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Traditional Leaving Cert exam will happen in November ‘at earliest’ – McHugh

The traditional Leaving Certificate exam was due to take place in June but has been replaced by students receiving calculated grades.

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Joe McHugh admits students may not have their grades by August (Leon Farrell/PA)

Joe McHugh admits students may not have their grades by August (Leon Farrell/PA)

Joe McHugh admits students may not have their grades by August (Leon Farrell/PA)

The traditional version of the Leaving Certificate exam will be held in November at the earliest, the Education Minister Joe McHugh has said.

More than 60,000 students were due to sit the written exam this year but it was postponed and replaced with calculated grades due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Students can opt to sit the exam at a later date, but the date has yet to be confirmed by the Government and it would not be in time for college admissions in September.

The calculated grades system involves teachers assessing what grade they think a student would have received if they had sat the Leaving Cert examination.

Speaking in the Dail on Wednesday, Mr McHugh said: “It will be held this year and the earliest possible date is potentially November. I know I publicly stated I would like to see it take place at the Halloween break in October.

I publicly stated that I would like the results of the calculated grades to be out as close to the traditional date in August but there is no guarantees that will happen eitherJoe McHugh

“The reason why it can’t happen in August is because the calculated grades are coming out and that is an enormous process.”

98% of the 61,029 Leaving Certificate students have registered for the calculated grades system, but 994 have not.

The latest figures from the Department of Education state 878 students have not registered for calculated grades as they want to do the written exam instead.

Mr McHugh said while the department is planning on releasing the results of the calculated grades to students in August, this may not be possible.

“I publicly stated that I would like the results of the calculated grades to be out as close to the traditional date in August but there is no guarantees that will happen either,” he said.

PA