The Leaving Certificate results are due this Wednesday and the Union of Students in Ireland is advising students across the country who wish to progress to third level education on the next steps to take.
“The first thing we would like to say to students who have just done their leaving cert is congratulations.” Annie Hoey, USI President, said.
“It’s probably the toughest exam most people will do in their life and it spans across so many diverse subjects, both optional and obligatory. It’s important to bear in mind that when you go to college, you’ll most likely be studying in a field you’re interested in and better at. Overall leaving cert points don’t reflect your ability in one area.”
CAO Round One offers are issued on August 22nd on Round Two on the 31st August and USI is reminding students that if they don’t get their first choice, to wait and see what they get in the second round.
USI President, Annie Hoey, said that receiving the Leaving Cert results and CAO offers are two of the most exciting and stressful days young people can experience because five or six years of studying and hard work leads to one day. Hoey said students should get plenty of sleep the night before to help reduce anxiety levels. USI said that there is plenty of help available for students who didn’t get the points for their preferred course choice. Young people should talk to career guidance counsellors if they feel disappointed. Services like Childline are also available 24/7 on 1800 666 666.
On the 22nd August the first round of CAO offers will be sent out to young people across Ireland. USI is urging young people to reflect on their decision before accepting the offer as they may get a second choice in the second round offer on the 31st August. Hoey said anyone feeling confused or worried about their choices should get in contact with the College’s Students’ Union or access office. In terms of finding and securing student accommodation, USI said if students are set on a certain college, they should ring the accommodation office ASAP so they have a place to stay during their studies. Further ‘digs’ accommodation is available on homes.usi.ie.
Meanwhile, further practical advice around further education options can be found via the eir supported Exam Helpline, now recognised as a valuable resource for parents and students. For over 20 years the Exam helpline provided by The National Parents Council Post Primary (NPCpp), and supported by eir, has been there to help parents and students who are seeking advice, and up to date information on the choices available and guidance on next steps.
The 1800 265 165 Freephone helpline is open from 10am on Wednesday, 17th August, to take calls from students, parents and teachers seeking advice and up to date information on what choices are available to students. The Helpline is sponsored by eir, supported by the Department of Education and Skills and staffed by members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. The Helpline received a record number of 2,500 calls last year involving more than 5,000 separate queries and this number is expected to rise this year.
The opening hours of Helpline 2016 are: August 17th and 18th from 10am to 7pm; August 19th from 10am to 1pm; August 22nd and 23rd from 8am to 7pm and August 24th from 8am to 1pm.