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Points requirements reflect supply and demand

People often ask what the points will be for a new course that appears for the first time on a college's lists.

The answer is that one cannot tell until the offers are made next autumn.

Points are not set in advance, though minimum entry requirements are. Points emerge as a result of supply and demand, so everything depends on the number of people that apply, the number of places available, and the results of those who apply.

Most new courses appear in the prospectus of the college in question, and in CAO's handbook. Some appear on the Important Changes list under CAO Handbook, on CAO's website, www.cao.ie

There was an omission in the points table which appeared in our supplement on Monday last. The much maligned gremlins left out the grade B2 in our table, and attributed B2 points to B3. A B2 is worth 80 points at higher level and 40 points at ordinary level. A B3 is worth 75 points at higher level and 35 points at ordinary level.

Just for the record, let's reproduce the complete CAO Leaving Certificate points scale as it will operate in 2011 (see below).

The seven universities, together with DIT and RCSI, and other Institutes of Technology have decided to operate a new bonus points scheme for Higher Level mathematics for a four-year trial period from 2012 to 2015 inclusive, with a review in 2014.

Under this pilot bonus points scheme, a flat bonus of 25 points will be allocated to students who achieve a D3 or above in Higher Level Mathematics. This will not affect 2011 applicants.

Open days today: Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT Dun Laoghaire), Kill lane, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, 4pm-8 pm; the Dublin Business School (DBS), Aungier St, Dublin 2, 3 pm-7 pm: also this evening NUI Maynooth hosts a CAO information evening from 7.30pm-9.30pm.

Irish Independent