They spent all summer trying to forget about them but Wednesday 16 August was the day almost 6,500 Cork students found out 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.
There was a new grading system this year with the number of grades being reduced from 14 to 8
The new marking scheme has done away with the traditional As and Bs and instead introduces a sliding scale from 1-8 in both higher and ordinary levels.
There has been a record number taking higher level papers across almost all subjects this year, and fewer students are failing.
The state exam commission despite the new grading system there has been no reduction in standards.
Nationally thirteen students received the highest marks securing grade between 90 and 100% in eight subjects.
Sixty-three pupils received seven grade ones up from 47 students in 2016.
Across the country 16,395 of maths students took higher level papers, an increase of almost 2,000 on last year.
Just 8.3% of maths students either received a H8 (Fail) or H7 (Just passed) effectively preventing many from a number of third level courses.
Failure rates in ordinary maths increased from 9.1% in 2016 to 10.1% this year, which is worrying for our policy makers who are encouraging a practical skills based system.
Many pundits attribute the increased failure rates to many stronger students opting for the higher papers leaving weaker students take the ordinary exam.
The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton urged students to consider apprenticeships and traineeships which is in focus with a skills base as part of the government’s national strategy.
St Aloysius Deputy Principal Margaret Hartnett said her school had fantastic results this year on par with previous years.
In Midleton St Colman’s Community College said they were delighted with and pleased for the class of 2017. All the students came through the challenge of leaving cert with success.
In Cobh, Colaiste Muire Principal Fergus O’Brien said he too was delighted with this year’s results and commended the students, teachers and parents for their commitment and dedication.
In Youghal the teaching body at Pobail Scoil Na Trionoide were suitably impressed with their student’s achievements. Deputy Principal Bernie Heffernan said “we got great results the students are very pleased with what they received.”
She said whoever the real test is next week when the CAO points are out. “Bar a major increase in points we would expect most students will be offered a college place”
For those who didn’t do as well as they expected the advice is not to panic. There are many alternatives out there. There are PLC courses which have direct access to college courses in UCC and CIT. Take your time and think things out carefully.
The National Parents Council are 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 10am to 7pm today Thursday 17 August and from 10:00am – 1:00pm Friday 18 August.
On Monday 21 August and Tuesday 22 August the phone line will be open from 8:00am – 7:00pm to help those with CAO queries, and again on Wednesday 23 August from 8:00am – 1:00pm