Billy Ryle: The Next Steps After Receiving Junior Cert Results

Posted by


Career Guidance Counsellor Billy Ryle says students are entitled to celebrate their Junior Cert results, but they also have some decisions to make about their Leaving Cert choices…

After an interminable three-week delay, Junior Cert exam results were finally issued by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) on Friday morning to 64,330 candidates nationwide, including 1949 (957 female/992 male) from Kerry.

Junior Cert results in Kerry were superb and well up to the high standard of previous years. Today is a day for candidates to celebrate their outstanding achievement, but they should do so sensibly, carefully and safely.

Six new grade descriptors – Distinction, Higher Merit, Merit, Achieved, Partially Achieved, Not Graded – are being gradually phased in in the reformed Junior Cycle programme, replacing the old A, B, C, D, E, F and NG grades.

Continued below…


English, Science and Business Studies were marked under the new grading system this year. Next year French, German, Spanish   and Italian will follow suit and the remaining subjects up to 2022. 19 students nationwide achieved the highest grade in all 11 subjects, which can be taken at Junior Cert cycle.

This year was also the last outing for the subject, Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE), which was universally popular, enjoyable and relevant. It has been replaced by a wellbeing program.

Applications for review of Junior Cert exam results must be made through the candidate’s school. Subject appeals must be received by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) by 5pm on Friday, 11th October 2019.

The fee for this service is €32.00 per subject which will be refunded if the result is upgraded. The SEC plans to issue the results of the appeals in the week ending 22nd November 2019.

The Junior Cert exam is often overshadowed by the more public Leaving Cert exam – that is very much the case this year – but it’s a very important exam in its own right.

Continued below…


With very few students now leaving school after this exam, the Junior Cert is a passport to Senior Cycle education, which is a further two years – three years if the optional Transition Year is included. During the final two years of Senior Cycle students take the traditional Leaving Certificate (LC), the Leaving Certificate Vocational Program (LCVP) or the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA).

The traditional Leaving Cert (LC) exam is the terminal exam of post-primary education. Students usually study seven subjects including Irish, English and Mathematics. All subjects are available at higher and ordinary level.

A foundation level paper is also available in Irish and Mathematics. The Leaving Cert Vocational Program (LCVP) is similar to the traditional Leaving Cert Program, with a concentration on technical subjects and some additional modules called Link Modules, which have a vocational focus.

Continued below…


The Leaving Cert Applied Program (LCA) is a self-contained two-year course, which meets the needs of students who are not adequately catered for by the other Leaving Cert programs.

Most schools will now give students moving onto Leaving Cert a few days to firm up their subject grouping for Senior Cycle.

Students should carefully consider their Leaving Cert subject choice. They should think about their college course options and the related careers. It’s important to choose wisely as this is the first step on the path to college.

Congratulations to all candidates, who received Junior Cert exam results.

• Billy Ryle is a  Career Guidance Counsellor/Educational Commentator and author

Comments are closed.