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The final countdown; What to expect from Leaving Cert Results Day and the CAO Process

Your one stop guide to all things Leaving Cert 2018

The final countdown; What to expect from Leaving Cert Results Day and the CAO Process

Click here  to check out our Leaving Cert Guide 2018 

The 2018 Leaving Cert results will be released just a week from today. But what happens until then and what are the next steps? Having the answers to some of the big questions you may have at this stage will help to keep the nerves steady!

Below is a useful timeline with key dates to keep in mind. Read on for more in-depth information on each stage and process.

Wednesday 15th August: 

2018 Leaving Cert results are delivered to more than 700 schools. Results are also available through a secure online service at examinations.ie from noon on the same day.

Monday 20th August ~ Round One offers: 

CAO releases ROUND 1 offers to candidates online at 6.00am. Offer notices are also posted to candidates to arrive on this date. The minimum points required for entry to each course are available on the CAO website from 6.00am and also can be viewed here on CareersPortal.ie from that time.

Tuesday 21st August: 

Students who are unhappy with a Leaving Cert result and wish to review their marked exam script/s must return the application form to their school by this date, in the envelope provided. There is no charge for viewing.

Friday 24th August (5.15 pm): 

Closing date for receipt of acceptance of CAO ROUND 1 offers.

Wednesday 29th August: 

CAO posts ROUND 2 offers to applicants.. The minimum points required for entry to each course are released on the CAO website at 10.00am and are also available here

Friday 31st August (5.15 pm): 

Closing date for accepting CAO ROUND 2 offers. 

Friday 31st August – Saturday 1st September: 

Marked Leaving Cert exam scripts can be viewed in the school by students, along with one person of their choice. Scripts cannot be viewed by anyone else unless the student is present.

Wednesday 5th September:

Closing date for Leaving Cert Appeals Applications. A fee of €40 per subject applies. The fee is refunded in the case of an upgrade.


Results of Leaving Cert appeals are released by the SEC. Final offers by the CAO will be made up to October 17th.

Read more: Options Outside the CAO  


  • Results will be issued for all students on Wednesday 15th August.
  • Results are issued to your school or education provider. (Unless you are an external candidate, in which case they are issued directly to you).
  • All exam candidates have the option of accessing their results using the SEC Online Results service which is available HERE at 12.00 midday on the 15th August. You will need your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and exam number (issued to all candidates before the commencement of the written exams in June)
  • Your Leaving Cert results are also sent to the Central Applications Office (CAO) in preparation for the course offers process which begins a few days later.

Need help with figuring out your CAO points? Use our Points Calculator

Get the app here.


  • In order to make an appeal application, you should use the online Appeals Application and Service on www.examinations.ie which will be available from 12 noon on the 20th August 2018.  You access this service online using your Examination Number and Pin.  

    At the end of the transaction the candidate will be provided with an Appeal Confirmation Form showing the subjects which they have opted to appeal.  In order to make a valid appeal, they must return this form to the school where they sat their examinations.  The appeal application is only complete if the form is returned to the school and candidates have until the evening of Monday 3rd September to do so.  

    Candidates who took the Leaving Certificate Applied programme can obtain a personalised appeal application from their school. 

The Leaving Certificate results will be released Wednesday 15th August, followed on Monday 20th August with the CAO Round 1 offers. Watch this space for details of changes in points for college courses in anticipation of CAO offers.

Click to view full size.


  • CAO Round One course offers will be made five days after the Leaving Cert results (Monday 20th August). Offers are made online at 6.00am and also by post and SMS text.
  • The cut-off points for courses will be available online here from 6.00am, and on the CAO website.
  • Applicants must decide whether to accept this offer or not. Round One offers must be accepted by 5.15pm on 24th August.
  • Further rounds of offers from the CAO continue until all course places are filled.
  • Applicants who have not received an offer will receive another Statement of Application Record.


  • Vacant Places on Higher Education courses will only be made available after Round One Offers are issued.
  • Those who have not applied to the CAO already may make an Available Place application on payment of a fee of €45.00.
  • Those who have applied already (whether placed or not) may apply for an Available Place on-line without payment of a further fee (when available).
  • Applicants for Available Places/Vacant Places must meet the normal minimum entry requirements for the course(s) in question.

To check out the CAO Vacant Places list for remaining available courses: click here


  • Grant Applications - Check out Payment of SUSI Grants here

Note: SUSI is still accepting applications for the 2018/19 academic year.  Check here 


  • Have a Contingency Plan - Read about the Second Chance Maths Exams here
  • Repeat the Leaving Cert - Find out more here
  • PLC/FE Courses (Post Leaving Cert/Further Education) - Explore using our PLC course search tool here 
  • Available Places - Watch out for Colleges Direct notices about available places on courses that have not yet been filled.
  • Study Abroad options - take a look here at the options available for studying in the UK, Europe or further afield.

And ...

  • Think about an apprenticeship - there are lots of new options out there that are well worth exploring!


The IGC / NPCpp HELPLINE number 2018

1800 265165

The Institute of Guidance Counsellors and the National Parents Council post primary helpline will be open again this year to offer help and advice, for the six days following the Leaving Cert results.

The helpline will open on results day and run for six days as follows:

Wednesday, August 15th: 10 am -7 pm (Leaving Cert Results day)

Thursday, August 16th: 10 am - 7 pm

Friday, August 17th: 10 am - 1 pm

Monday, August 20th: 8 am - 7 pm (CAO Round 1 Offers Day)

Tuesday, August 21st: 8 am - 7 pm

Wednesday, August 22nd: 10 am - 1 pm

The CareersPortal Team


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