You filled out your CAO ages ago, you’re feeling confident in your choices, you know the grades you need to get and the Leaving Cert is now in the rearview window.
However, maybe you have that niggling feeling at the back of your mind… maybe your top choice isn’t what you want to do. Are you doing this course for you or because your parents/fav teacher has pushed you towards it? It’s perfectly ok to have a change of heart, and we’re here to tell you exactly what to do if you feel like you might have changed your mind.
- The CAO reopens on the 5th of May 2018 @ 12 Noon, and closes again on 1st July 2019 @ 17.15 sharp. This is also known as the CAO Change of Mind.
- There is no fee to change your CAO at this point.
- By submitting a CAO Change of Mind, the system automatically cancels “all the previous course choices in any category in which changes are made” CAO.ie . However, the two course categories of Level 8 and Level 7/6 are treated separately. Changing a Level 8 course only effects other Level 8’s and vice versa.
- If changing, make sure you list the course you’re changing in the correct category. Also ensure all other courses you choose are in order before re-submitting.
- You can change your mind as many times as you like between the 4th of May and the deadline on 1st July 2019.
Knowing If You Want To Change Your Mind
You may be very confident in your choices and that’s great, but it won’t do you any harm to double-check your choices when the CAO reopens. Have a scroll through the list, make sure your first choice is still definitely your first choice. If you’ve only got 2 or 3 courses down, maybe do some more Googling and pop a few more down, it’s always good to have options, and there are so many courses out there to choose from.
You checked your courses and everything was in order. Now though, after sitting that exam, you’re a bit apprehensive, it wasn’t exactly what you expected. Self doubt will only stress you out in these situations. When under pressure we often make mountains out of mole hills, as they saying goes. You will probably surprise yourself once you open your results in August, so don’t jump the gun and change everything because you feel you mightn’t have done as well as you hoped. The best thing is to stick with what you want as your top choice, but throw in a few back-ups further down the list, just incase.
You’re more than likely over thinking things, but if you feel you want to avail of the CAO change of mind, there are a few things to consider.
Research, Research, Research
We can’t stress enough how important it is to research the course you want to do. This will be your life for the next 3/4 years, and perhaps your career after that. It’s important you have a keen interest in the subject, it’s even more important you see yourself being happy in the course. When doing your research we recommend you check the course outline, read the in-depth description of each module (both core modules and choice modules), and see what the course structure for years 2 and 3 etc is like. A great way to see what your course might lead to is to check the “careers” tab listed on most course pages. This page usually contains testimonials of past graduates sharing how the degree helped shape their career.
Go Broad or Go Home
If you’re on the fence (we don’t blame you, choosing a career path at the age of 17/18 is overwhelming at times) it’s best to look into courses that offer a broad range of material. Rather than choosing a course that is very specific and may lead to a smaller amount of career paths or future study, pick something that is a bit broader in its structure. Your friends/family/teachers may have opinions on these types of courses, but when you’ve graduated and can dip into an abundance of careers or postgrads you’ll be reassured you made the right decision for you when it came to the CAO all those years ago! Check out QualifaX for a range of info on all things education.
Don’t Follow The Crowd
If you check your CAO and it’s a list of courses at a college or uni where your friends are going, perhaps take a moment to re-evaluate. Going to a certain college just because it’s where a majority of your friends are going is not always a wise choice. Especially if you’re having doubts about the course you’ve chosen on your CAO. Going to college is a life experience like none other. It’s often an opportunity to evolve, try new things, evaluate who you are, and “find yourself.” (Perfectly ok to graduate and still not have a clue of any of this, but it’s always nice to think it’s an option).
So, if you’re doubting your CAO choices and want to go to a uni that isn’t a popular choice among friends, go for it. This is your life, choosing a path based on other people’s ideas and opinions is something you may end up regretting.
If you’re panicking about how the LC went, cover your back and look into some PLC courses. It’s not going to do any harm having back-ups if things don’t go the way you wanted. Look up the courses on your CAO and see if they accept PLC courses as another means of entry. PLC’s are also a great way to get a taster for the course you’ve chosen to do. So, if things don’t go right in August, rest assured that there are other options than just those you listed on your CAO.
We will have more about your options once the Leaving Cert results are out.
Have you any questions or concerns about the CAO change of mind? Let us know in the comments below.