More than 60,000 students received their Junior Certificate results at schools and centres throughout the country today.

Numbers opting for Higher Level Maths have risen again this year, with 54% of all candidates now choosing that paper, up from 52%.

A total of 60,327 candidates sat the Junior Cert last June, including almost 900 adults returning to education.

This year's results are broadly in line with previous years, with just some fluctuations.

There were slightly more As awarded in Higher Level Science and fewer As awarded at both Higher and Ordinary Level Maths.

The fall in the percentage of candidates getting As in these Maths papers is the result of more students opting for the Higher Level.

This increase is probably due to a combination of factors, including a new Maths syllabus.

Students are also looking ahead to the Leaving Certificate cycle and hoping to benefit from bonus CAO points for the subject at Higher Level in the years ahead.

Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan has congratulated students on their results but urged them to celebrate responsibly tonight.

She said: "We want students to take Higher Level Maths wherever they feel that that is appropriate for them.

"But generally speaking, I think the results have been very good this year and I think they reflect very much on students who have put the effort in and who now get the positive results today.

"You deserve now to celebrate this evening, but please celebrate responsibly.

"You've just come from a very important phase in your life and you'll now be going on to your Leaving Cert phase. But for today it's a day of celebration and congratulations."