The President, Mary McAleese, has congratulated all students who received their Junior Certificate examination results today.

Mrs McAleese said that today represents a significant milestone in the students' formal education and she hopes it will encourage them to keep striving to develop their fullest potential.

More than 57,000 students received their results at schools throughout the country.

The State Examinations Commission has analysed this year's results and found no significant general disparity with those of recent years.

In comments on the different subjects however, they did draw attention to problems with geography, saying there is a downward trend in results at Higher Level.

The commission says many students are opting for the Higher paper when the Ordinary Level paper would suit them better.

The commission also comments on the impact of the revised science syllabus, examined this year for the second time.

More Junior Certificate students are now opting for the Higher Level paper, but a more challenging examination means fewer are achieving an A grade.