Over the coming weeks you will no doubt be pulling together all of your course research, completing those crucial personal statements and sitting down to complete your application via UCAS Apply. Follow these top tips as you work through your application…

Have you selected the right course and universities?

  • With over 37,000 courses available the options out there are wide and varied as you make up to five choices on your UCAS application. By attending events such as UCAS Exhibitions, UK University Search, What Uni Live and crucially interacting with universities at Open Days you can make good quality, informed decision.
  • Review what modules you’ll could be studying (often available on university website and in prospectuses) and investigate graduate employability information to see what graduates on your course have gone on to do after university. Information is key, and not only can you make well informed decisions but it also gives something to refer to in your personal statement when trying to impress your admissions tutors!
  • Be realistic! Have you got the GCSE or equivalent grades for the universities and courses you’ve decided to apply and are you going to be able to achieve the A-Level / BTEC required for entry to the course? Make sure that you have discussed your predicted grades with your subject tutors and referee to know that they are realistic.
  • You are going to spend at least the next three years of your life at this university – make sure you have visited both the campus and the surrounding area. Investigate accommodation options (if required), see the facilities, make the academics and explore what is out there for you to do in the area.

Consider who is reading your personal statement

  • Admissions tutors want to fill their courses with students who have a keen interest in their subject, are well rounded individuals and showing independence. Review your Personal Statement and make sure you’ve managed to relay this to the admissions tutor.
  • Remember that admissions tutors live and breathe their subjects. Does your personal statement reflect that level of passion in the subject that you are applying for? Relate how your current studies link to the course you are making the application for, and any wider experiences / reading. Don’t forget to mention any relevant work experience.
  • Remember – everything in your application should be truthful. Don’t exaggerate claims or make statements that are not true. Imagine if you mentioned a journal article that you had not read, only to be interviewed by the writer of said article……….

Getting the basics right

  • Check your spelling and grammar! It goes without saying, but read and re-read your application. It may help to read your Personal Statement out loud and you should certainly get other trusted individuals (subject tutor, Head of Sixth Form, family) to read through your application. Admissions tutors may well reject your application if it contains misspelt words and basic grammatical errors.

And finally…..timescales!

Don’t leave it until the last minute! If you are applying for Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary you will need to get your application submitted by 15th October – this includes your referee providing a reference. Work closely with your school or college to get this completed in good time and not at the last minute. For other courses with a 15th January deadline we would recommend getting this complete by mid December – this allows you the Christmas break to relax, and potentially prepare for any upcoming exams.