Life Learning

Monday 1 September 2014

Students still have the time to review their decisions and make any changes

Aoife Walsh

Published 30/04/2014 | 02:30

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Now is the time to assess your CAO application
Now is the time to assess your CAO application

The CAO change of mind process will open at noon on May 5 and will remain open until 5.15pm on July 1, and allows CAO applicants to make changes to their application. These changes are normally made online and are free of charge.

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For most applicants it is possible to add new courses, remove courses and change the order of preference of their original choices. The only courses that cannot be introduced to an application at this point is those courses which are considered restricted entry. These courses have additional requirements, for example an audition, portfolio, or assessment. As these assessments have already taken place, the courses are no longer open to application.

Although the last number of months have been busy for Leaving Certificate students, hopefully they have found the time to review their CAO choices and ensure they are still happy with those for which they have applied.

If not, there is still time. Students should take the opportunity to reread the literature for each course for which they have applied. They should also research new courses and check the college alert lists on the CAO website for course cancellations and new courses that may have been released since February.

Many students may have not had time to fully research their Level 6 and 7 options by February but these courses should not be overlooked, even if an applicant would prefer to enter a Level 8 degree. The application process for Level 6 and 7 is separate to Level 8 so will not interfere with an applicant's chances of receiving a Level 8 offer.

To make changes, applicants should log into their application on the CAO website using their CAO number, date of birth and password, if they have set one up. When making a change of mind application, candidates will be asked to create a new list of preferences each time. For example, if an applicant wants to add a new Level 8 course to their application, they will re-enter all the Level 8 courses for which they would like to be considered in genuine order of preference, including the new course in the appropriate place.

Applicants will receive a revised statement of courses, which should be carefully checked to ensure it is accurate. If there are any errors or omissions, the CAO should be notified immediately.

Most students make numerous changes at this point so they should not panic if they have changed their minds – that is why the process exists.

At this time of year some students begin to doubt their choices and may suggest a complete change in direction when discussing careers with their friends and family. This is often simply a case of cold feet, which is natural now that the deadline for such an important decision is looming. Students may need reassurance that it is ok to feel uncertain and that they have made the right choice for them. Arranging an appointment with the school's guidance counsellor may be a helpful way to assess if a student needs to make big changes to their CAO form or needs to be reassured about their original choice.

IMPORTANT DATES THIS WEEK:

May 1

Interviews (2 days) Ballyfermot FE

May 3

SAT test date sat.collegeboard.ie

May 5

Expected opening of Change of Mind

May 6

Trainee Jockey Open day RACE

May 7

Open Day Senior College Dun Laoghaire

UCAS, reply to offers received by March 31

May 8

Open Day Kildalton Agricultural College

Final date for university decisions Jan Applicants UCAS

AOIFE WALSH IS A GUIDANCE COUNSELLOR AT MALAHIDE COMMUNITY SCHOOL, CO DUBLIN

Irish Independent

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