There are only nine days left before the UCAS deadline on the 15th January! We have some last minute advice to make sure you have a great application to send off.
Making it personal
Your personal statement is your voice and universities want to hear yours. Don’t try to sound like something or someone who you. Remember to talk about why you chose the course and what you have done previously that will help you in your studies. Try not to get too many ideas or structures from the internet or previous applicants. Universities want to hear your version because it will be different from everyone else’s. But still get your teachers, career advisors, family and friends to read over your statement, to make sure it reads well and you covered everything you want to.
Grade ‘A’ checking
Discuss your predicted grades and what you would like to study further with your teachers, year tutors and career advisors. These are the adults (except for your parents!) that know you best. They have been with you for years and can help give advice that is purely educational. Double check your predicted grades and what you are do well with your class teachers. We wouldn’t want to see you apply for a course that is too out of your league, but don’t aim too low, remember what you can achieve!
Who is your favourite teacher? Or what lesson do you do well in? Ask that teacher to write the reference for you. They will be honest and it will also help if it is the subject that you want to study further. Another great thing about an outside reference, is that they will be able to pick up extra qualities you may have missed.
Don’t fret yet!
If you don’t get the application completed and sent off by January 15th there is still time in August with clearing. 2013 was the most successful year of clearing, so don’t worry! You can also defer your place and/or application for a year if you want to wait to see what grades you actually get before applying. Even if you do not receive offers from all of your choices, there is UCAS Extra, a service provided by UCAS that opens on the 25th February. You can change your course choices if you have been unsuccessful and find a great course with places available.
Some extra things to consider:
– Just because you are good at something does not mean you enjoy it: Remember the most important thing is to study something you enjoy and want to study for the next three to four years.
– Don’t judge your course choices on where friends or relationship partners are going: You need to choose a place that fits you, not everyone else in your life.
– Don’t let everyone influence your decision: university is a time for you to experience, nobody else. Don’t let too many factors from your family, friends and where you live restrict you.
– Don’t feel you have to study something you have before: If there is a joint degree, like English Language and Japanese – what the heck! Go for it! If something particular really catches your eye, give it a shot. It is best to do something that interests you instead of studying something that is ‘safe’.
– Research: There is so much you can research when choosing a course, from average degree grades, living costs and the local area. Make sure you get all the information before you choose. There is no point in attending a university if you won’t have any fun or cannot afford library printing credits.
– Your application is connected to your school/college: Remember to connect your UCAS application with your school or college if they have told you to. If it isn’t connected when it shouldn’t be, you may come across complications, like your teacher not being able to attach their reference about you, telling the university about all the great things you have to offer!
– Remember to respond: when/if you get an offer from a university then check the deadline for you to accept or decline it. Do not forget to check it or miss it!
– Move on: Now you have applied it can be months before universities reply – the deadline is May. After applying it is time to focus on your studies and to achieve the best grades you can!
Now you have read these tips go and check your application! Good luck!
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