JCPA 2017

The 1st JCPA – JUnior Cycle Profile of Achievement will be awarede to students this week in RCS! This occasion sees the continued roll-out of the new Junior Cycle. Finaly, students will not only be recognised for their hard work inside the class room but also for their contribution to the school in other areas of learning….eg.. The Student Council, Sport, Choir etc.

Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement 

The 2017 Junior Cycle examination student cohort was the first to participate in the new Junior Cycle with English being the first of the new subject specifications to be examined. 61,654 students sat the Junior Cycle in 2017.

The JCPA will reward achievement across all areas of learning as applicable:

  • Results in State Examinations
  • Achievements in Classroom Based Assessments for subjects and short courses
  • Wellbeing (reported on from 2020)
  • Children with special educational needs will be recognised for achievements in Priority Learning Units
  • Other areas of learning, e.g. participation in science fair, musical performance, member of student council

In the case of both the State Examinations Commission grades and the Classroom-Based Assessment tasks, students will already have received the results of assessments prior to the awarding of the JCPA. In line with current practice, students will have received a provisional statement of results from the State Examinations Commission in September 2017.

The JCPA will include learning achievements that are broadly aligned to the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). In the majority of cases, the achievements reported will relate to subjects and short courses that are broadly aligned with Level 3 of the NFQ. In those cases where students have followed Priority Learning Units these are broadly aligned with Level 2 of the NFQ.

The first of the new subject specifications under the Framework for Junior Cycle, English, was rolled out in September 2014 and was examined for the first time in 2017. This was followed by new specifications for Business Studies and Science in September 2016 which will be examined for the first time in 2019.

The rollout in September 2017 of Irish, Modern Foreign Languages and Visual Art marks the introduction of Phase 3 of Junior Cycle and will be followed in September 2018 with the introduction of new specifications in Mathematics, Home Economics, History, Music and Geography.  The final phase will see the introduction of new specifications for the technology subjects, Religious Education, Jewish Studies and Classics.

Under the Framework for Junior Cycle student assessment consists of two classroom based assessments for each subject, a written assessment task and a final written examination.  Both the Assessment Task and the final written examination was marked by the State Examinations Commission (SEC).

Revised grading scheme

English is the first subject being examined in the reformed Junior Cycle programme. A revised grading system applied for English in 2017 and this will be rolled out to other subjects as new specifications come on stream. This means that this year, the grading that applies to English and that which applies to all other Junior Certificate subjects is different.

From this year’s examinations, both sets of grades will be in use; the new descriptors for Junior Cycle English and the existing Junior Certificate grades for all other subjects. This format of grading will continue to apply until 2021 when the last of the old Junior Certificate examinations are terminated. In the Junior Certificate, candidates will continue to achieve grades of A, B, C etc. to NG based on marks achieved, a total of 7 grades. In the Junior Cycle, achievement will be indicated using the grade descriptors of Distinction, Higher Merit, Merit, Achieved, Partially Achieved, and Not Graded, a total of 6 grade descriptors. The following table provides an explanation of the current and revised grading system for Junior Certificate / Junior Cycle subjects.

Junior     Certificate Junior     Cycle
Level Percentage Grade   Descriptor Percentage Grade   Descriptor
Higher,     Ordinary, Foundation/ Ard, Gnath, Bonn ≥     85 to 100 A ≥     90 to 100 Distinction
≥     70 and < 85 B ≥     75 and < 90 Higher     Merit
≥     55 and < 70 C ≥     55 and < 75 Merit
≥     40 and < 55 D ≥     40 and < 55 Achieved
≥     25 and < 40 E ≥     20 and < 40 Partially     Achieved
≥     10 and < 25 F ≥     0 and < 20 Not     Graded (NG)
≥     0 and < 10 NG


Both the old and the new grading systems will appear on the Statements of Provisional Examination Results issued by the SEC and on the final Junior Certificate Profile of Achievement (JCPA).