5 things you should know before you fill in your CAO form banner

5 things you should know before you fill in your CAO form

With mocks coming up, we know you’ve a lot on your plate but with the February 1st deadline looming, the most important thing you’ll do this month is fill out your CAO application form. To make things easier we’ve put together 5 things you should know before submitting your application.


1. Choose courses not colleges

Many students get so fixed on going to a particular college that they only pick courses in that college. As a result, every year thousands of students drop out of courses that they have no interest in. Do your research now and pick courses that you are genuinely interested in.


2. Don’t concentrate solely on points

Remember points go up as well as down and it happens that student’s results can be vastly different to what they expected. Again choose based on preference, not points. Forget the idea that you should do a high points course just because you got high points. Do a course you are genuinely interested in regardless of points. You’ll be happier in the long run and you’ll do better at something you’re interested in.


3. Put your courses in order of genuine preference

Fill in the course you most want as No. 1, and 2nd preference as No. 2 and so on to choice No. 10. Make sure you have researched every  course on your list. Remember it does happen that students could be offered their 9th choice on the list. Also, don’t forget to fill in another ten level 6/7 courses.


4. Research, research research

Do you know what you’ll be studying in each of the courses you select? Can you fulfil the basic entry requirements for every course you put down?  if you’re unsure check out the college’s website, cao.ie or qualifax.ie.


5. Jobs

As you may have noticed Ireland’s economy isn’t quite what it once was. All the more reason why you should research the job prospects for people completing your course of choice. Imagine yourself finishing your course in three or four years, do you think there is a reasonable chance of you gaining employment?

here’s a few details worth remembering for your CAO application:

- Deadline for submitting application is 5.15pm Feb 1st.

- an online application costs €25 before January 20th, €40 thereafter.

- Courses are awarded in order of preference provided you’ve the points necessary.

- Make sure you have the correct course code and course reference.

- In the 2nd round offers, you may be offered a course of a higher preference.

We know it’s hard to have decisions like this thrown at you at a time when study is leaving you with little else to think about. Our advice is to take some time out, talk to people you trust and really make an effort at getting the CAO application right so that once the offers come out you won’t be left disappointed!  Good Luck!