By Laurie O'Flynn
Leaving Cert students have the whole month of June to finalise their two CAO lists of course choices.
For those who are happy with their original list, they don’t need to do anything at this stage except doublecheck to confirm that everything is correct.
However, for those who are having second thoughts about what they’d like to study or who completed their CAO application in a hurry to meet the February 1st deadline without giving it too much thought, now is the time to set things right by using the change of mind facility.
This change of mind facility is free of charge and is available until 5.15pm on the 1st of July.
Submitting a change of mind will cancel all previous courses listed in the category where changes are made, so it is important to list all of the course choices again for that category.
However, making a change to the Level 8 list, for example, will not affect the courses in the Level 7/6 list and vice versa.
If making a change, ensure that the right course goes into the right list. Also check the subject requirements for the course you are applying for and what subjects are taught on the course. You don’t want any nasty surprises when you get there.
In the change of mind facility, you have the option to rearrange the order of courses and you can also add any course not previously listed, as long as it’s not a restricted application course. These can have a much earlier application deadline and require supplementary information, interviews or exams etc.
Most students use the CAO online platform and for anyone making changes online, an acknowledgement will be sent to the e-mail address that was used at the application stage.
Students are encouraged to list their course choices in genuine order of preference and to complete each list rather than putting down a limited number of choices. It is also advisable to be strategic when using the Level 7/6 list, checking what progression is available to level 8 courses, if that is the ultimate goal.
While paper applications are rare at this stage, anyone corresponding with the CAO in this way should be aware that no paperwork will be processed by CAO until their offices reopen.
Finally, don’t leave it to the last minute. Computers crash, internet fails, and mistakes can be made when too much pressure is on.