With 61,736 students receiving their Leaving Certificate (Leaving Cert) results today (Friday, August 25), 7,460 of them will be checking to see what mark they earned in agricultural science (ag science).

From 10:00a.m today, Leaving Cert 2023 results were issued to students who sat their exams in June, with students receiving the results a full week earlier than the 2022 results date.

1.39% fewer students sat the higher level paper this year than in 2022, while a decrease of 20.8% has been seen since 2021.

Agriland visited Maynooth Community College today to chat to some of the ag science pupils and teachers about the future (see video below).

Exam disparity

A statement from the Irish Agricultural Science Teachers’ Association (IASTA) said that there is a “disparity” between the other science subjects and ag science.

This is owed to the length of the exam paper, which at over 40 is, according to the IASTA, “too much”.

The project that students are required to undertake is “pitched at a level well above the capabilities of Leaving Certificate”, according to the IASTA.

The IASTA also said that the curriculum is lined out in such a way that “teachers are still trying to understand what they need to teach their students”.

The disparity between ag science and the other sciences was highlighted by how fewer students received a H1 in ag science in comparison.

According to the IASTA, 6,143 students took the higher level paper in physics and 6,123 sat the ag science higher level exam, yet 20.8% of students in physics received an A1, compared to 12.8% in ag science.

The IASTA added that 22.8% of chemistry students received a H1 and 18.8% of biology students received a H1.

Ag science results

Higher level results

A total of 6,132 students received their Leaving Cert higher level ag science results today.

Over twice as many students received a H1 this year when compared to 2022, which saw 5.8% earn a H1, with 12.4% of students in 2023 receiving the same mark.

The 2023 higher level results are as follows:

  • H1 – 12.4%;
  • H2 – 23.7%;
  • H3 – 23.7%;
  • H4 – 19.7%;
  • H5 – 12.6%;
  • H6 – 5.8%;
  • H7 – 1.4%;
  • H8 – 0.7%.

Ordinary level results

A total of 1,328 students received their Leaving Cert ordinary level ag science results today.

10.5% more students sat the ordinary level paper this year than in 2022, but it showed a significant increase of 36.8% since 2021.

1.1% of students that took the ordinary level paper received an O1, being 0.3% higher than the 2022 results, which saw 0.8% of the 1,195 students sitting the exam receive an O1.

The 2023 ordinary level results are as follows:

  • O1 – 1.1%;
  • O2 – 9.4%;
  • O3 – 23.2%;
  • O4 – 24.2%;
  • O5 – 19.7%;
  • O6 – 12.5%;
  • O7 – 6.6%;
  • O8 – 3.3%.

Minister for Education Norma Foley said: “I would like to extend the heartiest of congratulations to each and every one of the over 60,000 students across Ireland receiving their results today.

“Whether the next step on your journey will take you to work, an apprenticeship, further or higher education, or other possibilities, I hope you can enjoy today and reflect on all that you have achieved so far to bring you to this point.”