Leaving Certificate Programme

Brief Outline of Leaving Certificate Subjects

Core Subjects:

Gaeilge 2012

The major change to the course in 2012 in the fact that the Oral Exam now counts for 40% of the total marks .

Tá pictiúir sa bhéaltriail.

A new component of this years oral exam is the “pictiúirí”. see example below


Páipéar 1: ……………………………………………………………………………… 160 marc = 27%

Cluastuiscint (60 marc) + Ceapadóireacht (100 marc)


Paper 1- Aural exam and creative writing = 160 marks  two hours long.

Páipéar 2: ……………………………………………………………………………… 200 marc = 33%

Léamhthuiscint x 2 (50 marc + 50 marc) + Litríocht (100 marc)

Paper 2 –  Reading comprehension and Literature = 200 marks


A Guide to Leaving Certificate English


The English course and exam is very long and extensive. Students should be careful not to neglect Paper One by spending too much time on paper two. It is easy to spend too much time studying the set texts, such as the poetry, the Shakespeare play, and the three comparative texts.


Paper I is 50 per cent of the total exam and that spending time preparing for this section is very valuable. This is not to say that the texts should be neglected, but students should be careful about balancing their time and dedicating an equal amount of your study time to both papers. Spending time on the techniques of essay and comprehension will be invaluable at exam time.



  • Students should know what essay style suits them best, whether a short story or a persuasive/argument-style essay. People write best in the style they are comfortable with.
  • Past exam papers are invaluable. Students should read through all of the comprehension passages, there are three printed each year, even though students only answer on one on the day they should try answering the questions asked.  Support each point you make with a reference from the passage.
  • Any writing improves the quality of written English.
  • It’s a good idea to copy down interesting and original phrases and ideas from newspaper articles and keep them in a notebook for your essays and your Question B.




Single Text

  • Know the text well, especially the main themes and characters.
  • Write out a list of quotations from the Shakespeare play (Hamlet) for the single text question. Group these under various headings, such as characters or themes.

Comparative Section

  • Write out a list of linking devices that can be used to tie your three texts together in an answer.

Write out a list of key sections from each of the three texts being studied in this section and know how they can be applied to the three modes of comparison, Genre, Cultural Context and Themes/Issues (Higher Level) and Relationships, Theme and Hero/Heroine/Villain (Ordinary Level)


  • Understand fully what these three headings mean:


Prescribed Poetry

  • Students need to know at least five of the eight poets prescribed for the 2012 Leaving Cert.
  • They should be familiar with the personal biography of the poets being studied, and try to relate the poems to the poet’s life.
  • Learn off some lines, phrases etc from the poems and use them in your answers. (Higher level students only, all poems are printed on the Ordinary Level paper)
  • Prepare and practise sample answers.
  • In each paragraph of a poetry answer always mention the question asked, and quote from a poem or two to support your points.


Unseen Poetry

  • Practise doing unseen poems from past exam papers.
  • Try to grasp the general gist of the poem – often, the actual title can help here.
  • Know how to recognise poetic techniques, such as metaphors and symbols, and see what function they have in the poem.
  • Spend about 20 minutes doing this exercise.


Overall, students should remember timing and the marks awarded for each section.  It is important that students practise writing their answers in the time. Also, when studying over the course of the year, spend half of your time learning and the other half practising your writing skills.


Students preparing for Leaving Certificate English should spend between two and three hours studying English every week.





Students are familiar with course content and the Textbooks and Project Maths Supplements

fully cover the entire syllabus. The Higher Level Course is covered by Texts and Tests 4 and 5

along with a Supplement on Probability and Statistics and the Ordinary Level Course is covered

by Texts and Tests 3 along with a Supplement on Probability and Statistics.


There are 6 Maths Periods during the school week and students will generally receive homework

each day. It is very important that students complete/attempt all homework assigned by their

teacher and revise the material covered during class.


The workload required for Higher Level Maths is quite onerous and students need to decide on

Higher Level, at the latest, just after the Mock Exams as it is then that they will be in a

position to fully assess the workload required to do their best in all their subjects and the

level most appropriate.


Teachers will give regular class tests to assess students progress  throughout the year and

parents should monitor students progress. Christmas Exams and the Mock Exams are very

good indicators of overall work-rate and performance.

Students should have all equipment required for each class.

Namely: Text books/Past Exam Papers/Maths Tables/Scientific Calculator.

Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning and teachers will be more than

happy to provide individual guidance and assistance.





3 SECTIONS: Irish Art, European Art, Appreciation

-High Crosses Exhibition – Collins Barracks –wed 21st September

-Trip to the National Gallery – date to be confirmed

  • CRAFT EXAM : 5 HR EXAM   25%   MAY

Students must pick from one of the following:

Lino printing, poster design, calligraphy, clay, screenprinting,  and batik.

  • LIFE DRAWING: Pose A = 15 MINS    Pose B = 30 MINS        13%      MAY

Any quick drying material may be used.


  • STILL LIFE EXAM: 2.5 HR EXAM                25%   MAY

Students must collect objects for still life a week ahead of exam and set up their own individual still life.


The papers for the practical exam come out a week in advance. The prep sheet must be completed ahead of exam .This is the only work permitted in the exam.




At this stage of the two year Leaving Certificate cycle students will have covered over half of their prescribed content.  As Biology is a very broad course with a lot of detail required, students need to be highly organised and should, at this stage, be revising what was covered in 5th Year as well as keeping up to date with what is been covered in class at present.

In order to help focus students on revising previously covered material a series of assessments will be carried out. Students will be informed as to what topics they need to revise in advance of being assessed.

As Biology is a laboratory based subject, Section B of the Leaving Certificate Biology Examination is based on the experimental work that students have carried out over the course of the two years. There are 22 prescribed experiments on the Leaving Cert Biology Course and students need to familiarise themselves with each of the 22 experiments as they need to know why each step in the procedure was carried out. It is crucially important that students score well on this section of the examination paper in order to achieve an overall good grade at Leaving Cert.

Students need to keep a written account of each of the experiments carried out over the two years. This written account may be asked for and examined by a subject inspector from the Department of Education and Skills.

Students need to have a set of past examination papers as they provide an excellent means of preparation for the terminal written examination.

The course content for both Higher and Ordinary Level is virtually identical. Additional information intended for students who intend to take the subject at Higher Level is clearly outlined in the textbook. Students who intend to take the subject at Ordinary Level do not need to cover those aspects of the course. All students are encouraged to follow the Higher Level course up until the mock exams held in February of the year of the Leaving Certificate Examination.



Construction Studies

Workbook should be complete

Drawings should be up to date and in a folder

Students should answer one Leaving Cert question a week and more during the breaks along with the assigned homework

A project is undertaken in sixth year and this has to conform to the Department of Education and Skills rules on assessment

The materials (usually wood) are supplied by the student. The cost of the projects varies a lot as they can be made from any materials such as cardboard to an expensive hardwood.

The project must be made under the supervision of the class teacher

The deadline for the project is last Friday in April

Must be the candidates own individual work and formally submitted for correction

A practical exam usually takes place on the first Wednesday in May it is 4 hours duration

Higher level                                                                Ordinary Level

Practical exam             25%                                         Practical Exam            30%

Project             25%                                                     Project                         30%

Exam               50%                                                     Exam              40%


Question 1 is a compulsory question on both higher and ordinary level papers. It is a drawing question (building Detail)

Higher level answer question 1 and 4 others

Ordinary level answer question 1 and 3 others

The project has two elements the design portfolio and the artefact

The portfolio should be completed in the students own time and should be at the manufacture stage by the October mid- term break in order to have the materials and ready to start the processing of materials after the break. (The portfolio should take a similar layout to J.C Woodwork)


Design and Communication Graphics (DCG)

Course Content

  • Project (40%), was received and handed out to all students on the 7 of September. This has to be completed by the 20th of January.
  • Course content (60% exam) consists of 3 sections A, B (Core Topics) and C (Optional Topics).
  • All topics are covered during the year (class time) and resources can be found on the PUBLIC DRIVE, EDUCATIONAL DEPARTMENTS, DCG. Students can access the core material with PowerPoint’s, worksheets and solutions. All questions have been worked out and cover each topic.


  • Students should complete past Leaving Cert Exam questions. This will help to hone their skills towards exam technique and act as good revision, covering all the main principles.
  • Students should be attempting a leaving cert question or an equivalent question with the same degree of difficulty at least once a week.

Resources/Helpful Material

  • www.T4.ie
    • Support service for students and teachers (a lot of helpful resources).
    • Graphics in Design and Communication by David Anderson
    • DCG support folder (on school public drive).
    • Past Papers






Duration: 2½ hours

400 Marks                   Both Higher Level and Ordinary Level


Section A: 100 marks

  • Short-Response Questions
  • Students must do 6 out of 9


Section B: 300 Marks

  • Students must atempt 4 Questions out of 8
  • Each long question is worth 75 marks
  • Questions vary each year between Macro and Micro


In addition the Leaving Cert Exam, the following exams will also take place in 6th Year for stuydents of Economics:

  • Class tests on topics covered, fortnightly.
  • Christmas Exam, December.
  • Mock Exam, February


Students have completed, and will continue to complete, written homework assignments at least FOUR evenings per week, and should have a written account of their homework assignments recorded in their journals. They need to pay special attention to all tghe topics which were covered in 5th Year,



We have covered 8 ofrom a total of 11 topics already and so expect to complete the course by January, which leaves four months for intensive revision.



Students who have not made this decision, should decide before the Christmas exams which level they are most comfortable with. Those students who take Higher Level for the Mock Exam, and who find this level too difficult for them, have the option of dropping down to Ordinary Level after the Mock Exam.


At this stage of Senior Cycle students need to spend a minimum of one hour study per evening during the week, and at least FOUR hours between Saturdays and Sundays. Coupled with this, students should also be completing at least TWO long questions per week, and at a minimum of ONE paper of Section A questions as part of homework.



The exam is a 3 hour exam with three distinct sevtions.

Section A        Short definition type questions 20%.

Section B        Applied Business Question 20%.

Section C        Requiring four questions to be consweed from a given 7 Questuions.


ABQ in 2012 is drawn from units 4,5,6.


With 75% of the course already completed, students should be revising ONE chapter per week from 5th Year as well as keeping up with the remaining 25%  of the course.


After Christmas there will be intensive work on the compulsury ABQ.


Students will need to practise these questions as these questions have a particular technique. Students are asked to apply knowledge to a particular case study.


Students should practise reguarly definitions they have recorded from each chapter as this will mean students will develop the technique of answereing questions in a time-effecient manner and in a manner that attracts marks from the Marking Scheme.


Students should always take the following rules into account:

Marks divided by 5 tells us the number of points that should be made

Marks divided by 2½ tells us the minutes that should be spend on that question..


A 20 mark question should have 4 points answered in 8 minutes.

If students have not already made up their minds on the level they are taking, they will have the opportunity to change levels after the Mock Exams.


Business should be getting at least 30 minutes each night with additional revision at the weekends.



Exam Structure

  • 3 hour written paper
  • 400 marks available
  • 4 or 5 questions to be answered from a possible 9
    • 2 certain questions every year
      • Company final accounts with adjustments (30%)
      • Ratio analysis and interpretation (25%)

Year Outline

  • Course to be completed in time for mock exams (March 2012)
  • Revision (past exam questions) to form the basis of the final months
  • Regular assessment during the year
    • October, Christmas scheduled exams, as well as the mocks
    • Self assessment on an ongoing basis through exam and textbook question completion and solution review

NB: Final decision regarding higher/ordinary level to be taken after mock exams

General Info/Advice

  • Due to its practical nature, it is almost impossible to “cram” for the LC exam
  • Progress is made by continuous practice of questions, either homework or questions done as part of the students own revision
  • Students who obtain highest results are those who put in a high level of work throughout the entire year


Physics :

Revision in Class


  • Answering past mock papers and past Leaving Cert. papers is the best way to revise for the Leaving Cert. in Physics because the questions more or less repeat every few years.  I expect one paper in four done every 10 days.


Private Revision in Addition to the Above Work


  • Best advice is to learn the 24 mandatory experiments first.  Be sure to know the apparatus, the method and how to do the calculation for each.
  • Then learn the easier parts of the course which are Heat, Waves, Light, Sound, for most people, followed by the Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics.
  • Finally will do Electricity and Mechanics.




Field study Patterns & Processes in the Physical Environment Regional Geography Economic Geoecology & Global interdependence
Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh. 

17th November 2011

20% marks allocated to project.

Submitted in April 2012

Examples: Rivers 



Geology (Rocks)

Plate tectonics

Comparing regions 

Primary, Secondary & tertiary activities

HDI,  economic developments of countries, Global economy, Ireland & the EU, Environmental impact Ordinary level is not required to complete this part of the course.



Geography should be part of students study plan, recommend 3hrs study per week. Students have been advised to begin revising the topics from 5th year.

Decision on taking Hl/OL

It is recommended that the students make a decision on which level they hope to take by December 2011.


Today’s World Book 1 & 2

Past papers





To follow Lower Course:

At least grade D at Junior Certificate Level.

To follow Higher Course:

At least grade C at Junior Certificate Level. Consistent work at this level is the key to success. The nature of language learning requires a commitment to constant working at the language. It would be pointed out that certain third level institutions require students to have French or another continental language.

At this level a student must be prepared to do a considerable amount of outside reading from sources such as newspapers, magazines, short stories and novels, so as to be sure of reaching an Honours standard.

Course content:

There are major differences in emphasis and allocation of marks as distinct from Junior Certificate.

a)       Written Paper: (Ordinary Level 15%  –  Higher Level 25%)

b)         Oral Examination: (Ordinary Level 20%  –  Higher Level 25%)

c)      Aural : (Ordinary Level 25%  –  Higher Level 20%)

d)         Comprehension: (Ordinary Level 40%  –  Higher Level 30%)



Generally, Higher Level students are expected to spend 30 minutes on homework and a further 30 minutes on revision per night. Similarly, Ordinary Level students are expected to revise for a further 20 minutes after homework is completed.


Christmas/ Mock Exams:

These exams will be set at the appropriate levels and will cover the full course content.  The results of these exams will determine if students currently taking higher level will continue to do so.


Textbooks and other resources:

Both levels:     Ecoutez Bien, Dictionary and past exam papers (Edco)

Ordinary Level:           Bonne Route

Higher Level:              Tout Va Bien, Le Français Oral and various online websites.






Duration: 2½ hours


400 Marks                               Both Higher Level and Ordinary Level


Oral (April)                             Higher Level   100 marks                    25%

Ordinary Level            80 marks                      20%

Listening Exam (June)            Higher Level   80 marks                      20%

Ordinary Level            100 marks                    25%

Written Exam (June)   Higher Level   220 marks                    55%

Ordinary Level            220 marks                    55%

In addition the Leaving Cert Exam, the following WEEKLY exams will also take place in 6th Year for students of Spanish (Both Levels):

  • Oral topics covered
  • 5 Oral Roleplays
  • Grammar Points
  • Tenses
  • Vocabulary
  • Reading Comprehension


In-House Class Term Exams:

  • October Exam
  • Christmas Exam (December)
  • Mock Exam (February)
  • April Exam (2nd Mock)


Students have completed, and will continue to complete, written homework assignments as well as study every evening, and should have a written account of their homework assignments recorded in their journals.


Students MUST continue to revise and study ALL of the following from 5th year:

  • Oral Topics
  • Grammar Points
  • Tenses
  • Vocabulary Lists



  • 75% of Leaving Cert Grammar Points have been covered
  • Constant Revision is under way in preparation for the Oral Exam
  • Past Exam Papers have been started
  • Listening Preparation has begun and will intensify in the coming weeks.
  • Written Expression has also begun and will be continued in the coming weeks.



  • At this stage of Senior Cycle students need to spend a minimum of 20 hours study per week, to be divided between their seven subjects.
  • Neither Saturdays nor Sundays should be neglected.
  • Students of Spanish should be completing at least ONE Full Paper per week, and at a minimum of ONE EVENING revising vocabulary.




  • There are 28 Mandatory Experiments on the Leaving Certificate Chemistry Course
  • Each Experiment must be written up on completion.
  • These must  available for examination by an inspector from the Department of Education and Skills
  • These Experiments must be known thoroughly for the Leaving Certificate as they appear on section A of the Leaving Cert. Exam and account for 25% of the total marks for the exam.
  • Students taking Chemistry at either Higher or Ordinary Level follow the same course over 2 years.
  • Extra material for Higher Level only is highlighted by red lines in the textbook.
  • Students should be revising last year’s material as well as completing all homework of current material.
  • A series of assessments will be given to students and they must achieve and maintain a high standard if they aspire to sit the Higher Level Examination.
  • All students are encouraged to sit the Higher Level Paper in the mock Exams


Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

[Common Level]

Assessment of the Link Modules

[Link Modules: (1) Preparation for the World of Work; (2) Enterprise Education]

LCVP students follow the same subject syllabi and are assessed in the same way as their peers in the Leaving Certificate. For the Link Modules (they are assessed by Written Examination (40%) and by Portfolio of Coursework (60%).  The written examination takes place in May. The examination is of two and a half hours duration and consists of three sections.

The structure of the Written Examination is as follows:

Section A:   Audio Visual Presentation
Section B:   Case Study (received in advance by students)
Section C:   General Questions (4 out of 6)

Portfolio of Coursework is due for submission in April.


CORE ITEMS Curriculum Vitae
Career Investigation
Enterprise/Action Plan
Summary Report
OPTIONAL ITEMS Enterprise Report
Recorded Interview

Note: Practice/Training for Recorded Interview will commence in November. Recording of Interviews for submission will begin in January.


LCVP students receive the same certificate as other Leaving Certificate students but their Certificate includes an additional statement of the results of the Link Modules.

Grades for the Link Modules are as follows:


Grade Per cent Universities and Institutes of Technology Award
80% – 100%
65% – 79%
50% – 64%
70 points
50 points
30 points

Study / Homework: Students will be required to study handouts & submit an exam question

on a weekly basis.

Christmas Exam &  Mock Exam: Students will be required to sit a Link Modules exam.

Required Texts: Past Examination Papers.

Photocopied Handouts/Notes supplied by teachers.