CAO Application Tips

The CAO application is one of the most important parts of your Leaving Cert. The application process demands your respect and all the accompanying seriousness that comes with such a form. Filling it out requires a degree of research, so you are confident that you’re picking the right course for you. Diligence should also be exercised to ensure that your preferred courses are on the application in the correct order.

Before you begin filling out the form you should read the CAO handbook. The handbook provides students with a comprehensive guide to the application process and includes a useful summary of the major stages of the process. It’s vital that students read this handbook in order to feel confident when filling out the form and for the following stages.

Proper thought and research should go into your choice of courses. Firstly, this research should give you an indication of whether you would like to study a certain course or area. This can sometimes be tricky to do as there are a lot of options out there. Some courses have subtle differences, which might be a deciding factor for you, some might require you to leave home. Getting to grips with what interests you and what you’re willing to do takes time and it’s crucial that you allow yourself the space to think through several options.

Knowing the minimum entry requirements is one the most important factors when applying for your CAO. Besides the total points, certain courses might require a minimum grade in a particular subject, a portfolio, or other means of assessment. Being aware of these will make your choices easier and more grounded.

Once you have applied and subsequently received the online receipt of your application you should print out a copy for your records. Read through the application, checking for mistakes or courses you forgot to apply for. You must also verify your email address using the verification code given to you by CAO. It is imperative that all the information you provide is correct.

Late applications are accepted but are supplemented by a fee. There is also the possibility to change your mind at no extra charge. You should make yourself aware of the dates and restrictions surrounding late application and change of mind. Write these dates down in your calendar to give yourself peace of mind.

Ultimately, remember that there is always a way to reach your goal. It might require an extra year or two, but don’t be discouraged if that’s the case – enjoy the journey.

Written by:

Diarmuid O’Hegarty


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CAO Application Tips
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