CAO: Our Top Five Tips on Changing Your Mind

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Are you having doubts when it comes to your CAO selections? Have you had a change of heart since the last deadline? Then not to worry. You can still avail of the ‘Change of Mind’ facility any time before the 1st July at 17:15. When it comes to changing your mind, we’ve compiled our top five tips so you can rest easy knowing that you’ve made the right choice for you.

Changing Your Mind: What to Consider

1. Stick to What You Want

Always, always, always put the course that you really want to do at the top of each list, and then work down the list in order of your own personal preferences. DO NOT rank courses in order of last year’s points, according to what you think your points tally will be, or according to any other consideration. The reason there are ten spaces is that you can afford to aim high, with plenty of space to list other ‘insurance’ courses, should you not get the required points for your first choice.

2. Visit the Change of Mind Clinics

Most colleges and training providers are presently running ‘Change of Mind’ clinics over the next few days. Make sure you go to as many as possible. On paper, a course might be completely different to what you’re expecting. If you sign up to a music course, you could be covering maths, if you are doing media, you could have modules in Law or Computer Technology. Now is the time to fully get a handle on what you’ve applied for. The last thing you want to do is find yourself on a course that’s not for you and having to drop out.

3. The CAO Form: Getting it right

Make sure you fill the form out correctly. It sounds simple, but it’s very easy to make mistakes when you are stressed or put something wrong in because you’re feeling that pressure. We’ve compiled a detailed list with information here that you might find useful. Most importantly, know yourself. If you are the type who gets anxious, don’t be afraid to get help – a second pair of eyes can always spot mistakes a lot quicker.

4. Be Punctual

Yes, we know this is scary, but now is not the time to procrastinate. Don’t leave this form until the very last minute. These systems have a habit of crashing when all of the Irish students in the country are using them at once. Don’t take that chance. Be prompt, and set an earlier deadline for yourself. The last thing you should be doing is filling out that form at 17:13 and hoping for the best.

5. Remember – It’s not the End of the world

The Leaving Certificate can feel at times like your life and entire future is hanging in the balance. Those few surprise questions you weren’t prepared for could be the difference between you achieving your life goals or being stuck forever in a career you hate. Life has a habit of not being straightforward. For instance, something you think you’ve always wanted, might not be as fulfilling as you’ve thought. There’s always another path if you don’t get the points you need. And you’ll be surprised how much your plans and life goals will change in the coming years. Be kinds and patient with yourself.


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