CAO online applications open
The CAO 2011 online application facility opens from 12pm today, and so another cycle begins.
There is a 90-day period during which normal applications can be made to CAO, from now to February 1. Most people do not make their application until close to the deadline. A discounted fee rate encourages applicants not to leave the application until the last few days. If students apply early, they have plenty of time to finalise their choices.
The application fee has been reduced for 2011 by €5, to €40 for applications received either online or by post, by February 1, and to €30 for the discounted rate which applies for applications online by 20 January, 2011.
Late applications fees, received after the normal closing date and up to May 1, 2011, have been reduced by €10 to €60 for online application, and to €80 for paper applications.
Today is also the opening date for registration for HPAT-Ireland 2011 (the Health Professional Admission Test). Applicants to undergraduate medicine in Irish medical schools must register for this separate admissions test, which will be taken in the spring.
Applicants are required to register for the test between today and January 20, 2011. They may only register for the HPAT examination when they have a CAO number, so they must apply to CAO first.
The registration fee of the HPAT--Ireland test in 2011 is €95 per candidate.
Q What does the admissions test consist of?
A It consists of three modules or sections, with multiple-choice questions in logical reasoning and problem solving, interpersonal understanding, and non-verbal reasoning. Each section will carry equal weight. Sample questions can be sourced online at www.hpat-ireland.acer.edu.au
Q Who organises the HPAT test and when will it take place?
A The test is independently administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). The 2011 HPAT-Ireland test will take place on February 26, 2011 in centres around the country.
Candidates may purchase practice tests for €22 for each of the parts. The HPAT test has operated in 2009 and 2010, and candidates have found that it is unwise to sit the test without at least some minimum preparation.
The question of HPAT test preparation has been one of some debate. Concern has been expressed at the proliferation of so-called 'preparation courses' for the HPAT-Ireland Test since its introduction two years ago.
The colleges concerned and ACER said that intensive preparation was not necessary for this test, because HPAT-Ireland did not test academic knowledge and candidates did not require any special understanding of any academic discipline.
However, anecdotal evidence suggests that candidates who did not undergo some form of familiarisation seemed to fare less well than those who did.
Today, the National Maritime College of Ireland, Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, hosts an Open day, from 10am--3pm. Activities include: talk on careers at sea, entry requirements to academic courses. On Monday November 8, UCD Quinn School of Business, Belfield, Dublin 4, hosts an Open Evening from 6.30pm--8.30pm, for 5th and 6th-year students interested in business courses.