New Leaving Certificate Grading Scale and revised Common Points Scale

The Universities and the Institutes of Technology have been working in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills to bring about progressive and incremental enhancements of the transition from second to third level. The central focus of this work has been to agree reforms of Leaving Certificate assessment and grading and the admissions processes to higher education, in order to mitigate some of the undesirable effects of the so-called ‘points system’. 

As part of this process, it has been agreed to change how the Leaving Certificate examinations are graded, using fewer broader grade bands. The current 14-point grading scale (A1, A2, B1, B2, B3, etc. where the grade bands typically cover 5%) will be replaced by an 8-point scale (based on a grade band 10% wide). This requires a new Common Points Scale.

The revisions to the Common Points Scale and associated adjustments are being made jointly by the universities and the Institutes of Technology. These revised arrangements have been the subject of extensive discussions with the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and their governance structures during the period of development. The revised arrangements will be applied by all universities, institutes of technology and their linked providers from 2017. 

New Leaving Certificate Grading Scale and Revised Common Points Scale