Applying for University & Personal Statements
With the Christmas break almost here (maybe you are already on holiday!), have you got a ‘festive’ glow due to having finished your UCAS form? You may already have received offers, or at least had your MMI or Oxbridge interview, with the offers on the horizon. Or are you one of the 50-60% of applicants who haven’t got it sent off yet? The Christmas break could be a very good chance to give your application the ‘final push’ it needs to get done. And hopefully this blog on applying for University & personal statements will help focus your thoughts more.
Dates wise, a quick ‘refresh’ might help. The next UCAS deadline on the horizon is the 26th January. This deadline is important, as any application received after this date doesn’t have to be considered by the university. So all the really competitive courses are very unlikely to want more applications to read than they’ve got by 6pm on the 26th January – which ones are your friends all talking about or applying for? this will give you a good feel for the most popular ones!.
After this date, there will be some courses that will still take applications, but with an increasing number of 18 year olds and the economic impact of Covid working its way through the A level recruitment process, there is likely to be a greater number of applications going through UCAS process this year. No pressure – but if you’re applying this year, even as a fall back option, its definitely worth meeting the deadline if you can. If you think about it from an admissions tutor’s point of view, they will be balancing their concerns about making sure they get the right numbers onto their courses with making sure that the students they give an offer to, will be the best ones they can get. Students meeting the deadline can at least demonstrate they are serious about going. And yes, admissions tutors do know that circumstances can change later in the year – so if you get an degree apprenticeship offer in a few months, they won’t hold you to taking up the offer they’ve made. There are other UCAS deadlines, but they will be discussed in a later blog.
So, you’re keen to make an application and know the deadline. It’s worth taking a step back and reviewing how your application is going. What’s holding it up? Lack of motivation? Time management? Or have you been wanting to make sure you haven’t rushed your decisions about choices? What would spur you on to getting some progress? Getting it sent off for your tutor’s reference by Christmas would be a very good Christmas present to yourself! Admittedly, your tutor isn’t likely to be spending Christmas Eve writing your reference, they will at least know its there waiting for them to do. And getting references written over the break may be easier for them to do than during a busy start to the term in January.
Practically speaking, there are two main areas to concentrate your efforts. Firstly, in choosing the uni courses (or other higher education courses) to apply to. https://www.myfuturechoice.com/myunichoices/ is a great starting place. It ‘can simplify the complex decision of deciding upon a Higher Education course’, and a great bonus is that it has access to all the UCAS data and other data, including EUNICAS which has courses in Europe taught in English as well as courses in Canadian Universities.. So it should help you interpret the options available, and help you focus on courses that will be relevant to you. And if you’ve got an element of FOMO about courses you haven’t found yet, this should address this well! Secondly, you need to get your personal statement done. This really relies on getting the choices decided upon first, as you’d expect! A personal statement blog will appear before long, but in essence you need to get across why you are interested in the course, what motivates you to want to study it and how your current studies make you a good applicant. So not only any relevant topics you’ve covered in your A levels, T levels or other equivalent exams but also how your academic skills are developing, to make you a good degree student. If you want some immediate help with your statement, UCAS, rather unsurprisingly, have this information to help https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/writing-personal-statement/how-write-personal-statement. Ucas even have a template that can help you, https://www.ucas.com/sites/default/files/ucas-personal-statement-worksheet.pdf.
So, how are you going to get yourself organised to get it finished? Here are some quick ‘top tips’ to get some progress. Set a reminder on your phone to do each section of your form. Breaking it down like this will help. Ask your friends how they are doing – who can help with those bits you’re stuck with? UCAS are very responsive, so if you’ve got questions, ask! Could you get a parent or friend to hold you to account in getting it finished, with a deadline? Or would lining up a treat (a night out, bar of chocolate, ‘that’ Netflix series) help focus your mind? And if you are really struggling with getting motivated to get it done, you need to work out why this is! If you aren’t 100% convinced about going, you can start seriously looking for alternatives once your ‘safety net’ of UCAS is done!
And lastly good luck with getting it finished, we hope our advice on applying for University & personal statements has helped, in some small way.
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