The CAO Change of Mind facility is open from early May, right through to July 1st (17.15) It is free, and like the first application from November through to January, you can change your mind as many times as you like. CAO advises you to use the online Change of Mind system as it is deemed much safer and like the original application back in February you cannot make a mistake as the system won’t allow it. However, it cannot read student’s minds so check the institution, course name, and course code and be aware if there are different campuses.

If you are keeping your original selection, double check the entry requirements of the particular institutions for which you have applied, and reacquaint yourself with any particular subject or grade requirement for your course. You need to check, double and then triple check to make sure you have the right subjects and the right level ( H or 0) for the particular courses.

Each year I see disappointed students who believe they have received the right amount of points for their chosen course, only to find out they didn’t have the specific subject required or the right level of individual subjects for that course. It is too late for ‘OOPS‘! If you log on to CAO and follow the link ‘About Change of Mind’, this will give you all the information you need to make a successful change of mind application.

Students who are doing Ordinary Level Maths but who also wish to apply for the special Maths exam available at some colleges after the results have come out in August ( for level 8 Engineering courses) MUST HAVE APPLIED for their course via CAO before July 1st. NUI Galway will be running a special tutorial session in the week prior to the Maths special exam and details will be available from the college website.

If you are taking advantage of the Change of Mind facility, be very careful of how you place your new course choices. Remember it is a preference system – not a system of descending points! If you are selecting new courses, each of these should be researched in as much detail are your original application.

Do not put down anything you would not accept. Remember ‘Restricted Courses’ cannot be added to this new selection but, if you have them on your original application you can change their order, or take them off entirely. If you do use the Change of Mind facility you will receive a revised ‘Statement of Course Choices’ after June 1st. If it does not arrive by 7th July, you must contact the CAO immediately, and provide proof of the submission of the Change of Mind.


There are over 50,000 applicants to the CAO each year. It is my strong advice that you include at least one Level 6/7 course in your CAO application. Any student who is studying only 6 subjects should think particularly hard about this matter. If you fail one subject you will be out of contention for ALL Level 8 courses. Level 6/7 courses only require passes in FIVE subjects so it is a really good safety valve. Think of it as your Plan C! Remember that progression is possible from Level 6 to Level 7 to Level 8. However, it is not automatic – you need to prove yourself in your first course.

Check the current prospectuses, in book form or online, for accurate and up to date information. I have multiple copies still available at the Careers Office. Remember also the blue information folders that can be borrowed are in the Study Hall. They cover a range of career and course options in the following areas, Arts: Art and Design, Music, Media Studies; Building and Construction; Computing and Information Technology; Education; Engineering ( all types); Food Studies ( including Health and Safety, Environmental Health work, Dietetics); Law, Health Studies (including other paramedical professions – Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Optometry, Speech, and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Biomedical Science and Biomedical Engineering); Medicine, Dentistry and Vet Medicine; Nursing, Psychology, Science ( all types), Sport and Social Care. The research is up to you.