UCAS Guidance – Do’s and Don’ts Checklist

UCAS Guidance – Do’s and Don’ts Checklist 

With the next UCAS deadline of 26th January fast approaching, and about half of forms getting sent in during the month before the deadline we thought some UCAS guidance – do’s and don’ts checklist, might be helpful! 

Before we delve into the do’s and don’ts though, it’s worth thinking through why you haven’t already applied to university. Is it because you just haven’t had time yet? Or since UCAS was brought up in year 12, have your ideas changed several times about what you’d like to do as a degree? Or are you feeling hesitant about going for some reason? Perhaps you are pondering the possibilities about taking a gap year or two, so that you can work or travel for a bit. Who hasn’t thought about this, especially after the last couple of years?  And with various possibilities including working abroad, doing some volunteering or travelling on the world’s longest continuous railway journey, from Portugal to Singapore, via Russia, there is a chance that university isn’t your immediate first choice for after year 13. If these thoughts are sparking ideas, there will be another blog about planning a gap year coming up! In the meantime let’s look at our UCAS guidance – Do’s and Don’ts checklist; 

Do make some time to get on with the form. How about you set some calendar reminders to look at different sections?

Don’t just assume it will take 10 minutes on the 25th January. Your tutor needs time to do your reference too – they won’t do much about this before they need to, especially with other references to do for students who have completed.

Do some ‘baby steps’ actions, for instance find your GCSE results and exam boards. 

Don’t feel you have to use all 5 choices if you don’t want to. If you really only want to consider say, 3 choices, then don’t fill the choices just for the sake of it.

Do take a look at the https://www.myfuturechoice.com/myunichoices/ this will help you find courses that relate to your interests!

Make sure that your personal statement is personalised to you! This is about why you want to study this course, what motivates you about it and what makes you a really good applicant.

Do get a second or third opinion about your personal statement draft. It will take a few versions to get it right! Your tutor, head of year or careers adviser will happily take a look.

Don’t assume that using quotes in your statement will add ‘star dust’, admissions staff get rather bored of seeing the same quotes time and again.

Do include non academic content like work experience, D of E, volunteering and part time jobs. 

Don’t just list your non academic achievements or activities, show why they are relevant – for instance D of E really develops your problem solving and communication skills!

Do reflect on how your current studies are making you a better student, and say why. Alongside this, do reflect on what any work experience and how this has given you a better understanding of what you are applying for.

Don’t forget that the careers adviser and tutor really want you to make a good decision, for you. So if you aren’t 100% about what you are applying for, or whether to go or not, do talk to them. Every few years, UCAS do a survey with students and consistently a percentage of students wish they had chosen differently, either course or university!

Do fill in the disability section if you have a condition – it is there to help the universities identify which students they need to contact before you start, to arrange any support you need. 

There’s quite a few top tips here! Hopefully there is something here that will help. A few other quick ‘gems’ to finish with really.

Universities are increasingly having ‘offer holder’ open days, aimed at students who have accepted an offer from them. These are very much aimed at giving you another chance, or perhaps your first chance, to visit the university, meet staff and have a good look around. They are worth going to, especially if you bump into any students doing the same course! Knowing some faces in your first week at university will help you settle in!

Over the next 3-4 months, you will also be able to apply for student finance. The Disabled Student Allowance will also be something you can apply for if you have a disability – this can range from dyslexia to autism and a whole host of other conditions. This will give you extra support at university. https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowance-dsa for more information.

We hope you found this UCAS guidance – do’s and don’ts checklist useful and don’t forget, www.ucas.com have bucket loads of information too! 

Here at My Uni Choices we specialise in helping students, parents & educators make the best uni choices. Review all the Universities & Courses here or discover more About Us & the best uni courses for you, finally if you’re ready let’s take The Test to find out what course or degree you should do.


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