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Math options Leaving Cert math fail or pass

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Sceala Clann T.D.
Location: Wicklow

Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     Math options Leaving Cert math fail or pass

Failed your leaving cert math?
Do not panic ....there are many options.
I hope this news is of relief ....and benefit to someone.
Failed maths? Don't panic - here are some options to consider
In this section

What are the options now available for the 5,000 Leaving Cert students who failed ordinary level maths exam?
The big issue on The Irish Times Helpline over the past two days has been the failure rate in maths.
Scores of students who failed the subject are wondering what they should do.
There are a number of options available for your consideration.
First, you might decide to view your script on the 29th or 30th August, in your school along with your maths teacher, if he/she is available.
Following this process, you may decide to appeal your maths grade, which will result in your paper being remarked by a different maths teacher to the one who gave you your current grade.

This remarking process will cost you 37, which is refundable if your paper is upgraded.
On average, 20 per cent of all appeals are successful each year, so it is certainly an option worth considering.
If you have applied for degree programmes in arts, social science, law, etc in an NUI college, and have secured the required entry points, you will be offered your place, as maths is not an entry requirement for a number of CAO programmes.
You also have the option of repeating maths as a single subject in next year's Leaving Certificate, or of taking a Post Leaving Certificate course, and taking a Maths Fetac module within your programme.

You can of course present your Fetac award, which can be worth up to 400 points, for those who secure distinctions across all eight modules.

What if I failed higher-level maths?
There are hundreds of students who failed the higher level paper, and had applied for level eight engineering programmes. If you applied to NUI Maynooth and are in this situation you can sit a second chance maths exam on Friday the 23rd August to gain an engineering place.
If you are successful in the examination and have the required entry points, you will be offered a place in round two.
Details of this examination are available at .
The NUI Galway and Cork Institute of Technology have similar repeat maths examinations. Details of these options are available on their respective websites.

If I have the required points, but have fallen short of a minimum entry requirement, will colleges be willing to vary this requirement?
In the UK, under their UCAS college entry system, colleges set individual entry requirements for each applicant, based on the course being applied for. If a student falls a little short of these requirements and there are places still unfilled, colleges may show some flexibility if you fall short by a single grade.
In Ireland, under the rules of our CAO system, colleges publish general entry requirements for each college, and specific requirements for each course offered by the college.

There is no flexibility in terms of these published criteria - to do so would deprive the next student in line for the place of their entitlement.
If you do not meet an entry requirement but have more than sufficient points for the course in question, you have no option but to repeat a single subject next year and then re-apply to the CAO next year, using your points score from this year's sitting of the Leaving.
You may not use the improved grade you may secure in your repeated single subject, to increase your points score, as you can only apply to the CAO using the points score secured in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate.

Can I change the order of preference on my CAO application now?
No. Once the July 1st deadline for registering change of mind has passed you cannot vary your existing order of preference.
However, where colleges have not secured sufficient applications for a course, they register the availability of those places on the "vacant places" list on the CAO website, at

This facility will go live next Tuesday, after colleges ascertain how many places they can fill through round one offer's next Monday, the 18th August.
If you do not want the course you are offered on Monday, or if you receive no offer, you have the choice of selecting a vacant place, from the full list of available courses on the CAO website, and inserting it into your existing list of choices.

If you receive an offer on Monday you do not want to accept but do want to accept a vacant place, you must place your new course choice, and above the course you have been offered on your list of course choices.

If you simply want to ensure that you will be offered the new course, in case you do not receive any of your current choices, you must simply place the new course at the bottom of your existing list of choices.

A word of caution: if you remove an existing course from your list, you cannot recover it, even if you change your mind about removing it within five minutes, so be careful about any changes you make.

On Monday: Brian Mooney will be examining the first round of CAO offers in Options 2008 , a special 16 page supplement with The Irish Times .

This column resumes on Tuesday

2008 The Irish Times

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