Another opportunity to get maths grade
Special maths tests run by a number of colleges can lead to a CAO offer, writes Katherine Donnelly
Many third-level colleges run special exams over the next week or two to give CAO applicants who haven't achieved the necessary grade in maths another opportunity to meet the minimum requirement.
In some cases, the exams are aimed specifically at entry to engineering or other STEM courses, where a minimum higher level Leaving Cert grade in the subject is required. They could attract not only those who sat the higher level paper in June, and came up short, but also those who studied the "honours" syllabus but decided not to take the exam at that level.
In other colleges, the exams pave the way for entry to a broad range of programmes including where a "pass" at ordinary level is the minimum requirement.
The papers in these tests are not the same as the Leaving Cert, but the topics will be familiar to students.
There are no extra points, but candidates who succeed in such an exam and who meet all other entry requirements, have a good chance of an offer in a future CAO round. While there is no guarantee that success will lead to an offer, many students benefit every year.
Anyone interested should check with the relevant college, or its website, about arrangements, including how to register and whether there are fees and pre-exam tutorials, but below is a guide to what's available:
Cork IT: Tuesday, August 20 at Bishopstown Campus, with offers in Round 2, for CAO applicants to any of its programmes. An ordinary level paper (fee €30) is compulsory and those seeking a H4 equivalent must also sit higher level paper (€50).
Dundalk IT: Wednesday, August 28, for applicants to its BEng (Hons) in Engineering (Common Entry) or the BSc (Hons) in Computing in Games Development. There is a two-day refresher course on August 26-27, with an all-in charge €30. Offers in CAO second and third rounds.
Letterkenny IT: Exam in September, following a two-week Enabling Course, starting August 22, for CAO applicants to any LYIT course who are otherwise eligible but lack a pass in ordinary/ higher level maths. Successful students will be eligible for any LYIT programme on CAO Available Places.
IT Carlow: Tuesday, August 20, a single, three-hour exam for CAO applicants to its BEng (honours) in Civil Engineering, as an alternative to H4, but it is also open to those who studied ordinary level maths. A preparatory course will run on August 19 and the morning of August 20.
IT Sligo: Friday, August 30 for students who did not obtain a 'pass' at ordinary level. There is no charge.
IT Tralee: Monday, August 19 for CAO applicants for any of its programmes that require minimum grade in maths. Applications close today.
Maynooth University: Tuesday, August 20 at two venues - MU North Campus and Cavan Crystal Hotel, Cavan town - for CAO applicants to its Bachelor of Engineering (MH304), as an alternative to H4. A single, two-hour exam based on content of Leaving Cert Paper 1. A free preparatory course on Monday, August 19 in MU and Cavan Crystal Hotel.
NCI Dublin: Thursday, August 22 at National College of Ireland campus, with offers in Round 2, for CAO applicants to BSc or Higher Certificate in Data Science. A free three-day refresher course starting Monday, August 19.
NUI Galway: Tuesday, August 20 for CAO applicants to its College of Engineering and Informatics: H4 for BE programmes; H7/03 for BSc Project & Construction Management; H6/02 for BSc Computer Science and IT. There are two papers and a preparatory course, which started on Wednesday, is running until Monday.
TU Dublin: Wednesday, August 21 for CAO applicants to its Level 8 programmes that have a minimum H4 requirement in maths: DT302 Business Analytics and DT066 Engineering (General Entry). A single, three-hour exam with tutorials on Monday, August 19 and Tuesday, August 20. No charge.
University of Limerick: Thursday, August 22 for CAO applicants for courses in its Faculty of Science and Engineering. A single, three-hour exam, based on Leaving Cert higher level syllabus.
Waterford IT: Friday, August 30 for CAO applicants who have not achieved the required maths grade for entry to the college's courses. One paper, set at ordinary level. Offers will be made in CAO Round 4, in September. Closing date for applications is Thursday, August 29.