We’re going through the stressful procedure of filling in a UCAS application for University with our oldest at the moment. Not only does he have to pass all his exams to the best of his abilities, he has to pick five universities, rank them, pick his courses and write a personal statement that will make him stand out from the crowd. Needless to say we’ve spent hours debating which uni’s to rank where and how to appeal to our first choice. One needs to sound confident but not cocky and as his exam results speak for themselves, he will also have to outline his interests in other topics apart from studying!
Basically, you have to sell yourself to the university of your choice (even though you are paying thousands to continue your study there). So I thought I’d share a few tips we’ve picked up along the way.
Take your statement in stages. Conclude one stage before you move on to the next. This will make this daunting task as bit more manageable.
For stage 1, simply write down everything you would like to include in your application. In stage 2, you can start to put this eloquently and cut it down to the most important points. For the final step, you could separate those points into sections with headers to present a clean, professional looking document. The statement has to be a broad overview of your life – be sure to explain how courses would be relevant to you considering your background and explain why you chose these courses specifically. This should include reasons related to your A-Levels and other studies, career plans and any relevant experience.
An example: “Geography has been of a high interest to me since a young age, for since childhood I’ve enjoyed being outdoors, collecting rocks and asking questions about how the world works. This passion has been developed right through school and can be seen most recently in my outstanding achievement award for my A-Level Geography coursework. Outside school I enjoy hiking, swimming and completing my gold Duke of Edinburgh award. The award has led me on to other fulfilling activities such as volunteering.”
The statement should flow well, show your personality and highlight why you stand out of the crowd. If you’re applying to some universities which are highly subscribed to it may then lead on to an interview, so be prepared and do your homework!
Nail-biting times are ahead, I hope our guide makes it easier for you and your teenager and you’re not too stressed come results day in August! Good luck.
We have included some deadlines below.
– 15 October – application deadline for the receipt at UCAS of applications for all professional medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and veterinary science courses, and for all courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
– 15 January – application deadline for the receipt at UCAS of applications for all courses except those listed above with a 15 October deadline, and art and design courses with a 24 March deadline.
– 24 March – application deadline for the receipt at UCAS of applications for art and design courses except those listed with a 15 January deadline.