- 28 Jan 20
In the run-up to the CAO deadline on February 1, we’re sharing some words of wisdom from students who have been through the process – and lived to tell the tale.
Matthew Whelan, Repeat Leaving Certificate Student, Rathmines College.
Filling out the CAO application can be a tedious process – but it's still manageable! As a student currently repeating the Leaving Cert in Rathmines College, I've had two experiences of the process.
Firstly, make sure you're concentrating properly – the CAO process involves filling out a lot of personal information and details, and it's essential that these details are correct. It's helpful to have someone, such as a parent, beside you when you're completing the application, to double-check all the details you're submitting.
After filling out the information, you'll be sent your application number, which you can use to log into your CAO account. It's at this point that you can begin to fill in the more interesting part: your choice of courses.
One of the best parts about repeating the Leaving Cert in Rathmines College was the fact that I could talk with their guidance counsellors, and take their advice on board. I'm hoping to pursue a career in medicine – but last year, I put down only four medicine courses. I knew if I didn't receive enough points, I'd be willing to repeat. This year however, I have decided to put down a wider range of science-related courses, to give myself more options.
Completing the CAO application can be seriously stressful. To minimise this, I found it helpful to finish the process early, rather than leaving it until the last minute. With so many deadline dates to remember during your Leaving Cert year, including practical exams and project submissions, it's great to have the CAO application finished early. With that out of the way, you can place all your focus on the exams themselves.