Half of Leaving Certificate students in 2021 received their first preference college place while a further 20 per cent got their second choice.
The research from iReach found 42 per cent of students attained over 500 points in this year's Leaving Cert when students for the first time had the choice of whether they wished to sit written exams for receive calculated grades from their teachers.
Almost half of students (45 per cent) felt the choice between calculated grades and traditional exams was fairer for all students, while 48 per cent agreed that the Department of Education had done a better job with this year's exams than in 2020.
Just over two fifths of students said the hybrid exam system should become the norm.
The research also found that 25 per cent of male students surveyed did not apply to the CAO for a college place, compared to 0 per cent of female students.
The inflated results caused by calculated grades and the increasing number of students wishing to go on to third level education pushed the points requirements of many popular college course to record highs this year, however, the first and second rounds of CAO offers saw a high portion of students offered places in one of their top-preference courses.