Bonus Points for Maths

In 2012, the universities introduced an initiative to support the implementation of the Project Maths curriculum in Irish schools, and specifically to encourage more school pupils to sit Higher Level Mathematics in the Leaving Certificate.

The scheme, which is still in place, involves a bonus of 25 points for students who receive a H6 grade or above in Higher Level Mathematics. While the bonus still rewards high attainers, it is particularly attractive to those students who are capable of strong results at Ordinary Level Maths, but who are concerned about the extra demands of the Higher Level course. Since the introduction of the scheme, the number of students taking Higher Level Mathematics has more than doubled.

Implementation of Bonus Points for Higher Level Mathematics

Points awarded:

A bonus of 25 points will be allocated to students who achieve a H6 grade or above in Higher Level (HL) Mathematics. This means that the maximum cumulative Leaving Certificate (LC) points total is now 625 (previous maximum points of 600 plus bonus points).

As is normal practice in the LC, the six highest subject points scores are counted to achieve a cumulative points total. The bonus points will only be counted in cases where a H6 grade or above in HL Mathematics (including bonus points) is scored as one of the candidate’s six best subjects for points purposes. Consequently, if it is not among these six subjects, the bonus points will not be included in the total points score.


The maximum possible adjusted points score for applicants to Medicine is 565 (for all scores over 550, each 5 point band equals 1 extra point.) The minimum score of 480 LC points will still apply but can include the bonus points if a H6 grade or above in HL Mathematics is among the candidate’s best six subjects. For more information on medical entry, please click here.

EU examinations other than Irish Leaving Certificate:

All EU students applying for admission to an Irish university with a clear equivalent to a H6 grade or above in HL Mathematics as one of their EU school leaving exam subjects will be awarded bonus points. A scoring system for GCE/GCSE examinations is available on the CAO website, as are agreed entry requirements criteria for EU/EFTA applicants (including the International Baccalaureate and European Baccalaureate examinations) which is revised annually.

The table below illustrates the impact of the bonus points.

% Range               LC Grade              Points for HL Maths, including 25 bonus points   Points for HL subjects, excluding Maths with 25 bonus points        Points for Ordinary Level subjects

90 – 100                H1/O1   125         100         56

80 < 90                  H2/O2   113         88           46

70 < 80                  H3/O3   102         77           37

60 < 70                  H4/O4   91           66           28

50 < 60                  H5/O5   81           56           20

40 < 50                  H6/O6   71           46           12

30 < 40                  H7/O7   N/A        37           0

0 < 30                    H8/O8   N/A        0              0