The State examinations currently operate within the tightest of timeframes and to maximum capacity. For the 2012 examinations the State Examinations Commission processed 1.9 million individual component results leading to 980,000 subject grades which were awarded to 115,000 candidates. In 2012 the Junior Certificate results were issued on Wednesday 12th September some four weeks after the Leaving Certificate results on Wednesday 15th August.
Of necessity, priority is given to processing the examination results in the higher stakes Leaving Certificate in order to provide the earliest possible issue of results for the benefit of candidates sitting their terminal school leaving examinations and to facilitate offers of college places through the college entry process conducted by the Central Applications Office and the college admissions offices.
The current examinations timetable and results processing schedule maximises the time available to collect and process the written examination scripts and other component results, and to then resolve the problems which arise with regard to individual results. While the examinations operate to extremely tight timeframes the SEC places huge emphasis on operational efficiency, security, and quality at every stage of the operation. Even when the Framework in Junior Cycle is introduced from September 2014 on a phased basis, it is expected that students will receive their School Certificate in the Autumn after the completion of year 3. This new reporting system will commence in Autumn 2017.