The penny finally dropped last Friday about the nightmare logistical challenges that would have to be overcome for the Leaving Certificate to start on July 29.
An advisory group of stakeholders was given what was called a "sobering presentation" of the massive problems ahead if the exams go ahead.
That's now becoming an increasingly big 'if' following Fianna Fáil's dramatic weekend call for the cancellation of the exam in order to ease the "already heightened anxiety" among students.
Given that Fianna Fáil wants the education portfolio in the next government, the call by education spokesman Thomas Byrne carries particular political weight.
Surprisingly, the Taoiseach made no reference to a national rite of passage - the Leaving Cert - when he gave details of the phased reopening of the country. He simply announced schools and colleges would reopen in September/October for the new academic year.
Later in his chat with Ryan Tubridy, he said it was still the plan to begin the exams on July 29 but then added the idea of predicted grades was also a possible alternative.
The political word in recent weeks was the Government should give itself some wriggle room just in case the exams could not go ahead as scheduled and that's clearly what he was doing.
Some but not all of the stakeholders who had attended the online advisory group meeting on Friday think it's only a matter of time before the political decision is taken to cancel the exam.
They spent the weekend mulling over the presentation given by the State Examination Commission (SEC) and will give their feedback at another meeting on Wednesday.
The presentation was not distributed online to those at the meeting but they were left with many troubling questions to worry them.
How do you shepherd 60,000 stressed students into exam centres in 730 schools so they are safely set apart for the most important exam of their lives; how do you get them to avoid congregating immediately afterwards to discuss the papers and how do you manage those with underlying health conditions?
These are just some of the issues that would have to be fully teased out before the exams could go ahead.
The stresses on young people, particularly those who are vulnerable, is a major worry. A practical question is what happens if someone is coughing or sneezing in the middle of an exam - how will the other candidates react and if the sneezing persists, what then?
Would some parents refuse to let their children sit the exam for health reasons?
Shorter papers and technical issues about practical tests in art as well as project work and the Leaving Certificate Applied are all being discussed by the stakeholders.
The advisory group includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the SEC, the National Educational Psychological Service, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and the Department of Education and Skills.
There is no representative from the further or higher education colleges even though these colleges will be enrolling the vast majority of this year's Leaving Cert students.
However, Dr Alan Wall, chief executive of the Higher Education Authority, attends as an observer for the third-level sector.
A former assistant secretary general in the department, he is familiar with the complexity of running the State exams in a normal year, never mind trying to do so when the coronavirus may still be lingering. He also appreciates the difficulty in coming up with an alternative to the Leaving Cert that is seen as fair and equitable.
It's an issue the advisory group will discuss at Wednesday's meeting as doubts persist about the viability of holding the Leaving Cert in July/August.
Michael Healy-Rae is the latest in a growing number of politicians to call for cancelling this year's Leaving Cert.
The first was former minister Ruairí Quinn in an article in the Irish Independent last month.
Predicted grades, perhaps using mocks and house exams, would need the active support of teachers and managers, but many students who have put in a special effort this school year may feel cheated by the grades they get.
Offering a choice to students between written exams or predicted grades has been suggested with legally binding opt-in or opt-out arrangements to prevent a flood of appeals and legal actions.
Many remember the Co Wexford student Rebecca Carter who successfully took the Examinations Commission to court when she was initially deprived of a place on the veterinary course in UCD because it took too long to recheck her Leaving Cert results.
The High Court ruled that the appeals system was not fit for purpose.
The question haunting the education authorities is whether are there many more Rebecca Carters out there.