I have my results - what happens next?
From how to calculate your points score to how to appeal a result you think is unfair, here's everything you need to know
1 What should I do before I head off to my school to collect my Leaving Cert results?
You should bring the point’s calculator on page 3 of this supplement with you, so that you can calculate your CAO points immediately. The points required for entry into all CAO courses, will be published in College Choice 2013, a supplement with next Monday’s Irish Times. These points, once published, will determine whether you will or will not be offered your registered course choices.
Last year’s points requirements, published on pages 7-9 of today’s supplement, are a good guide regarding what the points will be this year, although there may be some small movement up and down in points requirements due to increases or decreases in the numbers of places on offer from colleges, and the popularity of particular courses in a given year.
2 How do I calculate my points score?
When you open your results envelope the first thing is to calculate your CAO points score. Remember you can only use the results of your best six grades. This process is not as simple as it seems. Not all colleges operate the same points system. A growing number of colleges, particularly institutes of technology, offer some points for grades A and B in foundation level maths and Irish. At the other end of the spectrum, bonus points for higher level maths are offered to all students who pass. Consult your CAO handbook for details of all points variations.
3 What happens next?
This Friday the admissions officers of all the colleges will inform the CAO how many places to offer on each course. Thousands of college places have already been offered and accepted in two rounds of college place offers in July, when students who had deferred a place from 2012, 2013 mature applicants, and those students who secured a place reserved for those holding Fetac level five awards were offered places.
Colleges are like airlines in that they will offer more places than they want acceptances because they know there will always be those who do not take up a place offered, for whatever reason.
Once the number of remaining places available to this year’s Leaving Cert applicants is determined, the data is fed into the CAO’s software, and places are offered to applicants, in points rank order, according to their preferences, on level eight (honours degree), level seven (ordinary degree) or level six (higher certificate) lists.
Next Monday The Irish Times will publish a table listing each course and the corresponding points score of the last student offered a place on the course. It should be noted that the CAO or the colleges do not determine these minimum entry point levels; they are simply the scores of the last students on the list of applications, ranked in order of their examination results, offered a place.