UL CAO points calculator
and Report

Time to complete Allow 20 hours continuous
Test Data Files

CAOapps.Dat
(The CAO applications file)

LC-Results.Dat
(The Leaving Certificate results file. This file is not available for download. You will have to make up your own test data file.)


Introduction

The Central Applications Office (CAO) provides a centralised applications mechanism to many of the third level institutions in Ireland.  Students wishing to take courses in any of the participating institutions indicate their course preferences in order of preference on the CAO form.  Places are offered on the basis of points calculated on the Leaving Certificate results.  

Although the Central Applications Office makes offers or places to applicants it does not calculate the points.  The points awarded for Leaving Certificate results are calculated by the participating institutions.   This allows these institutions to build into the CAO system any special requirements which they might have.

The CAO and the University of Limerick (UL)

After the Leaving Certificate results become available the CAO sends a copy of the CAO Applications File and the Exam Results File to the UL.   The UL must then use these files and internal points allocation algorithms to generate the points awarded for each course application.  The results are returned to the CAO in the form of a Course Points File. 

The  Files

The CAO sends two files to the UL (the CAO Applications file and the Exam Results File) and sends one file back to the CAO (the Course Points File)..

CAO Applications File
The CAO Applications File is a sequential file ordered on ascending CAO-Number.  It contains applicant details.  The courses that the applicant applies for are held in a 10 element table.  Note that the first two characters of the Course-Code represent the institution. For instance, LM represents the University of Limerick.

   Field

Type

Length

Occurrence

Value

CAO-Number

X

8

1

-

Applicant-Name

X

60

1

-

Applicant-Address

X

100

1

-

Course-Code

X

5

10

e.g LM051

 

Note
Elements of the Applicant-Address are separated from one another by commas. You are guaranteed that the last item in the address is the county name. The county name will be preceded by the letters Co. and a space. The address may be upper case, lower case or a mixture.
E.g. 13 Winchester Drive,Castletroy,Ennis,Co. Clare
Wilderness Co. ,LittleVillage, co. Waterford


The Exam Results File
The Exam Results File is a sequential file ordered on ascending CAO-Number.   It contains the Leaving Certificate exam results for CAO applicants.  The applicants Leaving Certificate results are held in a 14 element table.  Each element consists of the Subject-Code and the Subject-Result.

Field

Type

Length

Occurrence

Value

CAO-Number

X

8

1

-

LC-Result

Group

Group

14

-

Subject-Code

X

3

 

-

Subject-Result

X

3

 

-

 

 

The Course Points File
The Course Points File is a sequential file ordered on ascending CAO-Number.  It contains the points awarded for each course application.

  Field

Type

Length

Value

CAO-Number

X

8

-   

Course-Code

X

5

 -

Points

N

3

0-999

Random-Number

N

3

0-999

                       

The Program

Write a program that creates the Course Points File and generates a report showing;

1.    The number of applicants from each county.

2.    The number of first choices for each UL course.

3.    The number of first choices for the UL.

The format of the report is left to the programmers discretion. 

The program should apply to the 26 counties only.

 

General Requirements

All applicants must hold a Leaving Certificate with at least a grade C3 in two higher level subjects (HC3) and at least a  D3 in four ordinary subjects (OD3).  Applicants must have at least a OD3 in Mathematics; Irish or another language; and English.  Applicants who do not satisfy these requirements must be awarded zero points.

The following are valid languages;
IRS = Irish, ENG = English, FRH = French, SPH = Spanish, GER = German,
ITA = Italian, DUT = Dutch, DAN = Danish, GRM = Greek (modern),
POR = Portugese, RUS = Russian

Special Requirements

In addition to the General Requirement outlined above applicants to some courses must satisfy additional requirements.  Applicants who do not satisfy these requirements must be awarded zero points.  The additional requirements are as follows;

LM020            OC3 Maths

LM021            HB3 French/German/Spanish/Irish & OB3 Maths

LM050            OC3 Maths

LM051            OB3/HD3 Maths

 

Leaving Certificate Points System

Standard points are calculated as follows;

Grade    Points

Grade   Points

 HA1  =  100 
 OA1  =  60  
 HA2  =  90 
 OA2  =  50
 HB1  =  85
 OB1  =  45
 HB2  =  80
 OB2  =  40
 HB3  =  75 
 OB3  =  35
 HC1  =  70 
 OC1  =  30
 HC2  =  65 
 OC2  =  25
 HC3  =  60
 OC3  =  20
 HD1  =  55
 OD1  = 15
 HD2  =  50 
 OD2  = 10
 HD3  =  45 
 OD3  =  5

 

Bonus Points

Candidates may be awarded the following bonus points for all courses;

Maths HA1=40, HA2=35, HB1=30, HB2=25, HB3=20, HC1=15, HC2=10, HC3=5

 

Processing

The overall points awarded to a candidate for a course is based on the candidate’s six best Leaving Certificate subject points scores taking the bonus points into account. 

To discriminate as fairly as possible between students who have the same score, the CAO requires that a random number be produced in addition to the points score.  The random number can be produced using the COBOL Intrinsic Function RANDOM.

The code for processing the General and Special Requirements as well as the code for calculating the Bonus points must be written as contained sub-programs.  The code for calculating the General points must be written as a separately complied sub-program.

The COBOL Report Writer must be used to produce the report.

 

Notes

The list of Leaving Certificate Subject Codes is supplied in the form of a copy file called caosubj.cpy. Use the COPY verb to import the codes into your program.

The list of UL courses and their Course Codes is given in the table below.

UL Courses and Course Codes
Course Code
Course Name

LM020

B.A. Law and Accounting

LM043

B.A. Insurance and European Studies

LM063

B.Tech. Production Management

LM051

B.Sc Computer Systems

LM059

B.Sc. Computer Systems with French

LM060

B.Sc Mathematical Sciences and Computing

LM069

B.Eng.Computer Engineering

LM070

B.Eng.Electronic Engineering

LM080

B.Tech.Electronic Systems

LM083

B.Tech.Information Technology and Telecommunications

LM062

B.Sc. Biomedical & Advanced Materials

LM067

B.Tech. Wood Science and Technology

LM071

B.Eng. Biomedical Engineering

LM072

B.Des. Industrial Design (Jointly with NCAD)

LM073

B.Eng. Mechanical Engineering

LM074

B.Eng. Computer Integrated Design

LM077

B.Eng. Aeronautical Engineering

LM078

B.Eng. Mechanical Engineering with a Language (German)

LM079

B.Eng.Manufacturing Engineering

LM081

B.Tech.Manufacturing Technology

LM050

B.B.S. Business Studies

LM052

B.B.S. Business Studies with French

LM053

B.B.S. Business Studies with German

LM054

B.B.S. Business Studies with Spanish

LM055

B.B.S. Business Studies with Japanese

LM090

B.Sc. Physical Education

LM092

B.Sc.(Education)

LM094

B.Tech.(Education)- Materials and Construction

LM095

B.Tech. (Education) – Materials and Engineering

LM096

B.Sc. (Education) Physics & Chemistry

LM021

B.A. Languages with Computing

LM030

B.A. Irish Traditional Music and Dance

LM040

B.A. European Studies

LM041

B.A. Public Administration

LM042

LL.B. Law and European Studies

LM044

B.A. Applied Languages

LM045

B.A. Language and Cultural Studies

LM046

B.A. History

LM047

B.A. Arts (Offered at Mary Immaculate College)

LM048

B.A. Irish Studies

LM061

B.Sc. Industrial Chemistry

LM064

B.Sc. Industrial Biochemistry

LM065

B.Sc. Applied Physics

LM066

B.Sc. Environmental Science

LM068

B.Sc. Food Technology

LM089

B.Sc. Sports and Exercise Science

LM093

B.Sc. Equine Science

LM150

B.Sc. Nursing (General)

LM152

B.Sc. Nursing (Mental Health)

LM154

B.Sc. Nursing (Intellectual Disability)

LM180

Certificate/Diploma Equine Science

 

 

 

 


Copyright Notice

This COBOL project specification is the copyright property of Michael Coughlan. You have permission to use this material for your own personal use but you may not reproduce it in any published work without written permission from the author.