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Leaving Cert checklist: important things to remember this year

Leaving Cert checklist: important things to remember this year

There are lots of important dates and considerations that Leaving Cert students need to bear in mind during the year. This handy checklist with crucial website links will help

Christmas is just around the corner which generally means a time to relax and enjoy a lot of special family time. But as we all know, exam years are a different kettle of fish, with lots of things to consider! So it’s a good idea to be organised and remember important dates and occasions that will help you be prepared for June as you study. This Leaving Cert checklist will help you make sure you’re properly prepared.

Open days

Open days are a fantastic way to familiarise yourself with campuses around the country and give a great insight into university life. Remember, if you plan on going to university or college, you should prepare yourself for an entirely different way of learning, studying and socialising.

When considering open days, make sure you go to as many as possible, and generally be inquisitive to give yourself the best chance of making the right choice. Make sure you do your research before going to open days and ask lots of questions. People at open days are there to help you, so make the most of the opportunity!

This first element of your Leaving Cert checklist is one you need to remember, as open days are already happening in third-level institutions around Ireland.


Your Central Applications Office (CAO) application is obviously a hugely important part of your Leaving Cert checklist, and now is the time to start thinking about it in earnest.

There are a number of key dates to consider. If you know the course you’d like to study, you can apply online at cao.ie by January 20th to avail of a discounted application fee of €30. The normal closing date for applications is February 1st, 2018.

But don’t fret if you miss the deadline: the closing date for amending course choices is March 1st, 2018, and the deadline for late applications is May 1st, 2018. For more details, see the CAO website.

Career guidance

In tandem with your CAO application on your Leaving Cert checklist is career guidance. This is a huge part of anyone’s career development, not just something to consider in a Leaving Cert year.

Part of your career guidance process should include aptitude tests to evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses lie. You should also talk with your school’s guidance counsellor about what you genuinely enjoy studying and learning – that’s the best way for choosing a career that might suit you.

But do remember that plans change and what you decide to study may not necessarily lead to the career path you go down!


Grinds are a huge part of your preparation for the Leaving and Junior Certs, and now is certainly the time to begin planning for grinds, if you haven’t already.

Christmas can be a difficult time to maintain good study habits, so establishing a solid grounding with grinds will really stand to you. Dalmac Academy grinds in north Dublin are staffed with the best teachers offering excellent advice and study techniques and tips. Have a read of our blog for more information on why grinds are so important.


Your exam timetable is a crucial part of your Leaving Cert checklist, and will dictate how you structure your study time in the run-up to the exams in June. The Leaving Cert will commence on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018, and the exam timetable will be released on December 18th, 2017. See this link for more information.

Points system

Bear in mind that a new points system applies for the Leaving Cert. This came into effect for the first time last year, and aims to ease the pressure somewhat on students, and initiate a fairer system for students of all capabilities. For more on the new points system, see this informational page. It’s also handy to check out this points calculator to compare points totals with those of different years.

The Dalmac Grinds Academy is based in Rush, offering the best grinds in north Dublin. For more information, see http://dalmacgrindsacademy.net/ or call us on 01-8431697 or email info@dalmacgrindsacademy.ie.