Assessment in Senior Cycle


Assessment at senior cycle takes different forms and can be used in a variety of ways. Assessment can and should be supportive of learning.

Assessment in the classroom

Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning and, as such, it is used to support and improve learning by helping learners and teachers to identify next steps in their learning. In this sense, the most valuable assessment takes place at the site of learning where learners receive support and guidance. Learning is best supported in the classroom context when clear goals are established between teacher and learner and when images of successful learning can be shared by reference to those goals. The process of providing effective feedback to learners is supported through the statements of learning outcomes in syllabus documents.

Assessment in the state examinations

Formal assessment in senior cycle, as used to test and certify achievement, is managed through the State examinations, administered by the State Examinations Commission. A broad range of assessment methods are used across the range of Leaving Certificate subjects, including oral and aural examinations, coursework and practical examinations.

At the end of senior cycle, students who have followed the Leaving Certificate (Established) take the Leaving Certificate examination. Student achievement in this examination is directly linked to processes of selection for courses of study in further and higher education. In addition to the examinations taken by other students, students who follow the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme take an examination paper and submit a portfolio in the Link Modules. Students who follow the Leaving Certificate Applied programme take a final examination and also accumulate credits over the two years of study. Further information on the assessment of the various subjects is found in the syllabus of each subject.

General assessment information is available on


The above information is sourced from the NCCA's website. Click here for the original article. 

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