Leaving Certificate students across Ireland will on Monday receive results based on a calculated grade model.
About 60,000 young people will learn what grades they have attained under a system based largely on teacher predictions.
The system was developed after Leaving Cert exams were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The results predicted by schools have been subjected to a standardisation process, with early data indicating that about 17% of grades have been reduced and 4% upgraded.
Despite the standardisation, 2020’s Leaving Cert results are still expected to be significantly higher than in previous years.
Hundreds of additional college places are being made available in high-demand courses across Ireland in anticipation of this outcome.
Having learned from last month’s exam controversies across UK, the education authorities in Ireland did not rely on the past performance of schools in the standardisation calculation.
The model instead uses the performance of students in their Junior Cert exams and national averages across subjects over recent years.
Early analysis of the impact of the standardisation process identified no evidence that schools in disadvantaged areas experienced higher rates of grade reduction – one of the main criticisms of the contentious algorithms used in the UK.
Students unhappy with their grades will have the option of appealing – a process that opens on September 14. They can also choose to sit their written exams on November 16.
If they pursue that option, they will ultimately be allocated whatever grade is higher.
Ahead of the publication of results, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) praised students for their resilience.
We extend special congratulations to all students on receiving their results today and recognise that the last several months have been extremely difficult for themMartin Marjoram, TUI president
The union also highlighted the “remarkable flexibility and commitment” of Irish teachers in engaging with the calculated grades process.
TUI president Martin Marjoram said: “While the clear preference of the TUI was always that the written Leaving Certificate examinations would proceed, the union recognised that this was not possible due to the public health emergency and engaged positively with the other stakeholders to develop a robust, credible alternative process of comparable status – the calculated grades.
“As a result, students will receive state certification of their academic achievement and can progress to the next phase of their lives, be that in higher or further education or in employment.
“We extend special congratulations to all students on receiving their results today and recognise that the last several months have been extremely difficult for them.
“We commend their resilience in deeply challenging and uncertain times and we have no doubt that the fortitude they have displayed will benefit them now and in the future.”