Junior Cert Religion aims to ensure that students are exposed to a broad range of religious traditions and to the non-religious interpretation of life.
It is a popular subject, being compulsory in many schools with over 24,000 candidates sitting the paper in 2008, comprising approximately 40% of all the students who sit the Junior Certificate in a given year. Religious education is available at both Higher and Ordinary levels, with most (around 75%) of students opting for the Higher Level paper.
Students learn about many of the world’s religions including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and also non-religious traditions such as humanism and atheism.
The Junior Cert Religion course is divided into two parts:
Part 1, of which students study two sections.
● Section A: Communities of Faith
● Section B: Foundations of Religion – Christianity
● Section C : Foundations of Religion – Major World Religions
Part 2, of which students study all sections
● Section D: The Question of Faith
● Section C: The Celebration of Faith
● The Moral Challenge
Students prepare a Journal in advance of the written exam, which accounts for 20% of their overall mark. This journal is based on titles which are made available by the State Examinations Commission each year.
The remaining 80% of the marks are based on a two hour written exam. The exam includes both long and short questions, with students completing one essay question. There is a wide variety of choice in the exam and students can play to their individual strengths and favourite areas.