To Repeat Or Not To Repeat The Leaving Certificate? That's The Question


  1. How much is it to repeat the Leaving Cert?
  2. Do you have to pay to repeat the Leaving Cert?
  3. Can you repeat the Leaving Cert twice?
  4. Can you repeat the Leaving Cert at any age?
  5. What is a fail in Leaving Cert?

So, you’ve taken your exams and are in that strange period of awaiting the results of your Leaving Cert. You might have your mind set on studying law but you got anxious in your tests. You may want to follow a career in engineering but you don’t know if you’ll make the grade for Trinity College. 

Or you could be keen to become a doctor but your biology higher was impossible and you can already envisage repeating the Leaving Cert for medicine! First and foremost, don’t panic. Whatever the career and whatever the reason for your doubts, the first thing to do is to wait for your results and see how you actually did before signing up to a repeat Leaving Certificate course. 

That’s not to say you can’t do anything before results day, however. Do some prep now and you’ll be in a much better position to make an informed decision should you need to. 💪 Let us tell you about all the need-to-know info!Repeat The Leaving Certificate

How much is it to repeat the Leaving Cert?


There are no fees to do the test whether it’s your first time or you want to repeat Leaving Cert 2022. 👏 An announcement in February by Norma Foley, the Minister for Education, stated that this year’s fees would be waived again for the state sector as they were in 2021. This decision was made to ease the financial burden of exams on students and families.

The usual fee paid by students for both the Leaving Cert (including repeat Leaving Cert) and the Junior Cycle examinations is €116 and €109 respectively. So that’s good news, right?

It was also announced that there would be a second sitting of the Leaving Cert for students who couldn’t sit the exams in June as a result of Covid-19, serious illness or bereavement. This will have a knock-on effect for results day, which is now set for 2nd September rather than the usual August date.  


Do you have to pay to repeat the Leaving Cert?


As we said, repeating the Leaving Certificate for medicine, engineering, law or any other course is free unless your state secondary school doesn’t offer it. If this is the case, each college or school will have their own charges. Research the places you can repeat Leaving Cert online, and find out the relevant information regarding fees. 

For example, if you want to repeat Leaving Cert Cork, take a look at the Bruce College website.There are also grind schools but these are the most expensive option. 💰

Before you make the decision to splash the cash, think about these questions:

  • Do I have time to put the work in? You’re going to be doing a 2-year course in one year
  • Have I double-checked the subject requirement for the course before I drop it? For example, you need English if you want to study medicine
  • What is the financial impact of the college or grind school I choose?
  • Do I know where I went wrong last time: was it something I can fix or change on my own? Or do I need further support?
  • Do I have the support from my family?
  • Are there other places, apart from my first choice, that offer my course with my current points?


Can you repeat the Leaving Cert twice?


You can repeat Leaving Cert as many times as you need. However, you should be aware that in the future the fee policy for repeating the Leaving Cert can change or increase. 👍


Can you repeat the Leaving Cert at any age?


There is no age limit to repeating Leaving Cert. 👍

In 2016 AONTAS, the Irish National Adult Learning Organisation, reported that 1 in 10 calls to their service were from adults enquiring about doing the Leaving Cert for the first time or to complete one subject to gain access to a college course. So, if you’re a mature student, you won’t be alone. 


What is a fail in Leaving Cert?


There is no overall pass or fail regarding the Leaving Cert. It’s more a case of whether you have enough points for the entry requirement of your chosen university. Students sometimes repeat as few as one or two subjects. This is because, although they achieved the required points for their chosen course, they might not have achieved the required grade in a particular subject. For example, if you want to teach Irish, you’d need a good grade in the subject. 

Remember, you can’t carry over points from the first time you took the exam. ❗ That’s why, if you want to increase your overall points, you should take six or seven subjects, which is what the majority of students do. You can even take up completely new subjects if you want. 

Here’s the points/grading system:


Points at Higher

Grades at Higher

Points at Ordinary

Grades at Ordinary










































If this is too much of a headache, just use this CAO points calculator to do the hard work for you. The good news is that 2022 points are expected to be, on average, 60 points higher than in 2019.

Whatever you decide to do, if you choose to repeat Leaving Certificate, it is a big commitment and you stand little chance of improving on your score if you don’t put the work in. 

You’ll need to take on board some tried and tested revision techniques and you may feel more confident by getting a private tutor. It’s probably cheaper than you think, especially in comparison to a grind school. On the other hand, go into another full academic year with the right attitude and it will quite possibly be the best decision you ever made. 😊