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How does COVID-19 affect the CAO?

Find out how the coronavirus outbreak has affected the CAO after the cancellation of the Leaving Cert


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news


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Now that the Leaving Cert has been cancelled and replaced by calculated grades due to COVID-19, there are now questions around how this will affect the CAO and starting college later in the year. 

The CAO are currently working with the Higher Education Institutions to work out what the new calculated grades system will mean for the CAO. 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the CAO

If you have an urgent question about your CAO application, you can email them through your account or through the contact us section of the website.

How do calculated grades affect the CAO?

The CAO are working with the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to work out how the calculated grades system will impact the CAO, and what changes will need to be made to the current schedule. They will contact all CAO applicants when a decision has been made. 

I need to send documents to go along with my application. What should I do?

If you made a late application, or if you are a mature student or EU citizen abroad applying to the CAO, you will need to provide supporting documents to go along with your application. 

You can send these documents to: CAO, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway. Your documents will be processed when the CAO office re-opens and staff can access them. If you sent your documents before the COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, you do not need to re-send them. They will be processed when the office re-opens.

Mature students should also contact the college or university they are applying to and ask if they will still accept your documents received after the 10-day deadline, since the CAO cannot process them until after the restrictions have been listed.

Is the CAO Change of Mind still available?

The CAO is still working on their original schedule of dates, which means the Change of Mind facility is still open. If there are any changes to the CAO schedule, they will let you know.

CAO change of mind will close on 1st July at 5:15pm.

What happens if the Leaving Cert is cancelled or postponed?

There is still a lot of uncertainty around the Leaving Cert, but the CAO will continue to work on their original schedule of dates. If anything changes, they will let you know. For now, continue to work on the basis that things will still go ahead as scheduled.

Find out how to handle exam stress and worry during COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

What can GSCE or Other School Leaving Applicants do?

If you are applying to the CAO as a GCSE student or as an Other School Leaving Applicant, the CAO has said that they expect your grades to be treated as normal. If your exams are postponed or rescheduled, they recommend sending your results as soon as you have them. They will be in touch with more information as soon as they have it.

Feeling overwhelmed or anxious around the current pandemic?

This situation is completely new to everyone involved and it is normal to feel worried or anxious about what is going on. Following the Government’s instructions on how to stay safe and help slow the spread of the virus, can help to make you feel more in control.

If you feel overwhelmed by the current situation and need someone to talk to, our anonymous, 24 hour text line is always open. You're worth talking about and we're here to listen and support you.

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Published April 7th2020
Last updated July 8th2020
Tags covid-19
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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