Irish CAO releases 2005 university offers to students

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Central Applications Office in Ireland has released the first round of offers for places on third level courses to over 60,000 Irish Leaving Certificate students (graduating secondary school students).

The offers are given out based on a highly competitive points system whereby students receive from

  • 100 points for an A1 to 45 points for a D3 at higher level.
  • 60 points for an A1 to 5 points for a D3 on lower level.

Points from a student's best six subjects are added up to make his or her total points. This year 145 students achieved the maximum 600 points. Students achieveing this are generally regarded as the top students academically in the country.

Points required for courses in medicine and nursing have risen again leaving many candidates disappointed. Due to the huge popularity of medicine and the low supply of courses, points for entry into medicine are in the region of 580 points. Points for arts, engineering and commerce have fallen marginally.

While the points system is often attacked for placing too much pressure on students, it has avoided the problem of grade inflation that has occurred in the UK and USA. The Leaving Certificate exam has remained largely unchanged since its inception in 1924. It is often joked that the same questions reappear on the papers every 30 or 40 years.