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CAO Tips & Advice 2016

6 min

With the CAO application deadline looming it's time to start thinking what you're going to put on your application. Here are a few tips to help you on your way ...

CAO Application Advice

 

1) Check the basic entry requirements

For the courses you are interested in, some courses will require a certain grade in maths or a language in addition to the points requirement. Practical design or art courses are also likely to ask for portfolios and you may be asked to attend an interview.

You can find all this information in the college’s prospectus or online on the CAO and Qualifax websites.

2) Apply Online

You’re less likely to make a mistake with an online application as course codes are automatically identified and you can’t progress any further until the correct code is added. Applying online is also cheaper.

3) Get Someone To Check Your Application Before You Submit

It’s always really useful to get a second pair of eyes to look over your application to ensure that everything is completed correctly.

4) Start the Application Process Early … Don’t Leave It Until The Last Minute!

Even with the online application process, there’s a chance that your computer could crash so put aside some time well in advance of the online deadline date on Monday 1st February 2016.

With everything else that is going on at this busy time as you prepare for mock examinations, it is easy to get stressed out and make mistakes. Dedicate an hour to sit down somewhere quietly so you can fully concentrate on your application and getting it right.

5) Complete All 20 Course Choices

You have the opportunity to select 10 level 8 courses (which are honours degree courses) and 10 level 6 and 7 choices (which are the ordinary degree or higher certificate courses).

Make the most of this option as it gives you real flexibility when it actually comes to making your final decision in the summer.

If you’re unsure what the difference is between level 6, 7 and 8 courses, take a look at the National Framework of Qualifications website that gives a clear breakdown of all the levels.

6) Dream Big And Aim For The Very Best That You Can Do!

It is very important that you put what you really want to do first and not what course you think you’ll get the points for. So put your course choices in order of your preferences. The order in which you fill in your choices is THE MOST IMPORTANT step in the process.  

7) Include a few courses with lower points requirements

so you have a few fall-back options if for whatever reason your leaving cert exams don’t go as well as you’d hoped.

8) Watch the Videos

Videos on the CAO website for more information about the application process and what to expect in the next 9 months.

9) Keep a record of your application information

as well as all correspondence with the CAO.

10) And don’t forget …

Don’t forget the Change of Mind facility that’s open from Thursday 5 May until Friday 1 July 2016. It means you can change your CAO choices as many times as you want.

It’s really important to bear this in mind as many students re-think their career ambitions and course choices after receiving their mock exam results.

- CAO Available Places Facility

If you don’t do as well as you hoped in your final Leaving Certificate exams, have had a change of heart in terms of your course choices, or have made an error on your CAO application, don’t worry because not all is lost! The CAO’s Available Places facility, opening from the mid July, publishes the course places that are still available.

Timetable of Events

CAO Timeline of events 2016

Are you applying through the CAO?

Download our 2018 CAO Toolkit for everything you need to know about applying to the CAO!