They spent most of life preparing for them, and the entire summer trying to forget about them! Tuesday, 13 August was the day that hundreds of students across East Cork discovered what Leaving Cert results look like.
Many opted to check their results online, with some going on holiday and calling their school for the results.
In Cobh, Midleton and Youghal there was a gradual trickle of students throughout the morning to pick up their results in person.
For most, it was a day filled with emotion, smiles, laughter, plenty of hugging and some tears.
This was the third year of a new grading system, with the number of grades being reduced from 14 to 8.
Almost 59,000 students nationally received their results, with five of those securing top marks in eight subjects.
Overall the number sitting the exams were 58,787 with 56,071 sitting the Leaving Cert and a further 2,716 taking papers in the Leaving Cert Applied Programme.
The most popular higher level subjects amongst the class of 2019 were 1. English (40,217 sitting the paper) 2. Biology (26,684 students) 3. Irish (23,176 students) 4. Geography (19,293 students) 5. Maths (18,153 students) and 6. French (15,654 students)
Just 7% of students who took a higher paper in Biology received a H1, down from 11.3 % in 2018.
In History 6.7% earned a H1, and in Geography 3.7% received the award.
54 students took Latin as a subject with 18% of those receiving the top grade. 17 took Ancient Greek and 31 Agricultural Economics with nobody receiving the top grade.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, congratulated all those who got their results on Tuesday, and said there are plenty of alternative options for those who did not receive the grades they had hoped for.
“There are so many access and steppingstone courses….there are many, many options. It’s not the end of the road, and certainly not the end of the journey” he said.
Career Guidance Councillor at CBS Secondary, Kim Cullinane, had this advice for those who didn’t perform as well they had hoped.
“Don’t panic. There are many alternatives out there. There are PLC courses which can be used to transition to College courses in UCC and CIT. Take your time and think things out carefully.”
She said Leaving Cert results day is about taking stock of what you have, and taking plenty of time to think about it. Just because you have moved on doesn’t mean the School Guidance Councillor is not available to offer advice.
The National Parents Council is also providing a free phone number for both parents and students.
Professional Guidance Counsellors will be available to give advice and support.
Helpline phone number: 1800 265 165
Lines will be open from 8am to 7pm today Thursday 15 August and from 10:00am – 2:00pm Friday 16 August, to help those with CAO queries.