Leaving Certificate: Second-chance maths exams open new doors to college
Every year, students get offers after passing these exams
A student's grade in maths in the Leaving Certificate can determine entry to a college course. Even a student who attains the necessary points, may fall short on the maths requirement.
Most third-level courses have a minimum entry standard in the subject, although depending on the course it can vary widely and range from a higher level B or C to a pass at ordinary level.
For students who did not achieve the required grade in the June exams, many colleges offer another opportunity to show that they have the necessary skills to pursue the particular programme.
Away from the pressure of the June exams, each year these special tests pave the way for a cohort of students to progress to a course for which they would not have been deemed eligible based on their Leaving Cert maths results.
Applicants for these exams would be expected to have achieved the required CAO points for their target course and met all other criteria, except the maths requirement.
The colleges tailor the papers to meet their own matriculation requirements, and they can differ in style from the Leaving Cert exams.
In some cases, colleges also provide tutorials to help students prepare for the tests.
Anyone interested should contact individual colleges about their requirements, including fees, and arrangements, but here is a guide to what is on offer:
Q Cork IT will hold a special maths exam on Tuesday, August 18, with applications closing at noon Monday, August 17. It is open to those who have applied through the CAO for any course in CIT. Paper One is set at ordinary level and is taken by all candidates, while those who require a minimum higher level C3 must also sit the higher level, Paper Two.
Q DIT will hold a maths competency test for applicants to its Level 8 (Honours) engineering programmes, which require a minimum grade of HC3 in maths.
The three-hour test will take place on August 19 in DIT Kevin Street. DIT is also hosting tutorials on Monday and Tuesday, August 17 and 18.
Q Maynooth University will hold a two-hour special maths exam on Friday, August 21 for students who wish to study electronic engineering but who do not have the required higher level C3. There is a free preparatory course.
Q NUI Galway will hold a special entrance exam in maths on Wednesday, August 19 for entry to its BE programmes in the College of Engineering and Informatics, for which a higher level C3 is the normal minimum requirement. The standard is between higher and ordinary level, and students who studied at ordinary level for the Leaving Cert may apply to sit it. NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course from Thursday, August 13 to Tuesday, August 18 (including Saturday) for those intending to sit the exam.
Q UL will hold a three-hour special maths exam, on Thursday, August 20, for students who have not achieved the required grade in maths for its Faculty of Science and Engineering degrees.
Q Waterford IT will offer an exam based on the Leaving Certificate ordinary level syllabus on Friday August 28, for CAO applicants to the college.
Subject to demand, Waterford College of Further Education will run a revision programme, from Monday, August 24-Thursday, August 27.
Q IT Carlow will hold a special entrance exam on Thursday August 20 for CAO applicants to its the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering programme as an alternative to the Leaving Certificate requirement of HC3. An intensive preparatory course will run on Monday August 17 and Tuesday August 18.