Pilot bonus-points scheme for higher level maths
The Council of Irish Universities Association announced last month that they will operate a pilot bonus-points scheme for higher level maths in the Leaving Certificate for a four-year trial period from 2012.
The association, on behalf of nine colleges (UCD, DCU, UCC, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, UL, DIT and RCSI), has recently sent specific details of the operation of the scheme to all schools and guidance counsellors.
As many will remember from last month's announcement, a bonus of 25 points will be awarded to all students who score grade D3 or above in higher-level maths.
The question arose as to how the bonus maths points might impact on applicants to undergraduate medicine.
Under the pilot selection procedures operating for entry to undergraduate medicine, which includes the HPAT test, there is reduction in value of Leaving Certificate points at the top of the scale.
After 550 points, applicants are awarded just one point for each band of five points, to a maximum of 560. The new maximum possible adjusted points score, taking account of the 25 bonus points for HL maths, will increase from 560 to 565. The baseline score of 480 points may still apply but can include the bonus points if HL mathematics is among the six best subjects.
Meanwhile, today's column is again largely devoted to the list of open days coming up in the next seven days, as 12 colleges open their doors to prospective applicants.
Students can't attend the open days of all the colleges that interest them, so it is worth remembering that the internet is a useful tool in exploring what individual colleges have to offer.
Today sees an open day from 11am-3pm in the National College of Ireland (NCI), Mayor St, Dublin 1.
Also today, the American College, Merrion Sq, Dublin 2, has an open day until 7pm.
Tomorrow, Carlow College, College St, Carlow, which offers a range of courses in humanities and social studies, hosts open sessions from 10am-1pm and 5pm-8pm.
Two higher-education institutions (HEIs) in Sligo, the Institute of Technology, Sligo and St Angela's College, Sligo, also host open days tomorrow, from 9.30am-4pm. A free shuttle bus will operate between the two colleges to facilitate students who wish to explore both.
Sligo College of Further Education, which is located beside IT Sligo, also hosts an open day tomorrow, featuring its range of PLC courses.
On Friday and Saturday, three HEIs host their annual open days -- NUI Maynooth, St Patrick's College, Pontifical University, Maynooth (which share the same campus), and the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, while University College Cork holds a dedicated open day for its School of Music on Saturday.
Shannon College of Hotel Management, Shannon, Co Clare, holds an open evening on Tuesday November 30 from 4.30pm-7.30pm.
Also on Tuesday next, Trinity College hosts a special information event called Better Options from 10.30am-2.00pm, specifically for students with disabilities, their parents and guidance counsellors, enabling them to ask questions directly and get information about disability support services available in higher and further education.
On Wednesday December 1, Trinity College Dublin hosts its annual open day from 9am-3pm. Final-year students, mature students, guidance counsellors, teachers and parents are invited to attend.