Tuesday 17 January 2017

Final offers signal end of the CAO cycle for another year

Published 19/10/2011 | 05:00

Today is the closing date for acceptance of offers generated by upgrades to candidates' results, after the State Examinations Commission (SEC) published the results of the Leaving Certificate 2011 appeals process. Offers on the basis of upgrades were posted to applicants last Thursday and were available to view and accept online. Any acceptance must be received by 17:15.

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The SEC reported that a total of 5,812 candidates made applications for appeals against 10,142 grades. Out of this figure, a total of 1,931 results were upgraded, which is 0.5% of all grades awarded in the 2011 Leaving Certificate examination. However, almost 20% of those who appealed a result got an upgrade. A total of four results were downgraded in the appeal process.

While an upgrade may improve an applicant's points score, it does not necessarily follow that it will entitle him or her to a higher preference offer. If your upgrade resulted in an increase of 10 more points, for example, and you were 15 points short of your next highest preference, you would not be entitled to a new offer.

Conversely, if you had failed ordinary level Irish and were upgraded to a D3, that grade may not feature as one of your six best subjects, but it could entitle you to a higher preference offer in an NUI university (where a pass in Irish is normally an entry requirement), which you did not get when your Leaving Certificate results came out.

Many applicants are quite happy to turn down their new offer, and decide to stay put in the course which they have started and become used to.

Q How many offers were made as a result of the upgrade process?

A There were 267 offers made on the Level 8 list, and 47 offers on the Level 7/6 list. This compares with 310 offers of Level 8 places and 29 offers of Level 7/6 places at this stage in the 2010 post-upgrade notification.

Q Is it not a bit late to change to a new course at this stage?

A It is really, and many colleges recommend that students defer acceptance of a new offer being made at this stage until next year (2012).

If students started a course this late, they would have missed several weeks of the first semester, including orientation programmes which help students settle in. In some colleges they might have already missed course module choices, as well as submission dates for their first assignments.

If a student insists on starting a course, they do so at their own peril. There are occasionally circumstances where the new offer might be in a course related to the one the applicant has started, so a switch might be easier there.

So far, CAO has received 45,737 net acceptances this year, as compared with 45,624 net acceptances at the end of the season last year.

Today also marks the close of the CAO 2011 offer/acceptance season. The 2012 season starts now, and online application will be accepted from November 3 onwards.

Open days and information sessions in the coming week: l Tomorrow, October 20, UCC hosts the first of two information evenings for prospective students, parents and teachers from 6pm-8pm in the Aula Maxima ion the UCC campus. l Saturday, October 22, Church of Ireland College of Education, Rathmines, Dublin 6 hosts an open day from 11am-2 pm. Contact the college for further information. l The second UCC information evening will take place next Tuesday, October 25, from 6pm-8pm in the Brandon Hotel, Tralee, Co Kerry. l Also on Tuesday, the National Maritime College, Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, (a constituent college of Cork Institute of Technology), will hold an open day from 10am-3pm. Contact (0) 21 4970607 for bookings.

Irish Independent

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