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Question
I was researching cao course choices and saw the term cut-off point referred to when discussing rounds of offers, what does this mean?
Answer
The cut-off point refers to the points score of the last person to receive an offer in that round - this is the cut-off point for that course, i.e. the points that are published for that course for that round. For example if there was low demand for a particular course then the cut-off point will drop and required points will become lower for the next round of offers allowing those with lower points and having that course on their list of choices, to qualify for it on the next round of offers.

Points Calculation Process

  • The applicant’s leaving Certificate results are released to CAO.

  • CAO checks if the applicant meets the minimum entry requirements for each of their chosen courses.

  • CAO calculates a points score for all of the courses that the applicant is eligible for.

  • The colleges instruct CAO to make X number of offers for each course.

  • The applicant is placed on a list for each of their eligible courses. Their position on the list is determined by their points score relative to the other eligible applicants for that course. The list is commonly referred to as the ‘Order of Merit list’.

  • The applicant will receive an offer of the course highest up on their preference list that they are deemed eligible for. If they are eligible for an offer on their 2nd preference course they will not receive an offer for any lower preference courses.

  • The offers are issued to applicants based on their position on the list. The applicant with the highest points score will be offered the first place, the second highest will be offered the second place, and so on until all places have been offered.

  • The points score of the last person to receive an offer in that round is the cut-off point for that course, i.e. the points that are published for that course for that round.


More information about this can be viewed on the CAO website
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