A new grading system and new CAO common points scale will be used for the first timeIrish Independant in this year’s Leaving Certificate exams. The old ABC-style grades, 14 each at higher and ordinary level, have been abolished in favour of eight H (higher) and eight O (ordinary) grades. The change to the grading system is also bringing change to the CAO points scale.

These changes have led to a certain revision of the minimum entry requirements and specific course requirements for third level colleges. What a pity the higher education institutions (HEIs) didn’t see fit to avail of this timely opportunity to synchronise their minimum entry requirements and make life much easier for long-suffering students.

Transition year and Junior Cert students throughout the country, who are currently considering and selecting their Leaving Cert subjects, are particularly mesmerised by the maze of varying language entry requirements for colleges. Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dublin City University (DCU), University of Limerick (UL) and the institutes of technology (ITs) have always had reasonable language requirements for college entry.

On the other hand, the three languages required as a minimum entry requirement by the National University of Ireland (NUI) cause considerable discomfort and uncertainty for many students as they attempt to select their seven senior cycle subjects.

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