One in six Leaving Certificate students had not registered for the exams as the registration deadline was approaching today.
here are nearly 62,000 sixth graders, but less than 52,000, or about 84%, confirmed that they planned to take the exams and the level at which they would take each subject.
The level of attendance to date is the lowest among students preparing for the alternative exams, Leaving Cert Applied (LCA).
The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has now extended the deadline to Tuesday, February 15 at 5 p.m. to give students more time, describing it as their “last chance” to enter.
The SEC will operate toll-free helplines — 1800-111135 or 1800-111136 — from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day through Tuesday, including weekends, to help students with their decisions. Outside these hours emails can be sent to [email protected]
An SEC spokesperson said all Leaving Certificate candidates must register their subject and level choices and all final-year ACL candidates must register and activate their accounts now through the portal. .
Earlier in the school year, school returns to the Department for Education indicated that 58,614 students would take the traditional Leaving Cert, and another 3,223 would take final year LCA exams.
As of noon today, five hours before the deadline, 49,474 (84%) Leaving Cert and 2,206 (68%) ACL candidates had completed registration of their subject and level choices.
While there may be a gap between initial school returns and exam registrations each year, it is wider than usual for this stage.
Students had been asked to confirm their subject and the levels at which they proposed to take them, such as higher or lower, online at the SEC Candidate Self-Service Portal by 5 p.m. today.
The reasons for the lower than normal enrollment level at present are unclear and it is hoped that the final push will push the numbers up.
The SEC spokesperson said the decision to extend the deadline was made “in the best interest of candidates to give them every opportunity to confirm their exam registration.”
Before Covid, the SEC sent forms to schools and they worked with students to confirm their final intentions and returned completed forms to the SEC.
The introduction of the Applicant Self-Service Portal puts more of a burden on students to ensure that they complete the registration process, although schools remain heavily involved in student guidance.
Two years of educational disruption, as well as the disappointment felt by many students at the decision not to have the option of accredited grades based on estimated teacher grades this year, may be a factor in enrollment slower than usual.
With the decision of a Leaving Cert only for exams announced only last week, some students may have needed more time to confirm their choices,
There is a separate registration process for external applicants, those not attending school, which remains open until March 14. So far, 2,125 external candidates have registered for the exams.