Information on the Assessment Changes to Junior Cycle English for the Class of 2017

Assessment changes in Junior Cycle English for the Junior Certificate Class of 2017

The English Department at Coláiste Chraobh Abhann would like to inform parents of some significant changes in the way Third Year students will be assessed in the forthcoming Christmas examinations and the Junior Certificate examinations in 2017.


The Junior Cycle class of 2017 is the first group of students to study the new Junior Cycle English course.  This course incorporates 2 new elements to the assessment of students:

1.    Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs)

2.    Assessment Tasks (ATs)


Other subjects will be assessed in a similar manner as revised subject specifications are introduced to the new Junior Cycle on a phased basis up to 2019.


For a period of five years from when it was first introduced in 2014, the new Junior Cycle will operate in schools alongside the programmes based around the existing Junior Certificate.

1.    Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs)


What are CBAs?

  • 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 in the new Junior Cycle and will be facilitated by the classroom teacher.


When will the CBAs be held?

  • 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
    • Students in Second Year complete a CBA during March/April
    • Students in Third Year complete a CBA during November


What is involved in completing a CBA?

  • This involves students completing assignments under the guidance of their subject teacher.


How are CBAs assessed?

  • The students’ CBAs are assessed by their teachers using a nationally agreed marking system designed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).
  • The CBAs will be reported on in the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) using the following descriptors:
    • Exceptional
    • Above Expectations
    • In Line with Expectations
    • Yet to Meet Expectations

Please click on the following NCCA link and read page 29 for further information on the descriptors:


How are CBAs reported on?

  • The Junior Cycle class of 2017 will receive their Junior Certificate results in September 2017 when they are in Transition Year or Fifth Year.
  • The results of these CBAs will be reported on in the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) which is issued approximately one month after Junior Certificate results.

2.    Assessment Tasks (ATs)

  • Once the CBA is completed students in Third Year will complete a written Assessment Task.
  • The Assessment Task is based on the student’s CBA and will involve the student completing the written Assessment Task in an exam style booklet.
  • This Assessment Task is expected to be completed in early December.
  • The Assessment 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.
  • At the end of Third Year, students will sit the final SEC examination in June.  The Assessment Task is worth 10% of the students’ overall result.  The written exam in June accounts for 90% of the total marks awarded in the subject.


Reporting to Parents

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Department of Education and Skills have advised schools to use the Christmas assessments to report on the results of the students’ CBAs.


What does this mean for English?

  • Coláiste Chraobh Abhann’s Third Year students will not sit an English exam during the Christmas examinations period.  Instead, they will continue to work on their CBAs, the results of which will be reported on in the Christmas report that will issue to parents in January 2017.
  • Students will also complete the Assessment Task in early December.
  • It is essential that parents read p.29 of the NCCA link above in order to fully appreciate the meaning of the result of the students’ CBA.
  • Parents should also note that the grading system for English will change for the Junior Cycle class of 2017.  Instead of A, B, C, D, E, F and NG the following descriptors will now be used:




90 to 100 %

Higher Merit

75 to 89 %


55 to 74 %


40 to 54 %

Partially Achieved 

20 to 39 %

Not Graded

0 to 19 %

  • The above changes are currently only relevant for English.  All other subjects are unaffected for the Junior Cycle class of 2017.
  • There is comprehensive information on the new Junior Cycle available on  Specific information on the English specification may be viewed at  


The English Department and Management at Coláiste Chraobh Abhann would like to thank parents for their continued support and cooperation.  Please do not hesitate to contact your son or daughter’s English teacher if you require further information or clarification on the changes outlined above.

Developed by MIT Education Solutions