Key CAO Dates

As we hurtle towards June and the beginning of the Leaving Certificate examinations, it is worth familiarising yourself with the Key CAO Dates over this busy period. We have listed them below.

You can also download and print a copy from here.

MAY 2016

End May: CAO change-of-mind facility opened on 5th May. Applicants will get a statement of application record before the end of May (by post), listing all details supplied by them to date.

Advice: If you do not receive a statement, or if it contains any errors, inform the CAO as soon as possible.

JUNE 2016

Wednesday 8th: Leaving Certificate written exams begin and continue until Friday 24th June.

Monday 27th: Applicants (under 23 years of age) who sat the Hpat test in February receive their results. You can then factor these marks into your final course choices before the CAO deadline of 1st July.

JULY 2016

Friday 1st: 5.15pm is the final date for any changes to yourCAO course choices and order of preference for entry to college in September. The majority of current-year Leaving Cert applicants use this change-of-mind period to make their final amendments each year.

First week of July: Initial CAO offers are made. More than 6,000 offers will be made by the CAO to mature applicants (those over 23 years old) and applicants who accepted and deferred places last year. Offers are made by post and via the CAO website – they remain open for a week.

Advice: Offers lapse if not accepted within a week – Mature students and deferred applicants who may be away from home should make sure that any offer received in early July is dealt with.

Friday 22nd July is an exceptional closing date for third-level students who wish to drop out of their current college course and reapply for a new list of choices through the CAO application process. The CAO report that over 300 students availed of this in 2015.


Round Zero offers – (Early August 2016): More than 2,000 course places are offered in this round to: applicants with further-education awards; mature applicants; and applicants for a place on graduate medicine. Offers are open for one week.

Wednesday 17th: The State Examinations Commission (SEC) delivers the 2016 Leaving Cert results to more than 700 schools, and also makes them available through a secure on line service at from noon that day.

Monday 22nd: The CAO releases round-one offers to candidates online at 6am. Offer notices are sent by post to candidates to arrive on this date. Minimum points required for entry to each course are available on the CAO website from 6.00am and here on

Advice: Make sure all communications are in working order and accessible including: mail, email, internet, mobile phone, passwords etc. and that you have the PIN number required to access Leaving Cert results online to hand.

Tuesday 23rd:  Students who are unhappy with any of their grades and wish to review their Leaving Cert exam scripts should return the application forms enclosed with their Leaving Cert results to their school by this date. There is no charge.

Monday 29th (by 5.15 pm): Closing date for accepting CAO round-one offers.

Wednesday 31st: Round-two offers to arrive by post from CAO Thursday 1st September. Minimum points required for entry to each course are available on the CAO website from 6.00am and here on

Author: Francis O' Toole

Francis O' Toole is a Educational Psychotherapist & Guidance Counsellor. I set up this blog page to help students gain as much information as possible to be able to make right choices and decisions regarding their career options. I believe that we will be very successful in our careers if we follow what we enjoy.

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