Junior Cycle

Junior Cycle

Core exam subjects:

English, Irish, Mathematics, French, Science, History, Geography

Option exam subjects (2 chosen):

Art, Music, Business Studies, Home Economics, Technical Graphics, Woodwork, Metalwork


SPHE, CSPE, Life-skills, PE, Religion, Computers etc.

Short Courses

Schools can choose to do short courses in areas such as PE, SPHE, CSPE etc. These are assessed through Classroom Based Assessments.

Junior Cycle Curriculum phased in for students beginning 1st year:

2014/15       English

2016/17       Science & Business Studies

2017/18       Irish, Modern Languages & Art

2018/19       Maths, Home Economics, History, Music & Geography

2019/20       Technical Graphics, Woodwork, Metalwork

Assessment of Junior Cycle

Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs): These assess students learning skills such as verbal communication and investigation skills. Students complete two CBAs per subject in class at times set by the Department (generally one in 2nd year and one in 3rd year). These are assessed by teachers and will be recorded on the final Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)

Descriptors for CBAs:

  • Exceptional
  • Above Expectations
  • In Line with Expectations
  • Yet to Meet Expectations
  • Not Reported (if student does not do the CBA)

Assessment Tasks: This is a written task based on the second CBA. It is carried out during class time at times set by the Department. It is corrected with the students’ written Junior Cycle paper and is worth 10% of the final mark.

Written exams: These are held in June, the timetable is set by the Department. Exams for new Junior Cycle subjects are no more than 2 hours long and are common level for all subjects except English, Irish and Maths – these are available at Higher or Ordinary level. These are worth 90% of the final subject mark – combined with Assessment Task result to give final grade.


  • Distinction (90-100%)
  • Higher Merit (75-89%)
  • Merit (55-74%)
  • Achieved (40-54%)
  • Partially Achieved (20-39%)
  • Not Graded (0-19%)

Report: Students receive their written exam results in September after 3rd year. In December they receive their Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). This has results from written exams, Classroom Based Assessments, Short Courses and Other Areas of Learning.

Powerpoint link to parents presentation update on Junior Cycle



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