The programme of study followed in junior cycle varies. At the moment, almost all students take courses leading to the Junior Certificate, the State examination taken at the end of the third year of junior cycle when students are 15 years of age. In order to enable them to reach and undertake the Junior Certificate examination, students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds and those viewed as at risk of leaving school early may follow the Junior Certificate School Programme.
Junior Certificate fact sheets
NCCA has developed factsheets to give easy-to-read information about the different subjects currently available in junior cycle ( in both English and Irish). While the fact sheets have been designed with sixth class pupils and first year students in mind, they will also be useful for parents.
These fact sheets can be seen on www.ncca.ie
Standardised testing in junior cycle
The NCCA published research into the international practice of standardised testing in lower secondary education. This research gathered data on international practice on testing for the 12-15 age group and will assist us in advising the Minister for Education and Science on the implications of the introduction of standardised testing at one further point in compulsory education.
Standardised testing is already happening in Irish primary schools in English and mathematics. Students are assessed twice during their primary school years – at the end of first class or beginning of second class and at the end of fourth class or beginning of fifth class.
The report on this research is published in the Publications page of the NCCA website.