The Central Applications Office is urging all who have applied for college places for the coming year to look out for an email from the CAO which will instruct them to check and confirm that there are no mistakes or omissions in their applications.

The CAO said it has begun emailing all those who applied by 1 February. It said applicants who used the late application facility will receive an email later this month.

"The email due to be sent to students is designed to ensure that applicants do not miss out on a place because some of their information is incorrect or missing," said the CAO's Head of Communications Eileen Keleghan, "for example, if there is an incorrect examination number, or if an exemption is not recorded".

Last year a significant number of students did not receive an offer of a college place because their applications contained errors, and there was criticism of the fact that the CAO was using email to communicate with students.

Some schools made the point that young people tend to favour other methods of communication, and can easily miss an email sent to their account.

The email that students will receive is called the Statement of Application Record email.

It will instruct applicants to log in to their CAO account to confirm that all of their personal details, examination information, exemptions (if any) and course choices are recorded correctly on their accounts.

If there are errors or omissions, applicants are advised how to rectify this information, for no charge, via their online CAO account. Examination updates made before the end of May will be updated to applicant accounts in early June.

"If applicants notice the error now, they have the opportunity to rectify it before it’s too late," Ms Keleghan said.