Many said it could never be done, and it certainly wasn't going to be easy task for the brave, or foolish, souls who might attempt it.
And so, the points system has survived, untouched, for 20 years, on the basis that while it may be blunt, it is transparent and fair.
Transparent, certainly, but fair has to be qualified, because the system has worked particularly well for those enjoying certain advantages: like a good memory and the ability to regurgitate information on exam day (although they, too, feel the pressure to perform), or the money for grinds for some pre-exam memory sharpening.
But reform of the process of transition from second to third level is now happening.
It is not easy, but it is a concerted attempt by all the agencies involved, between school and college, to put right the problems that have been identified with the system.
It involves the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the Irish Universities Association (IUA), the Institutes of Technology Ireland (IoTI), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the State Examinations Commission (SEC), as well as the Department of Education.
The collaborative approach is key, because for change to occur the various bodies have to work together.
For instance, a broadening of the grade bands used in the Leaving Certificate (the territory of the SEC) will lead to more students on the same number of points.
That brings with it the possibility of effectively picking names from a hat and leaving many disappointed.
So, that has to be accompanied by changes to the way students are selected for college (the preserve of the universities and institutes of technology) in order to limit random selection.
It's tricky, but at least there is some joined-up thinking.