Heads down -- best wishes as exams kick off
TESTING: Almost 117,000 students face into the challenge of a lifetime
AND they're off...At 9.30 this morning heads dropped and exams papers around the country were finally opened.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn wished the more than 116,500 students "the best of luck" as they started with English Paper One.
Almost 59,000 students were expected to sit the Leaving and Leaving Cert Applied, while another 57,732 students were sitting the Junior Cert.
Between now and June 24, and taking the different levels into account, a total of 105 subjects will be examined in written form between the Leaving and Junior Certificates at more than 4,700 exam centres.
Those sitting the Leaving Cert include 14 Libyan students in Ireland.
A total of 66 were due to sit the exam at the International School of the Martyrs in Tripoli -- which has held Leaving Cert exams since 1997 -- but cannot do so because of the security situation there.
The Education Minister said: "I want to send my best wishes to all those students sitting the Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations over the coming two weeks.
"After many long hours of study and preparation, students finally get the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills across a range of areas.
"This marks an important milestone in their lives".
Also, native speakers from other EU countries will sit examinations in their mother tongue at Leaving Certificate level in 15 non-curricular languages, such as Polish, Lithuanian and Romanian.
This year, students in 24 schools will sit a new examination paper in the Junior Certificate in mathematics (Paper 2) for the first time, following the introduction of Project Maths in 2008.
Leaving Certificate students in these schools will sit new papers across four of the five strands of mathematics.
"This is an important reform in the efforts to ensure that Ireland's education system keeps pace with changing needs.
"The experiences in these schools will inform the development of Project Maths as it is rolled out in all schools, a process which began in September 2010," said Mr Quinn.
The State exams "can be very stressful " for both students and families, and Mr Quinn said that he appreciated the "great support" that students receive from their teachers, parents, families and friends at this time.
"I hope students will be able to keep the exams in perspective and realise that there are many ways and opportunities for you to continue your education after the Leaving Certificate," he added.
"I know your hard work will pay off and I wish you every success."
All written examination papers in this year's examinations will be published on the www.examinations.ie website on the evening that the examination is completed.
Leaving Certificate results will be issued on Wednesday, August 17, and the online Results Service will be available from noon on that day for Leaving Certificate candidates.
Junior Certificate results will be issued in mid-September and the on-line Results Service will be available from 4pm on that day for Junior Certificate candidates
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