Among all* Higher Level Leaving Certificate papers sat in the past six years 5.5% of papers were marked with the elusive A1 grade. The subject which awards the highest rate of Higher Level A1s is Applied Mathematics with 14.4% of students who sat Higher Level Applied Mathematics in the past five years receiving an A1 grade.
This was consistent from 2011 to 2015, where students of higher level Applied Mathematics received the highest proportion of A1s and largely exceeded the overall percentage of Higher Level A1s awarded.
However, in 2016, both chemistry and physics received a higher percentage of A1s, at 11% and 10% respectively, while 9% of students received A1s in Applied Mathematics, the same proportion of students who received A1s in Spanish.
In contrast, only 1% of students who sat Higher Level Art in the past six years have received an A1. This means if you were awarded an A1 in Higher Level Art in the past six years you are in a select group of only 506 students in total, or an average of 84 students a year. Over 47,000 students have sat Higher Level Art in the past six years. This trend has remained consistent over the past six years.
*Where less than 3,500 students took the Higher Level paper in a subject in the last six years, these subjects were excluded from the study. These were Ancient Greek (38), Agricultural Economics (429), Latin (637), Arabic (716), Japanese (1,314), Italian (1,708), Russian (1,724), Physic & Chemistry (2,255) and Classical studies (3,281).