New 2017 Leaving Certificate grading system and CAO points

Reform of Leaving Certificate grades and CAO points system

On 3rd September 2015, the Minister for Education and Skills announced the details of the CAO points which will be awarded for the new grading structure for the Leaving Certificate.  This new grading structure will come into force for the first time for the Leaving Certificate examinations of June 2017.  This means that those students beginning 5th year in September 2015, will be the first year to experience this new system.

The Minister's announcement and full details of the change and the resulting new CAO points scale can be found by following the links on, the website dedicated to information relating to the transition from secondary level education to third level education.

The new grading structure will change the current 14 grades (i.e. A1, A2, B1, B2, B3 etc… system) to 8 grades as follows;

Grade 1                       90%-100%

Grade 2                       80%-89%

Grade 3                       70%-79%

Grade 4                       60%-69%

Grade 5                       50%-59%

Grade 6                       40%-49%

Grade 7                       30%-39%

Grade 8                       below 30%

There will be no more A, B C etc.. The new grading system will reported as follows:, For example, if the student achieves grade 3 in a higher level paper that will be recorded as H3, and a grade 2 in an ordinary level paper will be recorded as O2.



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