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How to calculate your points

The first thing to remember about points is that they are the final selection procedure for places and are used when there are more qualified applicants for a particular course that there are places available.

"Qualified" is a key word here. Any applicant being offered a place on a course must meet a specified minimum entry standard for the course.

  • Applicants to ordinary degree and higher certificate courses are required to have at least five passes in their Leaving Certificate, usually including English and mathematics.

  • Applicants to honours degree courses are required to have at least six subjects in their Leaving Certificate, with at least two grade Cs or higher on higher level papers. Trinity College requires a minimum of at least three higher level grade C3s on higher level papers for entry to its degree courses.

  • ndividual courses may carry additional specific subject requirements.

When applicants meet all the conditions of a particular course, they are then deemed to be qualified applicants, and are ranked in order of their points. The available places are allocated to applicants in order of their place on the points list.

  • You calculate your points by adding the scores of your best six subjects together. The majority of students take seven subjects in their Leaving Certificate, some brave souls take eight or more. When you count six subjects for points purposes, you need not include subjects that are specific course requirements. If, for example, you are required to get a particular grade in maths, and you achieved that grade, but you did better in your other six subjects, then you count the other six for points purposes.

  • If you took six or seven subjects in your Leaving Certificate, and also took the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP), you may count your LCVP Links Modules score as one of your best six scores, if indeed it was better than your sixth or seventh conventional Leaving Certificate subject.

  • All higher education institutions use a common points scale for LCVP Links Modules results. The scores are 70 for a distinction, 50 for a merit, and 30 for a pass.

  • Many colleges, even the universities and the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), will accept Foundation Level Maths as a subject to satisfy minimum entry requirements,.

But they will not award points for it and will also not accept it as satisfying a specific course requirement for maths.

However, about 16 colleges, including most of the institutes of technology and several private colleges, will consider Foundation Level maths as a passing subject and will award points for it as follows: A1=20; A2=15; B1=10; B2=5.