Having another go at maths for college entry

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A number of colleges offer students a second chance to show that they have the maths skills required for entry to certain courses.

Special maths exams take place over the next week or so, and may lead to an offer of a desired place in a later CAO round.

The target audience is, generally, CAO applicants who achieved sufficient points for a particular course and satisfy all other requirements, but who came up shy in maths. With all the pressure on Leaving Cert candidates in June, this can happen to any student.

While many of the exams are geared to particular courses, where applicants need a minimum H4, in other cases they can lead to entry to any course in a particular college.

The papers are not the same as the Leaving Cert. but the topics will be familiar to students.

There are no extra points available, and achieving the necessary standard is not a guarantee of a course place. But it could and does make the difference for many students.

Anyone interested should check college websites for more details, but here is a guide to exam dates.

Cork IT

Tuesday, August 21 for applicants interested in any of its programmes that require minimum levels of performance in maths. One paper is set at ordinary level, and taken by all candidates and, another, at higher level, which must also be taken by those seeking a H4 equivalent. Applications open today at 1pm and close on Monday at 1pm.


Wednesday, August 22 for applicants to its Level 8 programmes that require higher level maths: DT302 Business Analytics and DT066 Engineering (General Entry). It is set at a similar standard as the Leaving Certificate higher level paper and is open to students who have studied the “honours” course. Optional tutorials will be held Monday and Tuesday, August 21 and 22.

IT Carlow

Thursday, August 23, exclusively for applicants to its CW478, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering, although it is also open to those who studied for the Leaving Cert ordinary level paper. Applications will be accepted up to 9am that day. Optional two-day preparatory course on Wednesday, August 22 and Thursday, August 23.

Maynooth University

Tuesday, August 21 for entry to its Level 8, MH304 Engineering, where the minimum maths requirement is H4, or equivalent.

The exam is based on the content covered by Paper One of the Leaving Cert higher level syllabus. Candidates may register on or before Friday, August 17 at 5pm. Optional preparatory course on Monday August 20.

NUI Galway

Wednesday, August 22 for existing CAO appllicants for its College of Engineering and Informatics programmes with the following maths requirements: H4 for BE Programmes, H7/O3 for BSc Project & Construction Management, H6/O2 for BSc Computer Science & IT. Leaving Cert candidates who sat ordinary level may also apply. Five-day preparatory course from tomorrow to August 21.

University of Limerick

Thursday, August 23, for entry to its Faculty of Science and Engineering programmes. It is based on the higher level syllabus, but those who sat ordinary level, who believe they can meet the standard, may apply. There is no UL preparatory course.

Waterford IT

Friday, August 24 for CAO applicants for any course in the college. There are two papers, based on the Leaving Cert ordinary level syllabus. Applications open today.

The exam is also open to applicants to ‘direct entry’ courses, WD007 (Bachelor of Engineering [Common Entry]) and WD230 BEng (Hons) in Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering.

Irish Independent

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