Monday 18 December 2017

Changing CAO courses

Betty Mc Laughlin

With the Leaving Certificate Examination looming, the CAO often retreats to the background. Many students have already made up their minds on their final course and college choices, and will not need to make any further changes.

However, a significant number of students will not have finalised their course choices until they have seen their Mock Examination and other test results, and settled on the appropriate subject level and/or done additional course research.

It's worth bearing in mind that for all except Restricted Application Courses, students can amend their CAO course choice right up until 1st of July.

During the weeks between completion of the Leaving Certificate and acceptance, rejection or deferral of a CAO offer, there are a number of overlapping processes to navigate.

Advantages of late completion of CAO form

* You have a better idea of how you perform in the examination.

By Leaving Certificate time you will have a good idea what courses will and will not be available to you, on the basis of your potential CAO points

* You will have had more time to study the courses and colleges, including the following:

* Course content & subjects taught/Electives

* Methods of study and assessment

* Internship/option? Erasmus/Study abroad option/International links

* College facilities/location/Ease of access

* Broad subject area versus career-focussed course?

* Range of option levels - i.e. Levels 6, 7 & 8

* Finance and fees. Some private colleges charge significant fees. Accommodation, duration, etc.

* Time frame - how long is the course? Can you defer?

* Career opportunities and employment trends

* Earning power

* Study exemptions/ professional affiliations

* You will know yourself better - your interests, strengths, aptitudes, personality type and potential career interests

* Students sometimes do better in their Leaving Cert than anticipated (or the reverse) and this can help with final CAO course choices

* Be sure not to forget that 1st of July deadline though. It is non-negotiable.

Irish Independent

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