Over 550 students are set to receive CAO offers following the sitting of 2020 Leaving Certificate exams last November. This translates to at least one in four of the 2,155 candidates will be guaranteed a spot come autumn based off of their 2020 points. 

Biology and chemistry were the most popular exams taken in November, indicating that offers made in medicine and other related fields will likely be high. Out of 806 biology candidates, one in four achieved a H1; the highest rate of H1’s across all subjects. 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris tweeted on Sunday afternoon that 554 level 8 offers and 37 levels 6 and 7 offers are currently being made to students throughout the country. Third level institutions will make direct contact with relevant students to inform them of their offers. These offers will come out in July, prior to the typical CAO offers, under what is called Round A. 

If a student has also applied for any other courses through the CAO, they may also receive a different offer in Round 1 and choose between them at that time – this unusual situation is a consequence of extenuating circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The November LC candidates were able to combine their results with the best of their predicted grades for the purposes of the CAO after the traditional June examinations were cancelled due to COVID-19. 

As a result of the four percent rise in Leaving Certificate grades because of calculated results, the government has opened extra college places for 2020/21 and have committed to providing extra places for the oncoming 2021/22 academic year too. However, in light of this week’s offers, some 500 of those places could already be filled come July. 

Lucy Mackarel – Reporter