Some 10.3% of ag science students who sat the Leaving Certificate this year received an A grade in the higher level paper, down from the 11.3% who received the A grade in 2015, figures from the State Examinations Commission show.

Today, 58,466 candidates will receive their leaving certificate results, with 7,894 of those candidates receiving ag science results.

Just 0.1% of those sitting the ordinary level paper received an A grade down from the 0.3% last year.

There was a decrease in the number of higher level B grades received this year on 2015, down to 27.7% from the 28.1% last year.

Meanwhile, B grades at ordinary level were also down on 2015, from 9.5% last year to 7.6% this year.

A higher proportion of students received a C grade in higher level this year, up to 31.4% from the 28.5% in 2015.

Some 23.9% of students received a D grade at higher level (down from 24% last year) while 41.3% received a D grade at ordinary level (up from the 37.6% last year).

Failure rates on the higher level ag science paper fell on 2015 levels, with 6.7% of students not passing the exam compared to 8.1% last year. Some 18.1% of students failed the ordinary level paper, down from the 18.7% last year.

In the agricultural economics paper, 7.7% of students received an A grade (down from 10.6% last year), with 119 candidates sitting the paper.

Some 70% of students received an A/B/C grade, 24% received a D grade and 5.8% of students failed the paper.

Dramatic fall in CAO applications for Ag Science this year

Next Monday, August 22, first-round CAO offers for college places will issue, with agriculture top of the preference list for 483 students, figures from the CAO show.

The number of applications to level 8 agricultural science courses for the 2016/17 year has dropped by 26% on the previous year, figures show.

The number of students applying to level 8 courses this year, with agriculture on their CAO application is down 26% from 2,328 to 3,163.

For level 7/6 ag science courses, application numbers are also down. Some 528 applicants have put agriculture down as a first preference, compared to 735 last year – a drop of 28%.

Like the level 8 applications, total preferences for agriculture courses at level 7/6 are also down, this time by 26%.

Some 1,677 applications were received by the CAO this year for the courses, compared to 2,259 in 2015, the figures show.