More than 2,680 students attended exam centres in Clare on Wednesday morning for the start of the Leaving and Junior Certificate exams.
Almost 1,300 students were expected to sit the Leaving Cert in the county, according to the State Examinations Commission. This year 659 girls are sitting the Leaving Cert in the Banner County compared to 630 boys. More than 80 students in Clare were registered for the Leaving Cert Applied, 35 girls and 46 boys.
More than 1,390 students began the Junior Certificate at exam centres around Clare on Wednesday morning, 761 girls and 632 boys.
Nationwide some 120,000 candidates began their Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations across over 5,000 examination centres.
The new Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, and the Minister of State for Training and Skills, John Halligan TD, both extended their best wishes to students beginning examinations.
Minister Bruton commended the efforts of students, saying: “There is great value in everything that students have achieved in the classroom and in their exam preparations, and I hope that they are successful in demonstrating that over the coming weeks.”
The Minister also paid tribute to the dedication of principals and teachers who have prepared and guided the students during their learning cycle.
“While recognising that these exams are important, I hope that students remember that there are many opportunities open to them following on from the Leaving Certificate. As well as routes to further and higher education there are alternative pathways to rewarding careers. For example, work continues on developing high quality apprenticeships in a number of sectors and the Programme for Government commits to double the number of apprenticeships by 2020. These apprenticeships offer an alternative pathway to a career in expanding areas of the economy.”
In a message to students sitting their Leaving and Junior Cert exams, ASTI President Máire G Ní Chiarba urged students to look after themselves over the coming weeks.
“I would like to wish all of the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students beginning their exams tomorrow the very best. Remember you are not alone as you have the full support of your teachers, schools and families. The most important thing now is to stay calm and focused during the exam period. It’s normal to feel some level of anxiety. Try to keep things in perspective. You are sitting exams; that is all they are. Exams are very much part of going through life but they do not represent your value as a human being. Also keep very much in mind that the state examinations are conducted in an independent, fair and completely transparent manner. Nobody expects any more of you than your best effort. Look after yourself. Eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest. All of this will help you maintain your energy and wellbeing over the coming weeks.”
The examinations run until Thursday, June 23 for Junior Certificate subjects and Friday, June 24 for Leaving Certificate subjects. The written examinations in the Leaving Certificate Applied programme finish on Thursday, June 16. The results of the Leaving Certificate examinations will be available on Wednesday, August 17 with the Junior Cert students having to wait until mid-September to get theirs.