More than 1,500 students begin written Leaving Cert in Westmeath and Roscommon

The written Leaving Certificate exams got underway this morning (Wednesday) with more than 1,500 students sitting papers across the counties of Westmeath and Roscommon.

This year, Leaving Cert students could opt to sit their exams, receive accredited grades, or both, on a subject-by-subject basis.

In Westmeath, 1,181 students - 639 female and 542 male - were due to sit written exams, with accredited grades being calculated for a total of 1,360 students.

This suggests that 179 students in the county opted to be assessed by an accredited grade only. The total number of students completing the Leaving Cert in Westmeath was 1,390.

In Roscommon, written papers were being undertaken by 484 students. Nationally, nearly 2,000 more females than males were completing the Leaving Cert, but Roscommon bucked that trend with 247 males sitting exams compared to 237 females.

In Roscommon, accredited grades were being calculated for 532 students, suggesting that 48 were choosing to be assessed by accredited grade only. Some 541 students in total were registered for the Leaving Cert in Roscommon.

The Athlone-based State Examinations Commission explained that candidates had finalised their choices through the candidate self-service portal in early May.

In total, 58,342 students were entered for the Leaving Certificate and 3,177 candidates were entered for the final year of the Leaving Certificate Applied programme.

The exams are being held in 4,900 examination centres and will run until June 29, though the Leaving Cert Applied programme will conclude on June 17.

The latest information available to the State Examinations Commission showed that 90% of all candidates had indicated their intention to sit examinations in one or more subject, with almost 40,000 indicating their intention to present in five or more subjects.

Those who sit examinations only will be provided with exam results; those who have opted for accredited grades only will be provided with accredited grades; and those who have opted for both will be provided with the better result between the two processes.

Pat Burke, the chairperson of the State Examinations Commission, extended best wishes to all of the Leaving Certificate candidates.

"Covid has brought hardship and pain to so many families this year. Leaving Certificate students have also endured additional stresses.

"We hope that the adjustments to the examinations and the system of Accredited Grades support our students and allow them to move on with their lives," he said.

"For our part, we in the State Examinations Commission will do our utmost to deliver the examinations and the Accredited Grades as fairly and smoothly as possible in what continue to be challenging times."

The results of the Leaving Certificate exams and accredited grades are due to be issued on September 3, on the candidate self-service portal.

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