The Leaving Certificate examination is held at the end of the Senior Cycle in post-primary schools. Pupils following the standard Leaving Certificate Programme must take at least five subjects, including Irish.
Students between the ages of 15 and 18 sit an exam in each or their chosen subjects. In each subject, there is a separate course available for higher and ordinary levels. The subjects available are Irish; English; Maths; French; German; Geography; History; Home Economics; Biology; Physics; Chemistry; Accounting; Economics; Art and Music.
The aim of the traditional two year Leaving Certificate Programme is to help prepare the student for the world of work but even more so further study at third level.