The CAO opened for students in early November. Registration is relatively simple and students are not required to enter any courses of choice before February 1st for some and July 1st for the majority. Students who are applying for courses which require some form of assessment, as well as the Leaving Cert (such as Medicine or Art courses), should include such courses before February 1st. The CAO system is very student centered and should hold no fear whatsoever for anyone.
The CAO will issue all registered students with an A4 envelope including a number of different information sheets:
- A ‘Statement of Application Record’ which includes all your relevant information such as, name, telephone number, CAO application number, course choices ( codes only) and the all important examination programme which details:
* Your exam number
* Subjects and results from a previous year if you are a repeat student and examination number of that year.
* Notification of your exemption from Irish. and or a third language.
- A Change of Mind Form
- Important changes detailing new courses cancelled courses and course name changes. Information on the new courses can be assessed directly from the institution’s websites.
- A very important yellow sheet that headlines ‘IF YOU IGNORE THIS NOTICE YOU COULD LOSE A PLACE’ (students DO lose places when they do not follow instructions outlined!!) SO READ CAREFULLY.
IT IS VITAL THAT YOU STUDY THE INFORMATION ON THIS FORM CAREFULLY
Applicants should not assume that everything on the application record is correct. I strongly advise you to check that the courses you think you applied for are, in fact, the ones that are recorded. Ask someone to check course codes and read out the institution and the course name back to you. I recall one student who ended up in a course at GMIT Castlebar campus when she really had intended to apply for the same course at the Dublin Road campus, Galway city!
Students who have exemptions from Irish should see that notification on the Statement of Application Record, likewise, anyone who is exempt from the third language requirement will see this exemption as well. It is vital that these exemptions are properly noted otherwise the third level institutions will think you never attempted Irish or a third language and you will not receive an offer. I contacted all students who were eligible for such exemptions in February and will follow up these students again now in May.
CAO is now giving you the opportunity to check that all the information they have received from you in correct and accurate. The letter is sent to YOU, not the school. So check it. If there is a problem with any part of your application, and you haven’t let them know the third level institutions are under no obligation to offer you a place in a course. By the time the problem is rectified the course may already be full. Be aware!