New study reveals majority of students don't believe Leaving Cert prepares them for university 5 years ago

New study reveals majority of students don't believe Leaving Cert prepares them for university

A shockingly high number of students claim that school education doesn't help with the next stages of their education.

There has been many a debate over the years as to whether or not the Leaving Certificate is a good enough form of testing actual knowledge and intellect, often feeling like it can be more of a case of doing better simply by having a better memory to remember the answers, rather than smart enough to know them.


However, a new survey has revealed that recent Leaving Cert takers don't believe that it helped them prepare for university or college in a number of ways, which means it may well be time to reassess the entire system.

The survey consisted of over 300 first-year DCU students, and over a number of different questions, the following information was ascertained:

Only 24% felt that the Leaving Cert programme prepared them well to use technology to improve their learning.

25% felt it prepared them well to interrogate and critically evaluate information or ideas.


27% said it prepared them well to compare information from different sources.

28% felt the Leaving Cert prepared them well to identify sources of information.

And only 30% felt the Leaving Cert prepared them well to explore ideas from a number of different perspectives.



83% said that the Leaving Cert had prepared them well to persist when learning was difficult.

83% said it helped them become well organised.

75% said it assisted them in becoming self-disciplined.

72% felt it helped with time-management.


And 75% felt it helped them cope with the pressure of heavy workload requirements.

Professor Michael O'Leary, the director of the Centre for Assessment Research Policy and Practice (CARPE) at the Institute of Education, said "While there are some encouraging elements to take from this survey, the overall findings of our research reveal a worrying disconnect and, consequently, challenging transition between second and third-level education.

"Despite being the main pathway used for entering third-level education, the Leaving Certificate Programme is not, on this compelling new evidence, sufficiently equipping students with the necessary skills for third-level study."