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Help with CAO for parents and students as deadline approaches

For students planning to go to college this year, the next important deadline is almost here - the closing date for applications to CAO 2023 is Wednesday 1st February at 5.00pm.

This is the final date for including any restricted courses on your CAO application. A restricted course is any course that requires a test, an interview, a portfolio or an audition as part of the application process.

Two invaluable tools from are available here to help you with the CAO application process:

The CAO CourseFinder Tool and The CAO Points Calculator App

This CAO CourseFinder tool will take the pain out of course research, making it quick and easy to find courses (PLC & CAO) and explore them in detail.

The CourseFinder allows users to search the range of available undergraduate courses using any combination of filters including:

  • Career Interests
  • Career Sectors
  • Region
  • Colleges
  • CAO Points level;
  • Availability of QQI Progression routes
  • Foreign Language Options by Course

Popular unique and additional filter options include:

  • No Maths required
  • Accepts Foundation Maths
  • Accepts Ordinary Maths
  • Lab Science not required
  • Modern Language not required
  • Courses with a foreign language
  • Courses with Irish
  • Restricted Courses
  • New Courses for 2023

Results are instant with information available on Further Education and Training (FET) links as well as Career Progression. Check it out here.

Calculating CAO Points

Download the CareersPortal CAO Points Calculators from CareersPortal to remove the stress from calculating CAO points. Simply input your (anticipated) grades, and the calculator will do the rest for you!

Enter your Maths Grade first, followed by all other grades including your LCVP Link Modules result if relevant to you. Users can easily toggle between Higher and Ordinary subject grades. The calculator instantly displays the total points achieved from your top six results.

It is always a good idea to ensure that your course list includes one or two courses for which you are confident you will achieve the entry requirements. Courses that are traditionally in high demand will continue to require high points for entry. Meanwhile, courses where demand is low, relative to the number of available places, will have lower points.

Download your FREE Leaving Cert CAO Points Calculator App NOW!

Key Dates

Remember, there is plenty of time to revisit your application in the weeks and months ahead, once you have made a start. Choices made now, with the exception of restricted courses, can be changed right up until the 1st July final deadline.

  • 1st February 5pm - Normal CAO application deadline with full fee (€45.00)
  • 3rd February 12pm - 1st March 5pm - CAO online facility to amend course choices is available (€10 fee)
  • 15th March – Latest date for HEAR/DARE supporting documentation to arrive in CAO.

A full list of key dates for 2023 can be found here.

Further Research

The dedicated area for Leaving Cert students on has everything you need to explore all education and career options including information on courses and careers across 33 sectors, Apprenticeships, Studying Abroad, Scholarships, CAO Toolbox, Student Supports, Quick links to all Key Tools on the site and the latest College News and Events.

Visit our Parent’s section here to learn more about how to support your child in making key career decisions along with information about what additional supports are available to them.

Read: Always Have a CAO Back Up Plan to Avoid Disappointment

The CareersPortal Team