Junior Cycle

Junior Certificate

Junior Cycle

The junior cycle subject that are offered at Merlin College are:

  • English
  • Irish
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Science
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Polish
  • Wood Technology
  • Engineering
  • Graphics
  • Home Economics
  • Art
  • Music
  • Business Studies

  • Non exam subjects:
  • SPHE
  • CSPE
  • Patrons Curriculum

Subjects in bold are mandatory for all students with the exception of an Irish exemption.

The Framework for Junior Cycle (2015) emphasises the importance of valuing, acknowledging and affirming all students’ learning opportunities and experiences during the three years of junior cycle. The new assessment procedures at Junior Cycle value the different aspects of students’ learning and the range of approaches, both formative and summative, that generate evidence of this learning by students.

Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)

Student achievements are now reported to students and parents/guardians on the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). The JCPA will capture the different assessment elements undertaken over the three years of junior cycle, including the grades which are issued by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). The JCPA captures any combination of the following: CBA’s, Short Courses, State Certified Examination (including the Assessment Task), L2LP, L1LP and other areas of learning.

Other Areas of Learning (OALs) is a report on other learning experiences and events that the student has participated in during curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular aspects of the Junior Cycle Programme school.

The school may also wish to include broader aspects of reporting in this section, or areas such as attendance, personal and social development and learning dispositions.

Students will be responsible, with guidance and framed supports from their teacher, for identifying three to five other areas of learning which are linked to the statements of learning and key skills of the Junior Cycle.

From 2020 onwards, engagement with PE, SPHE and CSPE will be recorded under the new Wellbeing section of the JCPA.

Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs)

Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) have been introduced to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills and their ability to apply them in ways that may not be possible in an externally assessed examination. They are used in the assessment of learning in subjects and in short courses. Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) will be assessed by the students’ teachers and reported on to students and parents/guardians during junior cycle and in the JCPA.

-They contribute to and build on the use of formative assessment in the classroom

-happen during normal class time

-They resemble the learning that happens on a daily basis

-They capture the knowledge and skills that are not easily assessed in a timed pen and paper type examination

-They are assessed at a common level by the class teacher.

-There are two CBAs for each subject; the first one in 2nd year and a second one in 3rd year. -These could range from project tasks, oral language tasks and investigations, to practical or designing and making tasks, field studies and artistic performances.

Reporting Descriptors for Junior Cycle CBA’s

  • Exceptional
  • Above expectations
  • In line with expectations
  • Yet to meet expectations

Assessment Task

The Assessment Task will be completed during class time under the supervision of the teacher and will take place over two lesson periods. The Assessment Task script is sent, along with the final assessment at the end of third year, to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to be marked. It accounts for up to 10% of the State-Certified Examination and is incorporated into the grade that a student receives for their final SEC examination.

Final Examination

The final examination takes place in June. The key points to note are:

  • All exams are no longer than two hours’ duration
  • Students take a maximum of ten subjects
  • All subjects available at a common level apart from English, Mathematics and Irish where there will be two levels (Higher and Ordinary)
  • Reporting Descriptors for Junior Cycle


≥ 90 TO 100

Higher Merit

≥ 75 and < 90


≥ 55 and <75


≥ 40 and <55

Partially Achieved

≥ 20 and <40

Not Graded (NG)

≥ 0 and < 20

Doughiska Rd, Galway, Ireland
091 76 9000
Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board
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