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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 23 September, 2018

#Points Race

# points-race - Tuesday 7 August, 2018

From The42 Ireland's Oliver Dingley takes fifth place in European Championship Points Race

Ireland's Oliver Dingley takes fifth place in European Championship

The diver missed the podium places by just six points over the final’s seven dives.

# points-race - Friday 9 February, 2018

From The42 Schmidt demanding Ireland 'to keep scoring, keep driving forward' Points Chase

Schmidt demanding Ireland 'to keep scoring, keep driving forward'

A bonus point win is the minimum standard required for an Ireland team with title ambitions.

# points-race - Sunday 19 April, 2015

From The Daily Edge How Many Points Should You Have Got In Your Leaving Cert? Quiz

How Many Points Should You Have Got In Your Leaving Cert?

You’ve always wondered if it should have been different – now you can find out.

# points-race - Saturday 21 March, 2015

From The42 As it happened: Scotland v Ireland, Six Nations final day Liveblog

As it happened: Scotland v Ireland, Six Nations final day

We went minute-by-minute for Ireland’s mission to Murrayfield.

From The42 Wales hit Italy for 61 and set Ireland a target to chase in Edinburgh Drama

Wales hit Italy for 61 and set Ireland a target to chase in Edinburgh

Italy were well and truly rolled over in the second half in Rome.

# points-race - Monday 11 August, 2014

Poll: Is the CAO points system fair? Your Say This post contains a poll

Poll: Is the CAO points system fair?

Further proposals for a revamp of the Leaving Certificate have been reported this morning.

# points-race - Monday 19 August, 2013

Points jump for business, agriculture and science courses

Students hoping to receive an offer for their first preference courses will find out what the points requirements are this morning.

# points-race - Sunday 18 August, 2013

Explainer: A beginner’s guide to the CAO Points system

Some of your loved ones might be awaiting a college offer – through a system that mightn’t make sense to many. Here’s our crash course.

# points-race - Thursday 28 March, 2013

Dept. of Education to overhaul Leaving Cert programme and points race

Plans include reducing the number of degree programmes, cutting grade bands and changing the predictability of exams.

# points-race - Friday 2 November, 2012

From The42 Points race: Chance for lesser lights (or ROG) to make hay Clinical

Points race: Chance for lesser lights (or ROG) to make hay

With many of the traditional trail-blazers called upon for bigger and better things, can lads like Andy Fenby, Tom Prydie and Scott Wight close the gap?

# points-race - Friday 24 August, 2012

Column: The Leaving Cert ‘points race’ is bad – but it’s better than alternatives

‘Radical’ new proposals for interviews are really a return to the past, writes Joanna Tuffy TD. Instead, we need a much wider debate on third level education.

# points-race - Tuesday 21 August, 2012

Universities propose radical overhaul of Leaving Cert points system

A submission to Ruairí Quinn sees Ireland’s seven universities outline issues with the Leaving Cert – and how to change it.

Trinity scheme to offer college places to students below CAO minimum

A pilot programme – intended to begin with Law in 2014 – will see some places reserved for students measured on alternative grounds.

# points-race - Monday 20 August, 2012

Maths and IT courses see biggest surge in CAO points race

Mathematics and Physics at the University of Limerick saw the highest points surge – up by a whopping 145 points.

# points-race - Wednesday 15 August, 2012

Almost 11,000 Leaving Cert students to benefit from bonus Maths points

The college points race begins in earnest on Monday – but already the bonus points project seems to be working.

2012 Leaving Cert results 'broadly similar to previous years'

More students took higher level Maths this year, looking to nab some bonus points which will drive up college requirements.

# points-race - Tuesday 14 August, 2012

From The42 Ryder Cup: Poulter edges ahead of Garcia but Harrington’s race looks run Hands Off

Ryder Cup: Poulter edges ahead of Garcia but Harrington’s race looks run

Eight of the 12 players that will represented Europe at Medinah have been confirmed. McIlroy and McDowell are two of them.

# points-race - Tuesday 8 November, 2011

Report expected to make the case for capping places in college

Ruairí Quinn is set to receive a report outlining the need for student numbers to be capped in order to avoid the return of fees.

# points-race - Thursday 26 August, 2010

CILLIAN FAHY, A STRAIGHT-A Leaving Cert student, has put all of his exam notes for sale on eBay.

The starting price for the notes is €40, but could go up if there is a bidding war before the auction closes on the 31st of August.

Fahy is selling notes for seven different Leaving Cert subjects, each of which he received an A grade in. The 18-year-old believes that anyone who buys the notes, most of which he hand-wrote himself, and uses them properly will get an A.

These notes were the only notes I used for my Leaving Certificate. If they can gain me an A grade then it can do the same for you.

These notes are well laid out and of high quality. They are exactly what you need to know for the exam. Many are hand written and some are typed out.

Fahy will begin studying English Literature and Mathematics in Trinity College in September. According to his eBay pages, the reason for selling his notes is to help him fund his education:

Faced with the difficulty of finding money for third level education I have decided to sell all my notes which I have collected over the past two years of my Leaving Certificate. So when you bid on this item not only do you know you’ll be buying high quality A Grade Notes but you will also be helping a student to find money for college.

Selling notes online is not a new phenomenon.

Sharenotes.com is a site where college students can sell their notes to others. The site claims their users have earned over $10,700 this year.

# points-race - Monday 23 August, 2010

THE COLLEGE APPLICATIONS OFFICE says its website, www.cao.ie, is now back fully online after overcoming a ‘distributed denial of service’ (or DDoS) attack earlier today. The body issued over 48,000 college offers this morning, which students have until Monday to accept.

THE COLLEGE APPLICATIONS OFFICE (CAO) website has been inaccessible since mid-morning, leaving many potential college-goers in the dark as to whether they have been offered a place in third-level education.

But what exactly is going on to the website? What is this “malicious attack from an unknown source“?

Well, reports seem to indicate that the website is suffering from a ‘Distributed Denial of Service’ attack, or DDoS for short. Essentially, this exploits the limited amount of traffic that any web server can handle.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that the computer on which a website lives can handle 100 visitors at a time. This means that only 100 individual users would be able to access a page at once, so if 101 people all simultaneously tried to access the website’s homepage, one of them would be unable to connect to the site – it would simply be unable to respond to all of the requests.

The internet’s answer to overcrowding

In fact, the other 100 users might notice a significant slowdown in the speed of the website, such is the effect. In some cases, the website would seem to entirely lock down. It’s the online equivalent of overcrowding: if a room can fit 100 people, then if more show up, not only can they not get in, but the people in there can’t get out.

Try to imagine a large-scale version of this. If the CAO website can handle – again, taking a figure entirely hypothetically – 3,000 users at a time, then any visitors on top of this simply cannot be catered for. And, naturally enough, the website will slow down – or grind to a total halt – if more people try to visit.

What a DDoS attack does, to be basic, is deliberately flood a target website with requests for pages, to the point where the server is unable to respond to any requests, good or otherwise. Typically the people behind such an attack will use several machines to launch it, so that blocking the traffic from one computer’s individual IP address does not resolve the crisis. It’s possible that some of the machines being used are being hijacked without the knowledge or compliance of their owners.

In essence, unless a website has bucketloads of spare capacity (in which case, it should probably be using some of it all the time anyway) that it can activate, then the sheer volume of requests being received will cause the website to effectively keel over. And, in some cases, adding new capacity will not resolve the problem, because the attackers could alternatively find new machines to launch even more sustained attacks.

When it happens – and when it doesn’t

Major international websites – the likes of Facebook – will receive multiple DDoS attacks a day. They’re simply big enough, however, to absorb the extra hassle without any noticeable slow-down. Even the likes of Boards.ie has said it gets regular attacks, but constantly monitors and counters them as they arise.

The problem with the CAO site, it would seem, is that it’s not generally built to handle quite the level of traffic it’s getting this morning – the bulk of it, you might guess, being maliciously sent.

Therefore the only real tactic a website can use to resolve a DDoS is to try and identify the IP addresses from which the traffic is coming, and then block these addresses from submitting any requests – freeing up space for the genuine web users. The CAO appears to have resolved its problems, however, and looks to be back up and running – a welcome return to action for the 77,628 students hoping for a college offer today.

In the meantime, potential college-goers are reminded that if they’ve been offered a college place, they should also have received a copy of the order via the post – and can also respond to the offer by post.

Those who can’t access their physical post need not worry, either: first round offers can be accepted any time up until next Monday, before offers are withdrawn and reallocated in the Round 2 offers.

THE CAO WEBSITE has gone down due to “malicious attacks from an unknown source”, according to the site.

The CAO said that it is working to restore the service as soon as possible.

Over 77,000 people who applied for a third-level course through the CAO system are expecting to find out today if they have secured a place.

The CAO urged students not to panic if they are unable to access the site, as the deadline for course acceptance is a week away.

The points can also be checked here.

48,448: the number of students who will be made an offer today.

21,322 : the number who will be left disappointed.

77,628: the total who made a CAO application this year.

250: the number of courses which have risen by 15 points or more.

50: the increase in points for science at UCD, bringing it up to 435.

305: the number of points which would have got you into the same course three years ago.

30: the drop in points for project and construction management at NUI Galway.

16,700: the number of students who got at least 400 points in this year’s exam, representing….

30.6 per cent of the total number who sat the exams.

1 in 4: the proportion of students scoring less than 200 points.

9,941: the number who got 450 points or more.

4,699: the number of students who got over 500 points.

1,200: the number of students who will get a place in Arts at UCD, which has gone up five points to 365.

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