20 Easiest and Hardest Leaving Cert Subjects for 2023

What are the easiest Leaving Cert subjects? Which Leaving Cert subjects are the easiest to get an H1? 

In the past few years, subjects like applied maths and Russian had the highest numbers of students getting an H1 with average points ranging from 85 to even 94! And of course, there is more to the list. 

But should you be opting for the easiest subjects? 

Choosing your leaving cert subjects sure is a big deal. A lot of things depend on your subject choice including your college course and your career. So whether or not you should be relying on the easy subjects depends on a few things.

In this article, we’ll talk about the easiest subjects and the hardest ones and most importantly, how you should be choosing your Leaving Cert subjects.

Before we get to the easiest subjects, let’s take a look at the subjects that got the most H1s in leaving cert in the last three years. 

Note that only the subjects that had more than 400 candidates were considered in this list. 

Leaving Cert Subjects that Got the Most H1s in 2022

Leaving Cert Subjects That Got the Most H1s in 2021

Leaving Cert Subjects That Got the Most H1s in 2020

As you can see, in all three years, Russian and applied maths have had the most H1s. Even though in 2020 there were only 367 candidates for Russian, the number is increasing every year.

 You might also want to check out the average points scored in all the leaving cert subjects through out the past years. This will give you a better perception of the difficulty of the subjects.

11 Easiest Leaving Cert Subjects

The subjects listed here have not been ranked based on how easy or difficult they are. In fact, that won’t be the right thing to do, as the percentage of students getting honours or a higher grade keeps changing every year. But there are some subjects in which students tend to do good every year. They are: 

1. Applied Maths

If you’re considering applying for an engineering course in college, you must choose applied maths as one of your subjects. Besides being one of the most chosen subjects, applied maths is also one of the easiest to score an H1. 

In 2021, around 40% of the students got an H1 in applied maths with an average point of 84%. 

But, should you be taking that for granted? Even though it might seem like an easy subject to ace, without proper guidance, you might actually fall among those who got below an H6. 

With Breakthrough Maths, getting an H1 in maths can actually be your cup of tea! Here, we provide personalised maths grinds with 24/7 support from 600-point scoring tutors. Book a free trial and see for yourself!

2. Italian

In 2022, around 38% of the students got an H1 in Italian. Even though it is one of the least chosen subjects, it’s actually one of the easiest to get an H1. 

But if you have no intentions to take a third language or a college course doesn’t require one, you shouldn’t be really going for it.  

3. Russian

As per stats, Russian has by far the highest grade points with 71% of students getting an H1 in 2021. The rate remained nearly as high even in 2022 with around 66% of the students getting an H1. 

Russian is not among the most chosen subjects but it sure is an easy one to get above 90 points!

4. Music

Music is considered one of the easiest and most relaxing leaving cert subjects. It is even easier than junior cert music. In 2022, music had almost more than a 90% honours rate. In 2021, the average points acquired in music was 83

Music is one of the more engaging subjects and the students really enjoy it. This is also one of the reasons why students achieve better grades in it. So, if you’re someone who likes music and would like to pursue a career in it, you should definitely go for it. 

5. Irish

Besides being a compulsory subject in most programmes, Irish is also one of the easiest subjects to ace. With an average point of 75% last year, Irish has a significantly high rate of honours.

With a bit of hard work and sincerity, Irish is not a tough subject to get an honour!

6. Technology

Technology is a relatively new subject in the leaving cert curriculum. It does require a bit of work but it is not difficult at all. Technology is rather one of the most interesting leaving cert subjects!

In 2022, around 16% of the total candidates got an H1 in Technology and around 66% achieved a grade between H1 to H3. In 2021, the average points acquired in technology was around 76. 

If you do a bit of hard work on the projects, you can actually get high points and eventually a good grade in this subject.

7. Art

Art needs a lot of study, effort and creativity. If you have decent drawing skills, you might actually be able to get good grades in this subject. 

In 2022, around 61% of the students got a grade between H1 to H3 in art. And in 2021, the average point was 75. Many students tend to choose art to get easy numbers but if you don’t feel very confident about your drawing skills, you might not be able to do any good in this subject. 

So, unless you’re interested in joining an art college, or if you’re not interested in art, choosing this subject might not be a very good decision fo you.

8. Design and Communication Graphics

In 2022, around 20% of the students scored 100 points that is an H1 in design and communication graphics. This subject deals with analysis, comprehension and problem-solving. So, it might be a good subject choice for anyone with great critical thinking and problem-solving abilities along with creativity. 

The average points acquired in this subject in 2021 was around 79. So, with some effort, you can actually ace this subject.

9. Spanish

Spanish is one of the easiest subjects in leaving cert. Easy in the sense that it can be managed fairly well compared to many other subjects. In 2022, around 22% of the students got H1 in Spanish and 60% of the students scored between H1 to H3

If you’re interested in learning new languages and you need to learn a third language for your desired college course, you can actually go for Spanish. Also, Spanish is the world’s second most spoken language. So, learning Spanish obviously has some perks!

10. Accounting

Accounting is one of the most ‘uncomplicated’ subjects of leaving cert. You can easily ace your way to getting an H1 with constant practice. 

According to the stats, in 2021 the average point in accounting was around 80 and in 2022, around 20% got an H1 in this subject. Amongst the business subjects, accounting has the highest rate of honours. If you’re good at maths, accounting is going to be very easy for you to get a good grade.

11. Biology

The leaving cert biology covers a wide range of topics. If you liked biology in junior certs, you might enjoy it in leaving cert too. There will be a lot of new terms to catch up on but if you’re interested in medical science, you should definitely choose biology as one of your leaving cert subjects. 

Considering the previous years’ results, biology does have a decent honours rate. In 2022, around 18% of the students got an H1 in biology. In 2021, the number was nearly the same and the average point was 73. 

9 Hardest Leaving Cert Subjects

1. History

History is a moderately difficult and very time-consuming subject. If we look at the stats, in 2022, around 17% of the candidates got an H1 in history which is relatively low considering the high percentage of honours achieved that year.

Even though history is a bit difficult, it doesn’t mean that you cannot do well in this subject. Good English writing skills and an interest in doing research can help you get a good grade in history.  

2. Higher Maths

Higher maths is one of the most difficult leaving cert subjects. In 2020, only 8% of the candidates got an H1 in higher-level maths. In 2021 the number was 15% and in 2022 it increased to around 18%. 

Nonetheless, higher-level maths has one of the highest numbers of candidates choosing the subject. Students that receive a grade between H1 to H6 in higher level maths get additional 25 points. And those who do, have a relatively higher percentage of getting accepted for a college course, according to the CAO.

Leaving cert higher maths is challenging but if you manage to do well, you can end up getting overall good grades and even get your desired college course. Despite all the scares, it’s very much possible. 

At Breakthrough Maths, the grinds are designed in a way that the students can get their desired grades in maths. Our 600-point scoring tutors make sure to get the most out of the students and provide them with 24/7 grind support, notes, personalised classes and more! You might want to take a look at our online classes for leaving cert maths and book a free trial now!

3. Physics

Leaving cert physics can really get on your nerve if you don’t understand the concepts very well. But if you do, you can easily get a good grade in this subject.

In 2022, around 60% of the candidate got a grade between H1 to H6 with 21% securing an H1. The stats are fairly decent but if you’re not confident about your math skills and if you don’t understand the topics well, it can actually be a tough subject to handle.

4. Chemistry

Like physics, chemistry also depends on your understanding of the concepts. A good number of students choose chemistry as one of their leaving cert subjects and in 2022, around 23% of them got an H1. But it is also one of those subjects with a higher percentage of getting a D or lower.

If you wish to go for Pharmacy, Agricultural Science, Medicine, Engineering, or Biotechnology as your career path, you should consider choosing chemistry. 

5. Geography

Being one of the most chosen subjects, geography is also one of the most difficult.. In 2021 only 10.2% of the candidate got an H1 in geography and in 2022, the percentage wasn’t any better with only 10.5% getting an H1. 

Choosing geography might cause you some trouble managing time in the exam hall which makes it one of the most difficult subjects to get a good grade in. But if you’re interested in geography, be sure to check out the previous years’ questions and practise as much as you can. 

6. Agricultural science

While agricultural science has a high choosing rate, it’s more of a challenging subject with one of the lowest rates of honours. In 2022, only 5.8% of 6218 candidates got an H1 in agricultural science. In 2021, the rate was around 11% and the average score was 72.

As you can guess, agricultural science sure is a hard one to get an H1. So, if you’re interested in the subject, you must work hard enough to get a good grade. 

7. Classical Studies

The leaving cert classical studies is a long course and it does require a lot of work. You should have the ability to do research along with good writing skills. Classical studies have a low honours rate as well. In 2022, around 12% of the candidates were able to achieve an H1 in it.

Although in 2021 the number was higher with 24% of the candidates getting an H1 and the average point was 80.

8. Business

Business is a rather popular subject amongst the leaving cert students. But it is also one of the toughest. In 2022, around 16% of the 16328 candidates got an H1 in Business. In 2021, the rate was around 13% and the average point was 73.

According to Curriculum Online, studying business can enhance a student’s critical thinking, creative and organisational skills along with literacy and numeracy skills. So, if you’re interested in studying business or choosing a related career path, you should definitely go for it. 

Business is a short course. So, despite the low rate of honours if studied accordingly, you can get good grades on the exam!

9. French

French is another in-demand yet difficult leaving cert subject. Getting an H1 in French is harder than most other languages in the leaving cert. In 2021, around 10.8% of the candidates got an H1 and in 2022 the number rose to 14.1%.

Learning a foreign language can be difficult but with proper ways of learning, you can still manage to get better grades in French. 

Should You Pick a Subject Because It’s Easy?

This is one of the most important things to consider while choosing your leaving cert subjects. Leaving cert is an important phase for most students and a lot of things including your college courses or career path depends on it to a good extent. This is why it won’t be a wise decision to choose a subject based on how easy or hard it is.

There are no easy subjects in the leaving cert. Each and every one of them will require hard work and perseverance. Your choice of subject will also depend on your desired college courses and their requirements. 

So, how should you pick your leaving cert subjects? 

Guide to Choosing the Right Leaving Cert Subjects

  • According to the Curriculum Online, students get to choose 6 to 8 subjects from the list of approved subjects. The third level qualification (levels 6 to 10) have minimum subject requirements which may include English, Irish and Maths. You must check the minimum requirements before choosing your subjects.
  • While choosing subjects, you might also consider if there is something specific that you want to do after school. For instance, if you want to go for pharmacy or engineering, you should choose science subjects according to the requirement of the course.
  • You should also check the previous years’ exam papers while choosing subjects. In that way, you can decide whether or not you’d be interested in the subject. 
  • To keep a few options open, you can keep variety in your subject choice. For example, you can choose a language, a science, a business subject and even an arts subject
  • Do not take decisions upon these factors: if it’s an easy subject to get an H1, if all your friends are choosing the subject, or if you like the teacher because teachers can get transferred. 

Finally, do consult with your parents and teachers when choosing your leaving cert subjects. You might also be a bit confused about which subjects you might be interested in. A good thing to do in this regard is to explore and learn about the subjects to find out your field of interest. 


The leaving cert subject choice is not to be taken lightly. So, you should take your time and choose your subjects wisely. 

If you’re not sure about your interests, you can be on the safe side and choose a combination of subjects from different sectors e.g., science, business or arts. You might also consider keeping a third language in your choice of subjects which will be really helpful in case your desired college has a requirement for it.  

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