The Primary Cert

Exam for National School Pupils

Bernadette Forde

Primary Cert
Photo: B. Forde

Many of the boys and girls in 6th class in National School today would not understand if you explained to them that they would have to pass an exam before they left primary school or they could not proceed to secondary school.

I was in 6th class in the late 1960s and at that time, you had to sit a State exam called the Primary Cert which involved tests in Irish, English and Maths and achieve a certain standard before you could enter secondary school.

This was taken very seriously by both students and teachers.  If you were successful you were issued with your primary certificate by the State and off you went to secondary school. Some were not so lucky and had to remain in 6th class for another year.

See my primary certificate attached to this article. (There was a more official version I remember, which was very decorative but I cannot find it).

This page was added on 28/06/2020.

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