Answers to the most common questions on the CAO system
Q: I didn't get enough points for the first round offers. Should I wait until the second round before accepting a course?
A: Accept the course you have been offered if it suits your career plan and interests. There is no guarantee points will come down in subsequent rounds. Accepting your offer does not eliminate you.
Q: I didn't get any offers in the first round. All my choices required more points than I achieved. What are my options?
A: A Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) course is a great option. It acts as a stepping stone towards your dream course. You could also repeat your exams. You also have the option to take a well-structured year out and make a fresh CAO application next year.
Q: I achieved enough points for my chosen course but didn't get the maths grade necessary for the course. If the course does not fill up, might it be offered to me in subsequent rounds?
A: Unfortunately, without the minimum grade requirement an applicant cannot be offered the course in subsequent rounds. View exam scripts and decide if it would be worth a recheck. You could also repeat the subject and apply again next year.
Q: If I accept my second choice offer and the points for my preferred choice are reduced in round two, will I still qualify for my first choice?
A: Yes, if the points go down and you have enough to qualify for round two or subsequent rounds, accepting your current offer is not going to penalise you. You are still in the competition for offers higher up on your preferences list.
Q: I applied through the CAO through the PLC route but haven't had an offer. Am I still included in subsequent rounds?
A: Yes, you are still in the running up until mid-October when the final offers are made. Login to the CAO website to view the vacant places.
Q: How much could points come down in second round offers?
A: It is difficult to predict whether a course will come down. If you have an offer and you are happy, consider accepting it as it may be your only offer.