CAO application tips

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The February 1 closing date for CAO applications is fast approaching, but now is not the time to panic or make rash decisions. To help you, we’ve put together a brief list of things to bear in mind when making your choices.

You can amend choices online for free until January 31
Students who apply before January 20 will get a €25 discount on their application fee. Once you’ve applied and gotten the cheaper rate, you can then go online and change your courses online for free until January 31.

Research your options
Examine the areas of study that you’re interested in and feel you’re good at – these will likely be the subject areas in which you’ll have the most success at college; and if you do well at them there, you’ll already have started out on a solid career path. So speak to teachers, attend college open days (if you can), research the websites of colleges you’d like to attend, and try speak with any of your friends’ older siblings who have been, or are currently, college students.

Preferences rather than points
It is essential that you fill out the form in terms of preference. There are twenty spaces provided for ten Level 8 choices and 10 Level 6 and 7 choices. Try to fill in every space, but put what you really want to do first. Don’t just try guess what the points will be in August. Filling out the CAO form is your chance to have a say about your future.

Life beyond the deadline
Remember, the initial CAO deadline of February 1 is just that: an initial deadline. There will be others in the event that you have a change of heart and decide you’d rather opt for another course. Everyone will have the opportunity to revise their choices between May 1 and July 1.


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