Updated: 31/05/12 : 07:32:19
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Junior Cert up while Leaving Cert numbers fall

This year sees a drop in the number of candidates sitting the Leaving Certificate.

It is being put down to a low birth rate back in 1994, when many of the students were born.

Just under 53,800 people will begin their final school exams next week - that is down from around 55,000 last year.

However, the good news is that there will be fewer people fighting it out for third-level places in the Autumn.

Meanwhile, the number of Junior Cert candidates is up on last year's level - over 59,500 are listed for next week, compared to 57,700 in 2011.