EDUCATION Minister Ruairi Quinn has confirmed the scrapping of Junior Certificate exams, claiming it would help the "bottom half" of students.
The traditional exams at the end of third year will be phased out over the next three years.
They will be replaced with a system of continuous assessment of students by their teachers during their third year. Around 40pc of the assessment for each subject will be based on schoolwork such as projects and case studies, with the remaining 60pc based on a written exam corrected by their teachers.
Mr Quinn said he wanted the new Junior Certificate to tackle inequality.
"We know that a significant number of first-year students do not make progress, particularly in English and Maths.
"Those who do not have a successful passage into second-level education can find themselves in the departure lounge by the end of second year,"
Under the new system, there will also be standardised tests for students in English reading, Maths, Science and Irish at the end of second year.
Most students will study eight subjects and the maximum number is capped at ten.
The first students to study under the new system will be those entering secondary school in September 2014.