There has been an increase of 167 students sitting the higher-level agricultural science exam in this year’s Leaving Certificate examinations.

A total of 6,543 students sat the exam this year as opposed to 6,376 students in 2017.

A reduction of 47 students was noted in this year’s ordinary-level exam, leaving the total number of students who sat an Agricultural Science exam in the Leaving Certificate this year at 7,780 – up 120 overall from last year.

Grades in the higher-level exam did not vary significantly on 2017 figures with 4.5% of students securing a grade one result in both 2017 and 2018. Grade 3 was the most common result secured in the higher-level exam with 10.6% of students securing this result as opposed to last year, when grade 4 was the most common at 18.9%.

The overall number sitting the Leaving Certificate examinations in 2018 was 57,149.

In the Ordinary level exam, grade 6 was the most frequent result obtained with 27.6% of the students who sat this exam returning the result.This is down one grade on last year when grade 5 was the most popular result with 26.9% of ordinary level students achieving the mark last year.

New system

The new Leaving Certificate grading system has been in place since 2017. The new grading system reduces the number of grades from 14 in the old system, which was in place since 1992, to eight under the revised arrangements.

According to the State Examinations Commission, there has been no change in the examination standards of the Leaving Certificate; rather the change relates to how candidates’ results are reported to them through the new grading system.

The commission added that results obtained this year are generally broadly in line with the results obtained in 2017.