Form VI Essential Info


Click Heading for Key Dates: Key Dates for CAO 2015

CAO Process

First step – register your intention to seek a CAO college place immediately. All the CAO needs at this stage is your personal details – name, address, phone numbers, disability/specific learning difficulty, country of birth, nationality, email address,  and payment details

You’ll get your individual CAO identification number once you have done this piece.

Next step is to pin down the courses you wish to be considered for next September and enter them on your CAO application. Remember, you are free to return to your CAO application during  all of May/June of 2015, to list or change the course choices you make.

Note:  You need to apply for any course listed as “restricted” in the CAO handbook by February 1st. All other courses can be added or removed from your application list up to the final change of mind deadline on July 1st.

Students interested in a UCAS place in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England should submit an application to by Thursday, January 15th.

Between February 5th and March 1st – CAO applicants may change a course choice (fee of €10 applies).

Mature students, or restricted application course applicants, or to add a course you have not yet listed, and to correct or amend your CAO application, and to report any errors to the CAO by March 1st (fee €10).

In most other cases, you may use the change of mind facility between May 5th and July 1st to make any changes, at no financial charge.

Before end of May – applicants receive a statement of application record from CAO – this is a final acknowledgment to verify all information has been recorded accurately. Contact the CAO immediately if it does not arrive by June 1st.

Accompanying this statement will be a change-of-mind form, which you can use up to the closing date – 5.15pm on July 1st, 2015. You may make as many changes as you wish online or on paper.

The CAO offers the following advice for applicants:

1. Apply early
The CAO online application form allows you to enter your personal information and register on the system without having to enter your course choices. It is best to start your application now and get your application number; you can then login to your account using the ‘My Application’ facility to add, remove or change course choices for no extra charge up to 31 January. Applicants who apply online before 20 January at 5:15 pm benefit from a discounted application fee of €25 – the normal application fee is €40.

2. Enter personal information carefully
Applicants should take care when entering their personal information, especially their date of birth, as this will be required to login to their account using the ‘My Application’ facility. Once applicants have registered using the online system they will receive an e-mail containing their CAO application number and some of the personal details that CAO holds on file – applicants should check this information carefully and notify CAO of any errors or omissions immediately via the ‘Contact’ page on the website.

3. Do not leave an application to the last minute
Please allow for problems such as your browser timing out, your payment not processing, or any other issues which may result in you being unable to submit your application by the deadline. All application deadlines are final.

4. Check the minimum entry requirements for courses before introducing them
Every year CAO receives a large number of applications that do not meet the minimum entry requirements. Applicants who obtain the points for a specific course will not be offered a place if they have not met the minimum entry requirements (e.g. a third language or a Higher C3 in a specific subject).

5. Enter course choices in genuine order of preference
Applicants should not place their course choices based on assumptions about points or expected examination results, but on the basis of their genuine preference from one to ten on both the Level 8 and Level 7/6 lists.

6. Watch out for restrictions
Most applicants will be familiar with the Change of Mind facility which opens in May and is available until 5:15 pm on 1 July; it is important to note, however, that a number of courses may not be introduced at this stage. These courses are highlighted in the CAO Handbook and in the prospectuses of the higher education institutions. Similarly, applicants applying through the ‘Late Application’ facility, which closes on 1 May 1 at 5:15 pm, cannot apply for restricted courses and will also pay an increased application fee of €50 for online applications or €80 for paper applications.

7. Use the Change of Course Choices facility if necessary from 5 February 5 to 1 March
After the normal application closing date, the Change of Course Choices facility becomes available for applicants who have applied to CAO by the deadline. This allows registered applicants the opportunity to introduce or remove courses for a fee of €10 – this facility is mainly used by restricted category applicants or applicants who wish to introduce a restricted course to their application.

8. HEAR and DARE applicants must start preparing supporting documents early
Applicants applying for the HEAR and/or DARE schemes must apply to CAO by 1 February at 5:15pm and complete the online HEAR or DARE (or both) forms before 1 March at 5:15 pm. All supporting documents must be received by CAO by 1 April at 5:15 pm – collecting all of the necessary supporting documents can take eight weeks or more.

Leaving Cert Guidance Calendar

This calendar outlines the Guidance class content for 2014-15 and important Career related dates. This calendar is only a provisional outline of the most important dates to give you a clearer picture of the year ahead. Double check the information and deadlines that are relevant to you. Class topics may change.

1. Guidance in 6th yearImportant Dates
2. How to pick the right course for you?
3. The CAO System
4. CAO Demo Application – practice application online
5. Study Skills, Memory Skills, Energy Levels, Work/Life Balance
6. Mental Fitness – what is mental strength? How to perform at your potential
7. BGS Networks – College Life from the viewpoint of Ex-BGS students

Important Points

·         CAO Application: It is advisable that you complete your application at home over the Christmas holidays. You must make your discounted online application before January 20th. It is suggested to enter both ‘Level 8’ and ‘Level 6/7’ courses in your application but it is not required. YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR COURSE CHOICES FOR ALMOST ALL COURSES UP TILL JULY 1ST 2015. Adding or removing your CAO courses will reset your previous choices.

Month Career Events and Deadlines
September UCAS RepresentativeCAO application handbooks are sent outStudy Skills Revision
October University of Limerick Open Day (limited places for 6th years)Oct. 15th: UCAS Deadline Med, Dent,Vet, Oxford and Cambridge)End of Mid-Term Holidays: UCAS Personal Statement Deadline
November CAO early registration. Students applying for HPAT need a CAO number to register for HPATMock Interviews
December Students should discuss and complete CAO application at home. Complete online
January January 20th : Online CAO application DeadlineUCAS Deadline for ApplicationApply online for Colleges of Further Education (PPN number required)
February Colleges of Further Education Open Days and Interviews
March CAO Tests and InterviewsHPAT Test1ST March: HEAR/ DARE Deadline Application
April CAO Tests and InterviewsApril 1st: HEAR/DARE documentation deadline (April 1st)
May CAO Tests and Interviews
June Leaving Cert
July July 1st: Change of Mind Deadline

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