CAO Point-Scoring System for Leaving Certificate Applicants
Round One offers are issued as soon as possible after the current year Irish Leaving Certificate examination results become available, normally within a week of the issue of results to candidates in mid-August. The results are input into the CAO system, and for each course that you have applied to, the CAO system will first check that you meet the minimum entry requirements.
If you meet the eligibility criteria for the course(s) that you have applied for, the system then calculates a points score using the HEI common points scale:
HEI Common Points Scale
|Higher Level Grade||Points||Ordinary Level Grade||Points|
|H1 (90 – 100)||100|
|H2 (80 < 90)||88|
|H3 (70 < 80)||77|
|H4 (60 < 70)||66|
|H5 (50 < 60)||56||O1 (90 – 100)||56|
|H6 (40 < 50)||46||O2 (80 < 90)||46|
|H7 (30 < 40)||37||O3 (70 < 80)||37|
|H8 (0 < 30)||O4 (60 < 70)||28|
|O5 (50 < 60)||20|
|O6 (40 < 50)||12|
|O7 (30 < 40)|
|O8 (0 < 30)|
Table 1.8 HEI Common Points Scale
Maths Bonus Points
25 bonus points will be awarded for Higher Level Mathematics for H6 grades and above. For example, if an applicant receives a H6 grade, an additional 25 points will be added to the 46 points already awarded for a H6 grade i.e. Higher Level Mathematics now carries a points score of 71 for this applicant.
|LCVP Grade||LCVP Points|
Foundation Level Maths Points
|Foundation Level Maths Grade||Foundation Level Maths Points|
- The six best scores, in recognised subjects, in one Leaving Certificate Examination will be counted for points computation. If you receive a H6 grade or higher in Higher Level Mathematics, then you include the additional 25 bonus points now to identify your best six scores. The bonus points are included in the overall points calculation only when Mathematics is one of the applicant’s best six subjects following the addition of the bonus.
- Only one sitting of the Leaving Certificate Examination will be counted for points purposes.
- In the case of certain subjects, e.g. Home Economics (General), Foundation Level Mathematics or Foundation Level Irish, some HEIs may not award the points shown. If in any doubt, check with the Admissions Office of the appropriate HEIs.
- Remember, you must first meet the minimum entry requirements in order to be considered for entry to a course.
We will use an example to calculate a points score, including bonus points for Higher Level Mathematics:
An applicant has the following seven results
|Maths||Higher||H5||56+25 = 81|
|Add the best six scores, shown in bold.||Points = 394|
Table 1.9 Example of a points score calculation
After the points have been calculated, applicants are placed on a list in order of merit for each course for which they are eligible. For example, if you have the highest points score you go to the top of the list and the applicant with the second-highest points score goes second on the list, and so on.
The HEIs then instruct CAO on how many offers to make for each course. If you are in 20th position for a chosen course, and the institution instructs CAO to offer 25 places, then you will receive an offer of a place on that course unless you have received an offer of a course higher up on your preference list. You will not be offered a lower preference course if you receive an offer of a course higher up on your preference list.
For some courses, random number selection may also be a factor. Before applicants are placed on the Order of Merit lists for courses, they are assigned a random number for each course choice. If there are five applicants with an identical points score competing for one remaining place, random number selection applies and the place will be offered to the applicant with the highest random number.
If an applicant does not receive an offer in the first round of offers, they may receive an offer in subsequent rounds.
Please note: NCAD does not award points for Leaving Certificate or other examinations in the case of their restricted courses. Consult NCAD literature for details.
Applicants for undergraduate medicine courses should consult the Student Resources section of the CAO website and click on the Entry to Medicine tab.
All HEIs award points for results in Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme Link Modules, in place of a sixth Leaving Certificate subject. However, not all HEIs count LCVP as meeting eligibility requirements in regard to passing subjects. Applicants should refer to HEI literature for full details.