Filling out the CAO (Central Applications Office) form can be a daunting task. Especially if you're a student trying to decide on your next step after finishing secondary school. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:
The CAO form becomes available in November. It's a good idea to start thinking about it well in advance. This will give you time to research different courses and institutions. This allows you to make an informed decision about what you want to study.
Do your research
Make sure you have a good understanding of the courses and institutions that you're interested in. Look at the course content, entry requirements, and graduate prospects, and consider whether the course is a good fit for your interests and career goals. You can find this information on the CAO website, as well as on the websites of individual institutions and courses.
Consider your order of preference
When you fill out the CAO form, you'll be asked to list your course preferences in order of preference. It's important to be realistic about your chances of getting a place on each course. So, consider your grades and other entry requirements when deciding on your order of preference. If you're not sure what you want to study, or if you're interested in a number of different courses, it's a good idea to list your preferences in order of your level of interest. That way, if you don't get a place on your first choice, you'll still have the opportunity to pursue one of your other options.
Don't forget about alternative options
It's important to have a backup plan. If you're not sure what you want to study, or if you don't get a place on your first choice. Look into alternative options like gap years, further education colleges, or part-time courses. You'll something to pursue while you figure out your next steps.
Get help if you need it
If you're having trouble deciding on your course preferences or filling out the CAO form, don't be afraid to seek help. Your guidance counsellor, teachers, or family members can all be a valuable source of advice and support. You can also contact the CAO directly with any questions you have about the application process.
By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to making informed decisions about your next steps after secondary school. Good luck with the CAO process!