Leaving Cert students are being reminded it isn't their only way to access higher education.
Education Minister Richard Bruton has been wishing the best of luck to more than 120-thousand pupils who begin state exams today.
Both the Leaving and Junior Certificates start with their English papers today.
This year has also seen a big rise in the numbers taking honours maths to avail of bonus CAO points.
Minister Richard Bruton says "There are many path ways - even today people can go into further education and apprenticeships and they can go back up the ladder and go on into higher education through alternative entry routes".