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Checklist for CAO Change of Mind





Many of you are still working your way through the Leaving Cert exams but with the CAO Change of Mind deadline approaching on July 1, it is really important that you take some time to look at the details of your CAO application, particularly your course choices.

This is the last opportunity for you to make changes before the final deadline at 5.15pm on the day. It has been a challenging two years, with lots of uncertainty and so much has been out of your control. What is within your control now is how you finalise your CAO choices to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of securing a place on a course you want in September. Leaving Cert results will be issued on September 3 with CAO Round 1 Offers out on September 7. To use the Change of Mind facility you simply log on to, click on ‘My Application’ and log in with your CAO number, date of birth and account password.


As you review your CAO choices in the coming weeks, use the following checklist as a guide:

* Have you checked your Statement of Application email from CAO and verified that all your details are correct including personal, educational and exemption details?

* Have you included courses on both sides of the CAO (Level 8 and Level 7/6). This gives you the best chance of getting two offers when the Round 1 Offers come out - the top choice that you qualify for on each list. You will then have to choose which one you prefer.

* Have you filled in as many of the 20 choices as you can? You have the option to fill up 10 on both sides, giving you 20 possible options for college in the new academic year. By filling all 20 choices you give yourself 20 chances of getting a college place.

* Have you checked the Alert Lists on Lots of new courses have been added in several colleges since the CAO Handbook was published last September, some very recently. You can add these courses in by checking the course code on the Alert List.

* Have you taken out courses that you are no longer interested in? Lots of students rush the application ahead of the February 1 deadline with the intention of coming back to look at the course choices more closely. It is not unusual for students to completely change their minds between February and July 1.

* Have you researched the detail of any course that you are including on your CAO application – take particular note of entry requirements and modules. By doing so you are giving yourself the best chance of choosing courses that you are able for, that suit you and that you are interested in.

* Have you listed your courses in Order of Preference? This is the golden rule of CAO. No one knows what the points will be for 2021 until the day the Round 1 offers come out and equally you won’t know your results of exams and/or accredited grades until September 3. My advice is don’t try to second guess either of them and before 5.15pm on July 1, make sure that your course choices are listed in Order of Preference!

* Have you applied the HEAR and/or DARE schemes or completed the HPAT exam? If so you will know the outcome of your applications on June 29 and the result of the HPAT exam is expected around the same time. This may influence your decisions around your choices.

You have had a challenging senior cycle, all the more reason to look ahead to a brighter future. Take time to review your CAO course choices, research your options outside of CAO and make an informed decision about the best next step after the Leaving Cert!

In next week’s column I will be answering your questions about CAO Change of Mind and offer stage so please send them to or DM me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook on @mycareerplan1.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors and Careers Advisor at

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Self-care equals wellness

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Science supports time off and recharging as a means of reducing stress, improving productivity and living a healthier lifestyle. A wellness […]




By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Science supports time off and recharging as a means of reducing stress, improving productivity and living a healthier lifestyle.

A wellness day can be a godsend in this scenario offering a place to relax, rejuvenate, reflect, detox, and pamper yourself while getting some much needed ‘me time’. Relaxing time is, more than ever, an important part of life. Seeking out health boosting treatments that work for you are essential for a healthier quality of life. As we have entered the dark cycle, it brings space for new beginnings. I used to struggle with this time of year and now I find I embrace the invitation, maybe age or wisdom! There can be a lot of cultural and habitual ways of thinking about tending to our needs that might need to be unpacked from our minds; that serving our needs is selfish, that expressing needs is not being grateful enough… that we should muscle through and get on with it…. that caring for your needs is indulgent.

One way we can start to get rid of some of these myths and move towards our needs is to spend time in nature; fresh air, walks, taking care of ourselves, to notice how we feel when we feel supported and nurtured.

Another way of unwinding is booking a holistic or beauty treatment which can be more beneficial than the end result. It can be the process of the letting go and having time for yourself. The relaxation helps improve circulation and lymphatic drainage which are all positive results from a little bit of self-care.

If you have never tried a hot stone massage, a Swedish massage, reflexology, a facial, pedicure or foot health now is the time to book. If you simply don’t know where to start then call Jill on 064 6632966 for advice.

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Activate’s pre-season programme for 2023

By Kayleigh Cronin from Activate Fitness   Want to gain a sharper edge this off-season and be a stronger, faster, and more powerful athlete in 2023? If the answer is […]




By Kayleigh Cronin from Activate Fitness


Want to gain a sharper edge this off-season and be a stronger, faster, and more powerful athlete in 2023? If the answer is yes, then join Activate’s 2023 pre-season programme.

The majority of athletes will want to enter the pre-season:

– Fitter, able to withstand the hard sessions ahead
– Bigger and stronger, so they can handle and dominate the knocks, bumps and contacts
– With greater speed, so they can outrun the opposition.

That is where we come in.

Why Activate, Why Now?

Over the last number of years, the ‘season’ of any given sport has changed drastically. Now, amateur sports people are expected to train all year round as professionals do. The off-season used to mean putting your feet up, these days it means you can put yourself to (smart) work, honing in on any weaknesses in your armour. Athletes who choose to take it easy and not enhance their athletic performance are at an immediate disadvantage when the season begins.

It is often athletes who are most serious about their sport that are least likely to ‘take it easy’ during any stage of the season. They are often the ones who are first back to the gym or pitch after a season ends, usually with a generic programme in hand. These training programmes are usually given to every player on the team, regardless of any individual needs you may have and you are left to your own devices to get through it. Many athletes are willing, or do, put in the hard work that is required, but often the effort being put in is not transferring into the results that are deserved from the amount of work being put in.

If it was as easy as a generic training programme (mostly terrible .pdf docs), we’d see resilient, powerful and confident athletes everywhere come day one of the season. But we don’t because it’s not as simple as a tick box programme or finding the latest circus trick exercises on social media. Do we expect a goalkeeper to cover the same sprint distance as a corner forward in a match? No. Do we expect a corner back to cover the same total distance as a midfielder in a match? No. So why do we expect the same programme to work for every player, regardless of playing position, individual needs and so on?

Through testing and a needs analysis, we will determine what area of your individual game needs improvement and put a plan in place that will allow you to gain a sharper edge this off-season.

What Are We Offering?

We are offering an eight-week pre-season programme to any Gaelic footballer or general sport enthusiast. We are aware that some seasons are still ongoing, therefore the earliest start date is November 21, and the latest start date is December 12.

If you want to level up this year, you’ll want to consider having a fully integrated system for developing your athleticism. Allow us to put in place a system for you, working with a master’s qualified Strength & Conditioning Coach who has considerable inter-county playing experience, supported by some of the best in the business in S&C, Physiotherapy and Nutrition.

A system that ensures when it matters, you are ready.

Testing & Assessment
Physio (if required)

For more information follow our Facebook page, or email me at

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