What is the Leaving Cert (or Leaving Certificate) ?

The Leaving Cert or Leaving Certificate to give it its full name is Ireland’s national exam taken at the end of second-level (secondary) education.  The Leaving Cert is a subject-based exam and now with an extensive number of subjects on offer.

The Leaving Cert is described as an ‘external’ ‘terminal’ examination.  The tag ‘external’ signifies that the exam is external to the school, with the Leaving Cert now being administered by the State Examination Commission.  The tag ‘terminal’ signifies that the exam occurs at the end of the Leaving Certificate course taken at school and it is designed to assess achievement across the entire syllabus set out for the subject in question.