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What do the Mocks tell us?

I have been looking at the results of the LC mocks for the the class of 2023 for one school* and comparing them to eventual leaving cert results, and thought some general points might be worth sharing....

In general, looking at CAO points, it looks like the mocks are a reasonable guide to Leaving Cert performance: those who do well in the mocks tend to do well in the summer and vice versa - though obviously most students improve between the two exams.

On average, students gained 103 points between the mocks and the summer. But it is important to note that this improvement is not evenly spread: those who did well in the mocks had little room to improve - and gained very little compared to those who struggled in the mocks.

An interesting note:

Those who continued with same number of higher-level papers from the mocks to the summer gained 99 points. But those how dropped at least one higher level subject gained 119 points. That is to some extent distorted by the fact that those sticking with higher level papers had usually done well in the mocks and had less room to improve, but it still strikes me as a good argument to make to a student considering a change in levels.



LC Physics

Looking just at LC Physics (Higher Level), the average score in the mocks was low 50s

The average score in the Leaving Cert was mid-70s  (taking LC points as the percentage)

This would suggest that the typical improvement was of 2 or 3 grades

Going in to more detail, I found this:


Grade Improvements

improved by

















This fits with the average scores calculated above, and is consistent with the idea that students typically gained 2 or 3 grades - though it is notable that not everybody improved, and one even lost ground.


The relatively low scores in the mocks might reflect the fact that many Physics students were also doing Applied Maths, which meant that they had to complete and submit LC coursework during the mocks.

I feel that this is an issue that will be of increasing importance in future years: If students are working on coursework for several subjects that is worth 40% or more, are they going to want to focus on mock exams at the same time? I think the mocks might have to move to a later date in the year.

*These results come from an all-boys Dublin school with a pretty strong academic cohort, where a large majority of students aspire to attend college.

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