JUNIOR CYCLE PROFILE OF ACHIEVEMENT CERTIFICATION (JCPA)
At the end of their Junior Cycle, students are awarded a Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) by the school. This award has replaced the previous state-awarded Junior Certificate. A sample of the JCPA can be seen in Appendix 1.
The JCPA award presents:
- The results obtained in the state examinations in June of 3rd year.
- The descriptor grades obtained in the students’ Classroom-Based Assessments carried out in 2nd and 3rd year.
- The results of classroom Assessments in Short Courses where taken.
- The ‘Other Areas of Learning’ which the students have undertaken outside the academic curriculum eg sports, drama, choir, Student Council etc.
- Acknowledgement of learning in Wellbeing.
Classroom Based Assessments
Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning and skills in ways not possible in a pen and paper examination, for example, their verbal communication and investigation skills. CBAs will be undertaken in subjects and short courses and will be facilitated by the classroom teacher.
CBAs will be undertaken during a defined time period within normal class contact time and to a national timetable. Students will complete one CBA in second year and one in third year in most subjects. CBAs will be reported on in the JCPA using the following descriptors:
- Above Expectations
- In Line with Expectations
- Yet to Meet Expectations
Once the second Classroom-Based Assessment (CBA) is completed, students in third year will complete a written Assessment Task on what they have learned and the skills and competences that they have developed in that assessment. This task, set by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), is undertaken during normal class time and will be sent to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) for marking. This Assessment Task will generally account for 10% of the overall mark for the final examination. At the end of third year, students will sit the final SEC examination in June, which will account for 90% of the SEC grade.
Specific arrangements are made for Visual Art, Music, Home Economics and the Technology subjects.
Assessment of Full Subjects – State Examination and Classroom Bases Assessments (CBAs)
The state examination that students sit in their subject at the end of their junior cycle will also be graded differently. Instead of A, B, C, D, E, F and NG the following descriptors will now be used:
- Distinction 90 to 100%
- Higher Merit 75 to 89%
- Merit 55 to 74%
- Achieved 40 to 54%
- Partially Achieved 20 to 39%
- (not graded) 0 to 19%13