Thursday 22 February 2018

CAO applicants have chance to change mind about choices

Going to college...

CAO applicants still have time to change their mind
CAO applicants still have time to change their mind

Aoife Walsh

For many students, it may feel like the Leaving Cert has finally arrived as orals and practical exams are in full swing in schools all over the country.

While it may seem like a long time since CAO was the main concern for Leaving Cert candidates, the opening of the change of mind process on May 5 brings the opportunity to revisit this application.

The change of mind process allows applicants to the CAO to make changes to their form between May 5 and July 1.

During this time, applicants may make any changes they wish to their list of courses. They may add, remove, or reorder course choices. Applicants can add any course to their list even if they did not include it in the application they submitted in February. The only exception to this are restricted entry courses which are clearly marked in the CAO handbook.

Applicants can also make changes to their personal details, should they require. Some restricted applicants may not make changes during this period but further information is available in the CAO handbook.

Applicants should also take this opportunity to revisit their Level 8 and Level 7/6 lists, carefully reconsidering both the courses they have applied for and the order in which they have been placed.

It is also important to check the college alert list on, where applicants will find new courses introduced by colleges this year, which may not be listed in the CAO handbook. Applicants will also be able to check for changes in and cancellations of courses as this may influence their application.

While the change of mind period remains open until July 1, applicants should be careful about making drastic changes to their course listings after their exams. CAO choices should be based on order of preference only and not on how students think they may have performed during the exams. Making impulsive decisions at this point may result in disappointment when offers are received in August.

There is no charge for making changes to the CAO during this period and applicants may make as many changes they like, as frequently as they wish. In order to make changes to their course listing, applicants should log into their account using the 'my application' button on to Here they will be asked for their CAO number, date of birth and password. Applicants can then enter their separate lists, either Level 8 or Level 7/6. They should then re-enter all the courses for which they wish to be considered in order of preference.

The CAO will then consider applicants for courses which are listed on their application form on July 1.

Applicants and their parents can find a short video guide to the change of mind process on

*Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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