I just noticed that the SEC have published statistics for the Leaving Cert 2020 exam. Obviously the number of students sitting the exam is very small and it's hard to draw any firm conclusions from their results, but I had a poke about in there anyway, just to see how they compared to an ordinary year.
First, the numbers: The raw data for those opting to sit the exam in November are up above and here I've graphed them as a percentage of those who took each subject in 2019 (I don't know the 2020 numbers). Obviously the percentage opting to take the chemistry exam is a bit out of whack with the others, and I don't know of any particular reason why that might be the case. But to put all three figures into context, it seems to me that around 1% opted to take the Maths or English exams. I wonder if the percentages taking the optional subjects was higher in general than for Maths, English and Irish?
And how did they do? The raw numbers are up above, but here I've graphed them as percentages (or fractions actually: i.e. 0.25 = 25% etc.) of the number doing each exam.
Obviously the percentages getting the higher grades is way up on usual. But presumably, those opting to sit the exam had expectations - or at least hopes - of doing better than they had done on the Calculated Grades system. That means that they're not only a small sample, but also a self-selecting one, so it would be foolish to read too much into patterns.
And I suspect - from a little anecdotal evidence - that those getting a H7 or a H8 would include a number of students who had done much better than that in the calculated system, and who had opted for the written exam but then lacked the motivation - or the time - to really prepare for it. But who knows?
By way of comparison, this graph shows the percentages who scored at each grade between 2017 and 2019 ( in blue), the grades entered by their teachers (in orange) - and the final grade awarded by the Calculated Grade system last September (in grey).