Junior Certificate


The new Junior Cycle programme is now at Phase 4 of its implementation in secondary schools. The changes are designed to have a positive impact on Junior Cycle students:

  • Smoother transition from primary to post-primary
  • More actively involved in their learning
  • Greater emphasis on literacy, numeracy and the key skills
  • Assessment – nearer in time and place to the learning
  • Improved feedback and reporting to parents/guardians

The New Junior Cycle Grading System

The manner in which the phased-in Junior Cycle subjects are graded has changed. Traditional grades will now be replaced by the following:

  • ≥90% – 100: Distinction
  • ≥75% < 90 : Higher Merit
  • ≥55% < 75 : Merit
  • ≥40% < 55 : Achieved
  • ≥20% < 40 : Partially Achieved
  • ≥0% < 20 : Not Graded

The students will have Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) in both 2nd and 3rd year in many subjects and state examinations in June, at the end of third year.

This academic year, 2019-2020, the current 2nd Years will do CBA1s in History, Geography, Maths, PE, Science, CSPE, Modern Foreign Language (French/German), Business, English, Music, and Art. These will start in January and run for three weeks each, finishing the last CBA by the end of May.

PE and CSPE will be completed as short courses for JC.

The current 3rd Years will do CBA2s in Art, English, Business, Science, MFL (French/German) and Irish (Both CBA 1 and CBA 2 are completed for Irish in 3rd Year). These will also run for three weeks each, beginning with Art from early in the first term and getting busy with the remaining CBAs from early November until the February Mid-term, 2020.

The 3rd Year students will also do Assessment Tasks (ATs) on completion of their CBA2. This must be completed in class time, under teacher supervision, over two 40min periods. It will not be graded by the class teacher but will be posted off to be graded by the State Examination Commission (SEC) examiners. The ATs constitute 10% of the overall grade awarded to the subject, in the final JC examinations, in June.

The students will receive a Junior Cycle Profile of Assessment (JCPA) in early January following the year they sit their JC examinations. The JCPA will feature the descriptor awarded for each of the CBAs completed in both 2nd and 3rd Year. It will give the award for each subject combined with the AT, for the state examinations, sat in June. It will also feature the Other Areas of Learning (OAL) which will outline any other skills and knowledge which the student has developed or gained from their participation in school activities, outside of that which is already being examined in either the CBAs or as part of the state examinations.

CBAs will be assessed using the following descriptors:

  • Exceptional
  • Above Expectations
  • In line with expectations
  • Yet to Meet Expectations

For more information on the Junior Certificate, please visit www.jct.ie