Mock exam results can be a wake-up call for students
As thousands of Leaving Certificate students take their 'mock' exams around this time of year, a lot of time will be spent frantically converting the grades they receive in the mocks into points, wondering will these results translate into the results they will need in the Leaving Cert.
The issue of how to achieve perfect exam results came up for discussion on a recent Late Late Show, with three students talking about how they achieved their superb Leaving Cert points.
Maximising your potential is probably a healthy way to look at it. Most students don't expect to get perfect results.
It is only realistic to accept that the majority of students don't have the capacity to achieve top grades in every subject. And nobody should expect them to do so. But most students will be happy if they achieve their personal best.
Q What percentage of students actually achieve maximum points?
A In 2011, figures showed that 0.3pc of Leaving Certificate candidates got 600 points (the maximum achievable), a further 2.5pc got between 550-595 points, 6.0pc got 500-545 points, 10.0pc got between 450-495; 12.6pc got 400-445; 13.4% got 350-395 points.
Moving down the scale, 12.2pc achieved between 300-345 points, a further 10.1pc got 250-295 points; 8.3pc got 200-245; 7.4pc got 150-195 points; 6.4pc got 100-145, and 10.9pc got less than 100.
Q How accurate a prediction of the actual Leaving Certificate results are the mock results?
A That depends on a lot of factors, mainly on how much work the student has done so far, and how much more they will do between now and the exam. The mocks can be a wake-up call for students, showing them where they need to focus.
This year, the maximum points possible will be 625, with the introduction of the pilot scheme of 25 bonus points for any higher level maths grade from an A1 to a D3.
Q Does this mean that points will rise in 2012?
A It is always difficult to predict with certainty what will happen, but some points rises are likely, particularly in courses like honours engineering degrees.
Last year, a total of 8,237 Leaving Cert candidates took higher level maths, and about 7,981 of them passed, ie achieved a grade between an A1 and a D3. So it's certainly an advantage to be taking higher level maths, if you are able for it.
Open days: l Today, Ballyfermot College of Further Education, Dublin 10, hosts an open evening from 4.30pm-7.30pm. l Grafton College of Management Science, 7 Gardiner Row, Dublin 1, Dublin 1 hosts an open day today. Check graftoncollege.ie for details. l Greenhills College, Limekiln Rd, Dublin 12; host an open day today about its PLC/FE courses. l Tomorrow, Ormonde College of Further Education, Kilkenny hosts an information evening from 7pm-9pm l On Friday, UCD's School of Geography hosts an information session in Theatre P, Newman Building, UCD, from 3.30pm-5.30pm on careers and postgraduate opportunities in geography.