Assessment in post-primary schools
Assessment is the process of gathering, recording, interpreting, using and reporting evidence of learning in individuals, groups or systems, which relies upon a number of instruments, one of which may be a test. Educational assessment provides information about progress in learning.
Formative, diagnostic and summative assessment are undertaken on a regular basis at school level, with particular emphasis being placed on more formal school-based examinations before the Christmas, Easter and Summer breaks. On the basis of these assessments, teachers and principals report to parents on student progress and give advice on subject options and on the level at which subjects are taken.
The Junior Certificate is a national examination taken by almost every student at the end of the junior cycle. Papers may be taken at Higher and Ordinary level, and in the case of English, Irish and Mathematics, a Foundation level is also available. There is no state examination at the end of Transition Year. Assessment is school-based and is primarily used in a formative way to provide students with feedback on their learning and progress and to report to parents.
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.
Assessment for learning (junior cycle)
State Examinations Commission