Nearly 90% of this year's Leaving Certificate candidates are opting to sit exams and receive accredited grades, figures published by the State Examinations Commission show.  

Over 60,000 students confirmed their choices through the online portal which went live in March. 

The data has been released as all second level pupils return to school today. 

Close to 53,000 Leaving Cert candidates have indicated their intentions to opt for exams and accredited grades in one or more subjects, a figure of 88%.

Also over 2,000 Leaving Certificate Applied candidates have selected both options, representing 65% of that cohort. 

Students will automatically receive the higher grade awarded in each subject. 

The proportion of candidates choosing to sit the exams varies between subjects from 60% in Irish to 96% in Applied Maths. 

Those opting for accredited grades only in their selected subjects ranges from 38% in Irish to 4% in Applied Maths 

In English and Mathematics, 81% and 84% respectively have chosen to sit the exams. 

The Candidate Self Service Portal will reopen around the end of April to allow candidates to make their final selections.