5 Top Tips for Change of Mind

Leaving Certificate applicants should take note that the CAO Change of Mind deadline is 5.15pm on the 1st of July (visit www.cao.ie for more info).

If you’re thinking of changing your courses, read on for our top tips.

Think what you’d genuinely like to study

Choose a course that you’ll enjoy. If you pick a degree programme, you’ll be studying for three or four years - if it’s something that you genuinely find interesting, you will do well.

DIT journalism student Amy Grehan wrote last year on Campus.ie about changing the courses on her CAO application at the start of July – she found the right course in journalism at DIT.

“If I could offer advice to any indecisive 6th year it would be to follow your heart, do what you enjoy, go with your gut and stick down the course you truly want on your CAO regardless of the points,” she says in the article. “Thank God for the CAO change of mind option is all I have to say.”

You can read more of Amy’s article at http://campus.ie/college-life/personal/cao-change-of-mind-my-experience.

Do your research

Don’t rely just on the names of courses  – you’ll get a better understanding of what a course is about by reading a synopsis, what modules are covered and what the learning outcomes are. You can find all that information on the admission areas of college websites.

Putting in a bit of reading time now can pay dividends in helping you make the right choices for you.

Check entry requirements again

Double-check the entry requirements for your course. In some cases, students may have dropped from a Higher to an Ordinary level paper or decided not to sit a subject without realising this could affect their CAO choices.

Don’t get distracted by what others say about exam performance

Frank Costello, Head of Admissions and Enrolment Planning at DIT, says anxious students shouldn’t base their decisions for the change-of-mind form on what other Leaving Cert students are saying about their exam performance, especially on Twitter and Facebook.

“Social media is their [students’] form of communication and what is said can be extremely influential, so I’d be concerned there is a viral effect that leads a student to think, ‘I didn’t do well in my exams, I’ll change my mind’,” he told the Sunday Times in an article on Change of Mind.

Get advice…if you need it

If you’ve been mulling over whether to change your preferences on the CAO, you might benefit from talking to someone else about it. Your school guidance counsellor or a teacher may be available to talk to you and your parents and friends are also good people to bounce ideas off.

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