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The CAO premises are temporarily closed due to the government measures introduced to control the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus.

If you have a query or an account access issue, please e-mail us via the Correspondence Section of your CAO Account (or the Contact section of the website). Please remain patient and allow our online team sufficient time to deal with your request. Make sure to include as much information as possible to assist us in handling your query.

Please note: postal correspondence is being processed as usual.

Click on the following links for more information:

Frequently Asked Questions

Please Note: Office contact hours are 09:30 to 17:00, Monday to Friday.
The answer to your query may be included in the following list of frequently asked questions.

  1. My points are incorrect.
    Are you counting more than six subjects? Try using the points calculator on the CAO website. With regard to the treatment of Foundation Level Irish and Maths, consult the literature or the Admissions Office(s) of the relevant institution(s).
  2. Why am I ineligible?
    Usually because you have not met the minimum entry requirements e.g. 2 x Higher Level grade 5. Log in to your application and check that all of your details are recorded completely and correctly, including your qualifications and examination details and email us immediately via the Correspondence section of your CAO account with details of any error or omission. Consult the literature or the Admissions Office(s) of the relevant institution(s) for information on entry requirements.
  3. How do I apply for deferral?
    See page 19 of the CAO Handbook . E-mail a request for a deferral to the Admissions Office of the institution, NOT to CAO. Do not accept your offer if you wish to defer.
  4. I am applying on the basis of my 2019 (or earlier) Leaving Certificate and I am worried about the impact of grade inflation.
    We understand that you are concerned about the potential impact of Calculated Grades. However, CAO is a company which was set up by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to handle application to Higher Education centrally - CAO is not a state body and CAO has no authority to make any decisions in relation to this matter. The HEIs determine how qualifications are to be evaluated and HEIs retain control of admissions decisions.
  5. What happens if I sit Leaving Certificate Examinations in November?
    For information about sitting the Leaving Certificate Examination in November, please click here. However, it is important to note that grades from the later examinations will not be available in time for CAO in the 2020/2021 academic year.
  6. I have accepted my offer, what happens next?
    When you accept an offer you will receive an e-mail from CAO. The offering institution will contact you about registration. Any further enquiries should be addressed to the Admissions Office of the offering institution.
  7. I am eligible for DARE and/or HEAR but I have received no offer.
    Not all applicants that are deemed eligible for DARE/HEAR receive offers of places. DARE/HEAR eligibility means you can compete for places on reduced points but the number of places is limited. For further information ask the admissions offices in the HEIs you applied to.
  8. I have forgotten my password/I am locked out of my account.
    If you have forgotten your password, please click the forgotten your password link on the My Application page. You must use the registered e-mail address on your account.

    If your account is locked, you can e-mail CAO and a member of our team will respond to your request as soon as possible (during office hours only). All accounts are automatically unlocked the following morning. If you are locked out of your account outside of office hours, you do not need to email - the reset will take place automatically.
  9. Will I disqualify myself from other offers if I accept / refuse this one?
    No, not at all. See CAO Handbook page 16. Accepting or not accepting an offer will not prevent you from receiving an offer of a course higher up on your course choices if you are deemed eligible (in a later offer round). You should treat your current offer as the only offer you might receive – if you accept it you can always cancel at a later date, and if a subsequent offer is received you can accept the new offer which will automatically cancel the previous acceptance.
  10. I do not want the course I have been offered. Can I get a place in another course which is lower in my order of preference than the one offered, or in a course for which I have not applied at all?
    Only if vacancies are advertised in those course(s) on the CAO website, See CAO Handbook page 17 or visit the ‘Available Places’ page on the CAO website.
  11. How do I appeal a Leaving Certificate grade(s)?
    For all queries about the Leaving Certificate calculated grades process, including appeals and sitting the written examination, please click here.

    The Calculated Grades Executive Office (CGEO) Student Helpline will be available at 1800 111135 or 1800 111136 from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm from Monday, 7th September to Wednesday, 16th September. Outside of these hours queries may be e-mailed to Please note this helpline is provided for queries relating to the Calculated Grades results only and cannot provide advice on any other matters.
  12. What happens if a Leaving Certificate result is regraded on appeal ?
    If you receive an upgrade and your revised result places you higher on the order-of-merit list than the last person who actually got an offer, then the Higher Education Institution will usually instruct CAO to either offer you a place to begin immediately or offer you a place deferred to the next year. The decision is made by the Admissions Office.
  13. Will there be more offers issued?
    For details of subsequent offer rounds please click here.
  14. When are Available Place offers issued?
    Available Places applications open at 12 noon on 14th September. Applications received by 11am on 18th September may be considered for offers in Round Two on 23rd September at 10am. From 28th September to 5th October the Available Places facility operates on a weekly schedule of applications, offers and acceptances. Applications that arrive in CAO before 11am on a Monday will be processed and considered for offers by the end of that week.
  15. My QQI FET, FETAC, NCVA, VCE / other qualification / was not taken into account.
    Please check your CAO account to ensure that your examination information is complete and correct. If you are satisfied that all of your information is recorded correctly, you can then contact the appropriate Admissions Office(s) for more information on the assessment of your application.
  16. I have noticed an error in the information that CAO holds on file for me, what should I do?
    Please e-mail us immediately via the Correspondence section of your CAO account with details of the error/omission. Your account will be updated and considered for the next round of offers (depending on when the information is received by CAO).
  17. Some or all of my A level results are missing.
    If you have received any further A level results you must supply certified copies of these to CAO by post. Documents must be produced by the examination boards (i.e. they must show the exam board logo) and must be certified. A certified photocopy means that you photocopy the documents and then bring both the originals and the photocopies to an acceptable person or body (School, University, Police Station, Admissions Office, Notary) where they will stamp the photocopy as being a true copy of the original.
  18. My GCE/GCSE results are not recorded on my application.
    If any of your results are not recorded on your application you must supply certified copies of these to CAO by post. Documents must be produced by the examination boards (i.e. they must show the exam board logo) and must be certified. A certified photocopy means that you photocopy the documents and then bring both the originals and the photocopies to an acceptable person or body (School, University, Police Station, Admissions Office, Notary) where they will stamp the photocopy as being a true copy of the original.
  19. I do not wish to accept the offer which I have been made.
    Thank you. You need take no further action. Your name will remain on the waiting list for any course(s) higher in your order of preference than the one not required.
  20. What are my chances of a further offer?
    This is impossible to predict. You should consider the current offer as the last one which you will receive.
  21. Do I have to pay a fee when returning my acceptance to CAO ?
    No payment is required when returning the acceptance for a place. Accounts for tuition fees, etc. will be sent separately. All enquiries about such fees should be directed to the Fees Office of the institution offering the place – not to CAO.
  22. Can you give me information about grants?
    CAO does not deal with grants. Refer to, your local authority or VEC, or the Fees Office of the institution making the offer. See also the website
  23. Can you tell me about accommodation and/or course content?
    Contact the Accommodation Office and/or the Admissions Office of the offering institution.
  24. Have you received my online CAO application?
    You may confirm your online CAO application by logging on to the "My Application" facility.
  25. I am not receiving e-mails from CAO.
    You should check the e-mail address on your CAO account is correct. Also check the "Junk" or "Spam" folder in your e-mail account and mark CAO e-mails as "not junk" or "not spam".
  26. I need to change my personal details online.
    You may change your personal details (apart from your name and date of birth) by logging in to your account. To change your name and/or date of birth you must make a request to CAO in writing. Once approved, it may take up to five working days to be updated.
  27. I do not have my previous Leaving Certificate Exam number and so cannot enter it online now.
    When you do obtain your previous Leaving Certificate exam number then log on to your account again and click on Modify Qualifications and Assessment Details. Exam numbers can be added any time up until the application closing date that applies to your application. Otherwise e-mail CAO with the correct LCE number and year of examination.
  28. I omitted to tick one of the Qualification and Assessment sections relevant to my application. What should I do?
    To add Qualifications and Assessment details to your application at this stage, please use the "Contact" page and inform CAO of the Qualifications and Assessment section you would like added to your account.
  29. I get "Page not found" when I click on "Apply" or "My Application". The rest of the CAO web-site is working for me.
    Your browser is not accepting CAO's secure certificate. Please try a different browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
    To check your client's (browser) certificate status go to
  30. In the mature section there is not enough space to complete my details. What can I do?
    If the space available under the Mature section is insufficient, you may include the extra information with your postal documents.
  31. When I log out of my application does that mean that the information that was sent to CAO cannot be added to/changed in my application at anytime in the future.
    When you log out of your account all the information you added is saved on the CAO system. You may log back into your account at anytime up until the closing date and change/add information.
  32. I was filling in details in the Qualification and Assessment page and the screen crashed and I lost all my information.
    There is a time limit on this page and it can vary from browser to browser. Information should be saved at regular intervals when filling in details in this section. You may return to this section and add or modify information before the closing date on your application.
  33. I filled out the Qualifications and Assessment Section, but I had not finished entering all the details. Now it won't let me update my Qualifications and Assessment details; it is asking me to add my course choices. What should I do?
    You must first enter your course choices. Once you have finished entering your course choices, you will be able to modify and finish your Qualifications and Assessment Section.
  34. I applied previously to CAO in a different year, can I still use my old number?
    No, when you apply again you will receive a NEW CAO application number.
  35. When I log in to my CAO account it won't let me enter my course choices, it keeps asking me for my Qualification and Assessment details
    You must complete the qualification and assessment page before you enter your Course choices.
  36. My account does not let me add or change courses
    Course choices can only be added or changed at certain dates. Click here for instructions on Change of Mind dates.
  37. Do I need an account password?
    An account password is required for the security of your application.
  38. Do I need an e-mail address?
    An e-mail address is required. Acknowledgements and receipts will be sent by e-mail. You can also change your e-mail address in your application at any time. This can be done by the applicant.
  39. I have e-mailed to CAO my exam number but my online account was not updated.
    Online accounts are not immediately updated with exam number amendments that are e-mailed or posted to CAO. You should check your account at a later stage to check that the amendment is made.
  40. I am applying for a course with subject choices, how do I enter my subject choices? Courses with subject choices include CW018 / CW037 / CW108 / CW178 / CW438 / CW858 / CW908 / CW917 / DN200 / DN250 / DN520 / DN530 / DN541 / DN600 / DN660 / DN700 / LM050 / LY207 / LY218 / MH212 / MH401 / MH404 / MH502 / MH601 / MH602 / MH803 / TR114 / TR177 / TR208 / TR239 / TR277 / TR323 / TR324 / TR326 / TR447 / TR455 / TR563 / TR597 / TR636 / TR639 / TR666 / TR667 / TR668 / TR669 / TR670 / TR671 / TR672 / TR756 / WD001 / WD002 / WD005 / WD006 / WD007 / WD048 / WD200
    Applicants applying for such courses should enter the appropriate course code when applying. Applicants can then choose to enter their subject preferences later by clicking on the "Subject Choices" facility which is available in their Level 8 Course list.
  41. I have done GCE/GCSE exams previously, where do I enter my results?
    You must post to CAO certified A4 photocopies (certified by school stamp) of the appropriate certificates for any GCE/GCSE examinations which you have already completed and for which a certificate has been issued - these will form part of your eligibility for consideration for entry to courses. Results printed on school headed paper will not suffice. It is not acceptable to fax or e-mail examination results.
  42. I have also applied to UCAS. Where is the submit button on the CAO form?
    Unlike the UCAS system in the UK, there is no need to "finalise" your application. The college will assess your application with the data available at the time of assessment.
  43. How to cancel a CAO application
    In order to cancel a CAO application you must download a Cancellation form. Ensure you have read and understand the form fully before sending your request to CAO.
  44. How do I know if my documents have been received by CAO?
    If you wish to receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your documents you must include a stamped-addressed postcard or envelope with your mailing. CAO will return this postcard/envelope on receipt but please note that CAO is not in a position to check supporting documents for correctness and completeness. CAO will scan your documents electronically and you will have an opportunity to view them online via the 'My Application' section of the CAO web site (during the first two weeks of April for documents received by mid-March and in the first two weeks of July for late applications).
  45. When can I view my documents online?
    If you have sent supporting documents to CAO you will have an opportunity to view these documents online via the 'My Application' facility of the CAO web site in the first two weeks of April (if you applied to CAO by 1st February and documents were received by mid-March) and the first two weeks of July (if you made a late application).
  46. I sat my Leaving Certificate before 2017, how will the changes to the grading scale and Common Points Scale affect me?
    For more information on the new Common Points Scale and how it applies to pre-2017 Leaving Certificate candidates, please click here.
    For answers to frequently asked questions about the new grading scale and Common Points Scale visit the FAQ section of