Important dates for your CAO

Make sure you know all of the key dates if you're applying to the CAO
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Illustration of two people standing in front of a calendar - CAO dates

The Leaving Certificate is stressful enough not to mention all the things you have to remember. We’ve put together a few key dates that you can’t forget if you are thinking of using the CAO to choose a college course for September.

Application deadlines

If you are making a CAO application this year, there are some important dates to be aware of.

20th January 2021 (5:15pm)

Apply online by this date to avail of the discounted application fee of €30.

1st February 2021 (5:15pm)

Normal closing date for applications.

5th February 2021 (12pm)

Online facility to amend course choices becomes available (€10 Fee).

Before 15th February 2021

Paper Applicants will be sent a Statement of Course Choices. If you do not receive this statement you should contact the CAO.

Between 3rd – 21st February 2020

Registration for Mature Nursing Test (PAS). 

22nd February 2021

HPAT – Undergraduate Entry to Medicine.

1st March 2021 (5:15pm)

Closing date for amending course choices.
Closing date for completion of the mature section of the application form.
Closing date for the final completion of online HEAR/DARE forms.

5th March 2021 (12pm)

Late application facility opens.

7th and 12th March 2021

MSAP Test – For mature applicants to certain courses in UCD, UCC, UL and NUI Galway.

15th March 2021 (5.15pm)

Latest date for HEAR/DARE supporting documentation to arrive in CAO.

17th-30th March 2021

GAMSAT Test – Graduate Entry to Medicine.

22nd-28th April 2021

Mature Nursing Test (PAS)

1st May 2021 (5:15pm) 

Closing date for late applications. 

Change of mind and statements of application

If you reconsider your options after filling out the CAO, it is possible to change your application.

5th May 2021 (12pm) 

Online Change of Mind facility becomes available free of charge. 

Before 15th May 2021

Late Paper Applicants will be sent a Statement of Course Choices. You should contact the CAO if you do not receive yours. 

Before end of May 2021

Statement of Application Record will be sent to all applicants. You should contact the CAO if you do not receive yours.

1st July 2021 (5:15pm)

Change of Mind closes.

Non-Standard Category Applicants and HEI

If you are a Non-Standard applicant, there are some important CAO dates to keep in mind.

7th July, 2021 (10:00am)

Round A offers for certain Non-Standard categories of applicants. Applicants will receive an offer by post, by e-mail and text message. Reply by 13th July, 2021 by 3:00pm.

22nd July 2021 (5:15pm) 

Exceptional closing date for late applications for those already attending a participating HEI.

5th August, 2021 (10:00am)

Round 0 offers for certain Non-Standard categories of applicant. Applicants will receive an offer by post, by e-mail and text message. Reply by 10th August, 2021 by 3:00pm.

Leaving Cert results and offers

You will receive your Leaving Cert results at the beginning of September.

3rd September 2021 (10am)

Leaving Cert results are released.

7th September, 2021 (2pm)

Round 1 offers available from 14:00 online – also issued by e-mail and text. 

Applicants who have not received an offer will receive a ‘Statement of Application’ e-mail.

8th September, 2021 (12pm)

Available Places facility opens

13th September, 2021 (3pm)

Round 1 Acceptances closing date 

20th September, 2021 (10am)

Round 2 offers available from 10:00 online

22nd September, 2021 (12pm)

Round 2 Acceptances closing date 

28th September, 2021 (10am)

Round 3 offers available from 10:00 online.

30th September, 2021 (3pm)

Round 3 Acceptances closing date 

5th October, 2021 (10am)

Round 4 offers available from 10:00 online.

7th October, 2021 (3pm)

Round 4 Acceptances closing date

12th October, 2021 (10am)

Round 5 offers available from 10:00 online.

14th October, 2021 (3pm)

Round 5 Acceptances closing date


HEIs begin registration


Results of Leaving Certificate appeals released

14th October 2021

Offer Season Ends.

Please note that these dates may be amended.

For further help and advice about your CAO application form.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.


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