The online CAO application system is open until 1st February 2020 which is the closing date for applications. There is of course the chance to amend your choices right up until July 1st. Choosing a course will be one of the most important decisions you ever make. To make things a little easier we’ve put together these 5 things every 6th year should know before submitting their application.
If you'd rather listen to the tips than read them, check out our podcast on the topic:
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. You should also check out any open days or information evenings that are regularly run by the colleges.
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 may get 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 you could be offered the 9th choice on your 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 fulfill 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.
The Irish economy is changing all the time and so too is the job market with different skill sets emerging as being in demand. You should research the job prospects for graduates 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 are a few details worth remembering for your CAO application:
- Deadline for submitting application is 5.15pm Feb 1st 2020.
- 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.
From experience we advise you to try spending some time researching courses that you may be interested in. It’s worth trying to put some time aside each week to research your CAO preferences. After all, it’s one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.