The proportion of students sitting Higher Level papers in the Junior Certificate exam continues to rise.

This year's exam data shows a growing percentage of students sitting Higher Level papers in most of the main subjects.

Almost 60,000 students are receiving their results at schools throughout the country.

55% of junior cycle candidates sat the Higher Level maths paper, compared to 52% two years ago while 56% sat Higher Level Irish, which was also up 3% on 2013.

In subjects like English, History, Geography, Business Studies and others the figures are similar, with a small but steady upward trend.

Overall the number of students who sat this year's Junior Certificate exam is slightly down on last year.

As students receive their results today teachers are preparing to vote on proposed reform of junior cycle education.

Ballot papers are being posted out today and the results will be announced in two weeks' time.

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English congratulated the students on receiving their results.

He welcomed the increase in the numbers sitting Higher Level maths and science papers.

"These are welcome developments in view of the importance of the STEM subjects.

"I look forward to the report form the Chief Examiner on Junior Certificate Mathematics for 2015 which will reflect the impact of the full implementation of the revised syllabus, commonly known as "Project Maths".