Sunday 19 November 2017

Anxious wait is almost over as 116,000 prepare to take papers

Staff at the State Examinations Commission working overtime through the bank holiday weekend so schools receive
their exam papers on time
Staff at the State Examinations Commission working overtime through the bank holiday weekend so schools receive their exam papers on time
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

THE wait is almost over and more than 116,000 anxious students from around the country are entering the last 24 hours of revision before the start of the state exams tomorrow.

As many as 116,774 students -- in line with last year -- will sit the exams this year. Of those, 57,090 are taking the Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert Applied -- down just over 1,700 on last year -- while 59,684 will the Junior Cert, up by 1,952.

At Leaving Cert level, the most popular subjects are English with 51,560 students due to sit the exam, followed by maths at 49,704 and Irish at 43,771.

There has been a surge in those taking maths at higher level after the introduction of bonus points, with 12,388 students taking the exam, up 20pc on recent years.

There was also a 9pc increase in those opting to do Irish at higher level and a 6.5pc increase in those sitting chemistry at higher level.

Meanwhile, there has been a 17pc jump in the numbers sitting exams in non-curricular EU languages, with Polish, Lithuanian and Romanian the most popular.

More than 4,800 superintendents will supervise the exams, which start tomorrow and run until June 22, and three million exam papers have been printed.

Wishing candidates success in this year's exams, State Exams Commission (SEC) chairman Richard Langford said they would finally have the opportunity to demonstrate the range of skills they had acquired during their many years of study.

"Everyone involved in the examinations process is aware that this can be a difficult and stressful time for candidates and their parents, but a calm and positive approach, together with the ongoing support of family and schools, can help students reach their full potential," he said.

Meanwhile, the SEC has urged students and superintendents in parts of Dublin to plan their journey carefully to make sure they get to their exam centre on time in light of the Olympic torch relay, which will be taking place during the morning rush hour.

The commission said students must be in their exam centre by 9am and superintendents must be present by 8.30am.

A number of schools in the Howth area of Dublin will be opening early as road closures will be in place between 8am and 8.30am and there is expected to be heavy congestion.

There will also be a series of rolling road closures in Dublin city centre as the relay leaves Croke Park shortly after 9.30am and makes its way to St Stephen's Green by 11.45am.

"Superintendents assigned to schools in the area of the early part of the torch relay event, particularly around Croke Park/north city centre, are urged to arrive at their examination centre in plenty of time to avoid the potential impact of any planned road closures or consequential traffic delays," said the commission in a statement.

Irish Independent

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