The Leaving Certificate, Pro's and Cons

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The Leaving Certificate is not based on continuous assessment but doesn’t it involve a lot of the factors. Many schools throughout Ireland take part in the mocks examinations which are basically a practise run of the Leaving Cert. That take place every February to give a student an evaluation on how they are doing in school. None of the points are counted towards the actual Leaving Certificate grade but it is a chance for students to evaluate their ability, to see what they understand and most importantly, to learn from their mistakes, these are the main principles behind continuous assessment. Throughout the two year Leaving Cert cycle there are usually optional tests given, such as Christmas and summer tests where as well as the mocks the results are sent home, and they are more opportunity for a student to assess how they are doing in class. Parents are informed of their children’s progress in class at annual parent teacher meetings. Again any grades from these tests are not counted towards the final result of the actual leaving certificate examination. Leaving certificate is very much like continuous assessment except that the final actual examination is where the points count. Some people see this as bad and should be changed, but looking at continuous assessment; to make the final grade a student has to be constantly on form throughout the year or they could face failure while the Leaving Certificate is just one examination, and it’s over and done with. The pressure associated with the L.C. isn’t because of the test itself but more of the social pressures surrounding it. Suicide rates among people rise around the time of the Leaving Cert but is this because of the points system that puts immense pressure on students to do well because every student is in competition with each other for the course they want to do when finished school? Or is this because of Mammy and Daddy putting pressure on their children to do well? The statistics show that it is mainly...
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