assessment of students, are proposed in a report from the Oireachtas Education Committee. The all-party committee says students who do more than one foreign language should get extra points, and there should also be a points reward for taking certain subjects at higher level …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 6 November]

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Bonus points for everything?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The new foreign language strategy is to explore the potential of bonus points for languages for school-leavers planning to study languages (‘Plan for more school pupils to study foreign languages’, News, November 4th) …” (more)

[Seán McDonagh, Irish Times, 5 December]

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Bonus points lure one-third of pupils to higher maths

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“About one in three Leaving Cert students has applied to sit higher-level maths this year, many lured by the prospect of earning 25 CAO bonus points. Interest among sixth years in the ‘honours’ paper is similar to what it was at the same stage in 2016 and 2015, suggesting that uptake is stabilising …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 20 March]

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Leaving Cert: More than 4,000 pupils fail maths

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 17th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“More than 4,000 students have failed their Leaving Cert maths exams, effectively locking them out of many third-level courses which require a pass as a basic entry requirement.Grades in the higher level maths paper have stabilised with more than 70% securing an honour, but the failure rate …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 August]

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Increase in college courses requiring more than 500 points

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“An increase in the number of students taking higher level maths in the Leaving Cert is set to push more college courses through the 500 points entry threshold. More than 55,000 Leaving Certificate candidates will receive their results tomorrow, Wednesday …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 16 August]

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More subjects may get bonus CAO points

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students could receive bonus points for subjects relevant to the courses they are applying for under new proposals being drawn up.The introduction of 25 bonus points for higher level maths paper since 2012 has led to a dramatic increase in the numbers taking the subject. But there is some concern it has distorted subject choice among students …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 August]

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Numbers taking Leaving Cert higher maths climbs to new high

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 8th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The number of Leaving Cert students taking higher-level maths continues to rise with more than a third of those sitting this year’s exams declaring for the more challenging paper. Some 35% of candidates have registered at higher level, although this is likely due to slip a few percentage points on the day …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien and Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 8 June]

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Leaving Cert points bonus may be fuelling failure rate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 6th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A further increase in the proportion of school leavers aiming to sit higher level maths exams will be watched carefully after fail grades rocketed in recent years. While students are encouraged by the prospect of additional points for college selection if they pass honours Leaving Certificate exams, the introduction of these 25 bonus points has also had some negative effects …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 6 June]

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Students’ reasons for taking higher maths often don’t add up

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 19th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“As our teenagers approach yet another bout of intense psychological stress in the annual slug-fest of the Leaving Certificate, it is encouraging to see an educationalist express grave moral reservations over the 25 bonus points awarded to those students who sit the honours maths paper …” (more)

[Kevin McCarthy, Independent, 19 May]

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All students are equal – it’s time to abolish the 25 bonus points rule

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 18th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“CAO application statistics show that the prospect of getting a good job is never far from the minds of applicants. Indeed, in recent years, the Government as well as employer organisations, such as Ibec, has strongly advocated courses in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as essential for the smart economy of the future …” (more)

[Billy Ryle, Independent, 18 May]

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CAO points changes aim to reduce pressure on students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 4th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A new Central Applications Office (CAO) points scale for students entering third-level education aimed at taking some of the pressure off the Leaving Cert year has been published …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 3 September]

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Points system is a pricing mechanism

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Economics can be useful. By this I don’t mean the quasi-mathematical faffing about that some, including practitioners, think of as economics.Nor do I mean forecasting, something economists are both poor at and addicted to doing. I mean the specific way of thinking, the juxtaposing of scarce resources versus unlimited desires …” (more)

[Brian Lucey, Irish Examiner, 22 August]

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Maths can, and should be, treated the same as any other Leaving Cert subject

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 17th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Offering 25 bonus points for any student achieving a D grade or higher in honours maths was a risky educational experiment. In the market of buyers and sellers of CAO points, the laws of supply and demand come in to effect. On the demand side, naturally more students will go for honours maths since the points in this subject are now cheaper than any other subject …” (more)

[Alison Hackett, Irish Examiner, 15 August]

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Leaving cert results: Record numbers get highest possible points

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 15th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Certificate students have yet again outperformed those of previous years with record numbers getting some of the highest possible college entry points. For the first time, more than 10% (5,646) of Leaving Certificate students have scored 500 points or more out of a maximum 600, before the 25-point bonus is added for up to 14,000 students who passed higher level maths …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 15 August]

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