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Junior Certificate facts for kids

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Junior Certificate
A sheet of results which is given to candidates in August of the same year
The JCertificate result sheet
Acronym JC
Type Paper-based
Developer / administrator State Examinations Commission
Purpose To provide a well-balanced, general education to students who wish to enter on more advanced courses of study
Year started 1992 (1992)
Duration 1 hour 30 minutes-3 hours
Score / grade range 0 to 100
Offered Once a year
Languages English, Irish
Annual number of test takers 59,522 (2015)
Prerequisites / eligibility criteria At least 12 years of age on year of admission and must have completed primary education
Fee €109 (2018)

The Junior Certificate or "Junior Cert" for short, is an educational qualification awarded in Ireland by the Department of Education and Skills to students who have successfully completed the junior cycle of secondary education and achieved a minimum standard in their Junior Certificate Examination. These exams, like those for the Leaving Certificate, are supervised by the State Examinations Commission.

A "recognised pupil" who commences the Junior Cycle must reach at least 12 years of age on 1 January of the school year of admission and must have completed primary education; the examination is normally taken after three years' study in a secondary school. Typically a student takes 9 to 13 subjects – including English, Irish and Mathematics – as part of the Junior Cycle. The examination does not reach the standards for college or university entrance; instead, a school leaver in Ireland will typically take the Leaving Certificate Examination two or three years after completion of the Junior Certificate to reach that standard.

The objective of the Junior Cycle is to provide a well-balanced, general education suitable for pupils who leave full-time education at the end of compulsory schooling or, alternatively, who wish to enter on more advanced courses of study.

The grading is as follows:

  • 90 to 100% = Distinction
  • 75 to 89% = Higher Merit
  • 55 to 74% = Merit
  • 40 to 54% = Achieved
  • 20 to 39% = Partially Achieved
  • 0 to 19% = Not Graded/NG
Junior certificate grading
Grading is split into seven ranges

Students who face disadvantages (e.g. suffer spelling problems caused by dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, or other disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder or ADHD) cannot be penalised for poor spelling in exams such as English and Irish. These candidates are marked more leniently on all topics.

On 15 January 2014, the Department of Education and Skills announced that the new name for the Junior Certificate will be called the "Junior Cycle Student Award".

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