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Course points to remain much the same as last year

The points required for most college courses are not expected to jump this year.

A slight drop in the number of people applying through the CAO combined with no major change in the proportion of students getting good grades mean there's no great upward pressure on points.

It's good news for many of the almost 45,000 students who have applied for courses through the CAO this year.

Points for individual courses can go up, however, if the course is enjoying a sudden burst of popularity.

While the 10 students who share the top spot in this year's Leaving Cert results, achieving eight A1s each, can be 100pc confident they will get their dream choice of course, the majority of the 44,769 CAO applicants who sat the exam this year will have to wait until next Monday to be sure they've made the grade.

Today's results will be cause for celebration for thousands of young people and their families.

But the trend of poor maths and science results is continuing to worry employers and schools.

Large numbers have performed below par in the two fields, with more than 4,500 pupils failing maths.

One in eight (12.8pc) of pupils failed the ordinary level paper in chemistry and 8.6pc did not pass its honour paper -- raising concerns over the focus on Ireland's smart economy.


The State Examinations Commission (SEC) said the results obtained in most subjects followed patterns broadly similar to those of previous years.

However, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn (above) admitted work must be done to increase the numbers of students taking higher level maths through the new Project Maths syllabus, to be rolled out in September.

"I am hopeful that the continued roll-out of Project Maths and also the 25 bonus points which will be introduced for next year's Leaving Certificate students will improve these figures," he said.

The overall number of pupils sitting the State exam fell marginally to 57,532 this year and included 2,947 repeat candidates.

Students disappointed with their results who think they did better are today being advised to appeal. But each appeal costs €40 per subject.

Apart from the 10 students who got the top results this year, another 39 sharp pupils who managed to secure seven A1s are also unlikely to appeal.

An impressive 92 teenagers found out today that they got six A1s.

Some 214 achieved full marks in five subjects.

The SEC revealed the number of high achievers varied from last year -- when one teenager got nine A1s, six secured eight, 37 got the top mark in seven papers and 92 were awarded six.

In 2009, 11 teenagers got eight A1s and one scooped nine