Decision time is looming for many students

As students all over the county spend long hours over their books in pursuit of a good Leaving Certificate and the points that will steer them on to their desired path in life, it is now time for many students to make that crucial decision.

As students all over the county spend long hours over their books in pursuit of a good Leaving Certificate and the points that will steer them on to their desired path in life, it is now time for many students to make that crucial decision.

With the CAO deadline of 1st February now just over a fortnight away students all over the country will be busy filling out their CAO forms and making final changes for their chosen college courses. While this form can seem daunting, there is no need for students and parents to be fazed by it.

One person well used to these forms is Keith Styles, the admissions manager at Griffith College in Dublin who has kindly offered the students of Donegal some top tips when filling out these forms.

Keith said, “This form can seem complicated but if students and parents take their time and give full consideration to all options, and importantly double check the form once it is filled out, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.”

According to Keith the following simple steps will help the process:

(1) Do research your course choices in advance. Sites such as www.qualifax.ie and www.cao.ie are very useful to assist students with their decision.

(2) Do apply on line, as opposed to the paper format. The online form is cheaper and it does not allow applicants to make mistakes by entering a course code that does not exist.

(3) Do not leave it to the very last minute even with the online form - remember, computers can crash!

(4) Do fill in all 20 spaces provided for the ten Level 8 choices and the ten Level 6 and 7 choices. Give yourself as much choice as possible.

(5) Do put course choices in order of preference with what you really want to do first. Don’t try to second-guess what the points will be in August.

Styles stressed that students should not forget the “Change of Mind” facility that is available after May 1st until July 1st.