Where to even start with this….??
We would hope that you are happy with your grades, but chances are if you’re reading this you’re not happy with your Leaving Cert results. That’s ok.
No, really it actually is. No one could blame you for being unhappy with your results when you had to face everything that you did over the past 18 months.
This years group of Leaving Cert students are unlike any other in history and you really didn’t have it easy. If you’re not happy with your Leaving Cert results and worried about getting in to college you still have loads of options.
First Things First…
Firstly, you’re allowed to feel upset and disappointed. Even angry. Coronavirus has impacted us all this year, but by God, did it mess with you Leaving Cert students. A piece of paper does not define you, your worth or your intelligence.
Take a few days, wallow and then form a plan for your next step.
We’ve chatted about some of your options below….
Appeal Your Result
You are entitled to appeal your result, just like in any year. But because everything is very condensed , and honestly all over the place, due to COVID-19, you will not have your exams reassessed before the the CAO courses comes out on the 6th of September or before college starts.
This means that even if your points go up, you might not get the course you want.
For information on appealing the result of a Calculated Grade, click here.
Repeat The Leaving Cert in 2021
Normally the idea of repeating the Leaving Cert is a very tough pill to swallow. It can be soul destroying to have to watch your friends head off to college whilst you stay in school…that’s not really the case this year.
Due to COVID-19, first year in college is not going to be the same as it normally is. So, you’re not really going to be be missing out on much by repeating, to be perfectly honest.
You also can look at home-schooling, considering you already did that for part of the year. Or you can go back to school full-time to do the work in school.
This year you have an advance heads-up of how the exams and accredited grades process might be used if the written exams can’t go ahead again as normal in 2022. And you also have a better idea of the work that you need to put into 6th Year.
Basically it’s a good year to be repeating. Yes, it’ still hard, but you have a really good shot at doing well in your exams next year.
We could probably write a whole article on PLC courses, but for now here are the basics…
If you have your heart set on a particular college course or career check and see if a PLC course enables you to access the course through a “progression route”.
Not all PLC courses have this option, so do your research. Have a meeting with the course coordinators and make sure that the course will enable you to still access the course that you need (seriously, double and triple-check this because you don’t want to waste your time and money). A PLC course will not give you “extra” points. Instead ‘new’ points will be calculated on the basis of your results from the PLC / FETAC course.
To be awarded a FETAC Level 5 certificate you must pass 8 modules. For each of the modules you complete you are awarded a Distinction, Merit, Pass or Undefined (Fail).
Points wise this translates as:
Distinction – 50
Merit – 35
Pass – 20
Your best 8 modules are used to calculate your CAO points total. So, the best you can get is 8 Distinctions giving you 400 points. Note: PLC points and LC points are not added together, they are two separate qualifications.
If you are considering a specific college look up the course on qualifax.ie and see what it says under FETAC qualifications. If it lists a specific FETAC course then that is all they will accept, if it doesn’t then they will accept any PLC.
There are actually a number of places on courses (mainly in ITs) reserved for PLC students in the CAO system. However, if your points are high enough you may just get it through the conventional manner as your points will match up to similar LC applicants. You can do a PLC in a wide variety of areas and often it can lay a great foundation for college courses.
The student grant is available for students who do PLCs. It will not affect you getting the grant at third level if you continue on after completing your PLC.
Do What’s Best For You
Tune out other people, and the hysteria in the press and on social media about the Leaving Cert, and do what’s best for you.
It’s never a nice feeling to feel like you failed, but in this case, it was made very hard for you to succeed. Maybe you feel that you let yourself down and coasted through 5th and 6th Year, but you didn’t know a global pandemic was coming. It was hard to actually focus on school and study when you didn’t know what was actually happening with the exams until the 11th hour.
The Leaving Cert is just a gateway to the next phase of your life. It may feel like that gate has been banged in your face and everyone is waving from the other side, but there are always other ways to get where you want to go. If you need advice, please do reach out to your school, it’s what they’re there for.
Also check out these mental health supports for students if you just need to talk to someone because things feel overwhelming.
No matter what, you have options and you will find a way forward.
It’s finally time to close the book on the horror that was the Leaving Cert 2021. Class of 2022, step on up!
Check out our school section for more.