CAO 2016: Changing Your Mind

The CAO Change of Mind deadline is Friday, July 1st, at 5:15pm. If you are planning to reassess your choices and/or order of preferences, here is a checklist to help clarify things:

Tip 1: Get the order right
Choose courses in your genuine order of preference, based on your own career aspirations Jot the answers to the following questions down; What area would you like to work in? Do you like working with people, outdoors/indoors? What is your favourite Leaving Cert subject? What are your strengths and areas for improvement?

Tip 2: Don’t guess what points you will get
Place your courses in order of preference on the form. Picture the CAO form as your wish list. Never list your choices in points order. Points levels change from year to year due to supply and demand for places. The points levels for the coming academic year cannot be predicted and past points levels are given as a general guide only. Bear in mind that a course’s points level is not necessarily an accurate reflection of its quality.

Tip 3: Do your Research
It is vital that you understand the course content in your selected course. Examine the subjects/modules you’ll actually be studying. Too often, students select a course which looks appealing on paper – only to find the course material is very different to what they had originally imagined.

Tip 4: Important Changes
Check out the ‘Important Changes to CAO handbook’ section on cao.ie. This will feature new courses, courses cancelled and any other changes that have been made.

Tip 5: Check the Entry Requirements
Make sure you reach all the entry requirements and have taken the required subjects at the appropriate level.

Tip 6: Talk it over
Consult with the key adults in your life – your parents/guardians or guidance counsellor. If school has finished, it is likely that your career guidance teacher will be happy to meet you or to discuss your choices over the phone.

Tip 7: Double check your work
Ensure everything you put down on your form correct – and that there are no mistakes. Remember, you can change your CAO form as many times as needed but only up until 1st July at 17.15. After this date, no more changes can be made.

Tip 8: Keep a record
Keep a record of your application information as well as all correspondence with the CAO.

Tip 9: See for yourself
Take a campus tour of the college you are interested in. Speak with college staff. Contact the departments/schools that deliver the courses you are interested in. Did you know that IT Sligo offers free campus tours daily (Mon-Fri). For more info, email hastings.hollie@nullitsligo.ie or call 0719305855.

Finally…
If you complete a Change of Mind, you’ll receive a revised statement of course choices by July 7th at the latest. If it doesn’t arrive, contact the CAO immediately and provide proof of the submission of the Change of Mind. If you wait until August, it will be too late for the CAO to address any errors or omissions.

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