Topic: CAO System
The Helpdesk team answer your queries on the CAO system
CAO SYSTEM: If I am offered my second choice I will accept. However if the points drop sufficiently for my first choice in the second round will I receive an offer and can I accept although I have already accepted my second option.
Yes if you get your 2nd choice and accept it in round 1 all your higher choices may be offered to you in round 2 - regardless of whether you accepted your round 1 place or not.
If you do accept your 2nd choice in round 1 and then get offered your top choice in round 2 you can actually stick with the first one you accepted or give that up in favour of your top choice in round 2.
CAO SYSTEM: If you resit the leaving can you carry forward any points from the 1st one
Unfortunately not. Points can only be calculated from a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate, so that means if you resit the Leaving Cert you cannot combine both Leaving Certificates to calculate your points. If you are repeating the Leaving Cert you need to take at least 6 subjects as obviously your top 6 subjects are used to calculate your points.
When someone repeats the Leaving Certificate it is important that both exam numbers are given to CAO on the application form so that the points total for both Leaving Certs can be calculated and the best used.
It is possible however to combine Leaving Certs to meet entry requirements. So for example if you fail maths it is possible to just repeat maths the following year and combine it with the previous Leaving Cert to meet college entry requirements. But the points total from the 1st Leaving Cert stay unchanged.
CAO SYSTEM: What’s the best way to deal with CAO offers?
Decisions on applications are normally taken in August when the CAO gets the results from the State Examinations Commission. All offers of places are sent by post. A “Reply Date” will be printed on Offer Notices. If you want to accept an offer, you must do so by 5:15pm on the “Reply Date” printed on the Offer Notice. In addition, offers will be available online at the CAO website www.cao.ie and you can accept your course there also. You will have a number of days to make up your mind about your offers so don’t rush making a decision, but do make sure to respond before the reply date or you could loose your offers.
You may receive two offers - one from level 6/7 and one from level 8. You can only accept one. On each list, you will be offered a place in the highest of your course preferences to which you are entitled because of your points (if any).