If you’re in your final year of college, it’s time to start thinking about your UCAS application if you want to head to university next year. While it might seem a long way off, time will fly and the deadlines will quickly creep up on you.
Submitting your UCAS application early has some benefits too, including potentially increasing your chances of being offered a place and being able to focus on studying as your exams and coursework deadlines approach. Applications for 2017 university entry have already opened, those wanting to study medicine or veterinary medicine or attend Oxford or Cambridge have until 15 October 2016 to submit their application, while other applicants have until 15 January 2017.
Applying for university courses can be difficult and you’ll have a lot of choices to make, including the type of course you want to study and whether you’ll move away or stay at home. You’ll need to select up to five courses to apply to and provide personal information, including writing a personal statement to explain why you are suited for the courses you’re interested in.
When putting together your UCAS application you’ll want to ensure your application stands out for all the right reasons, especially if you’re interested in a competitive course or university. Try our top tips for handling your UCAS application.
- Choosing the right course – There are thousands of courses on offer across the UK and choosing the one you want can be a daunting prospect. Research is key for finding the right one and the search tool on UCAS is a good place to start. Here you’ll be able to find out what each course involves, entry requirements and lots of other information to help aid your decision.
- Attend open days – The course is important to selecting your university but so is the campus and experience. Attend as many open days as possible to see which university best fits with the student experience you want. When you’re at open days have a look around the local area as well as the university campus and speak to as many current students as you can.
- Writing your personal statement – Writing the personal statement that accompanies the UCAS application is often a part that prospective students dread. You have up to 4,000 characters to sell yourself to your chosen universities so use them wisely. Ask yourself why you’re applying for the course, what makes you a good student and what you want to achieve from completing the course and ensure these answers are reflected in your statement.
- Double check everything – Before hitting send on your application double check everything and get somebody else to look over it too if possible. Silly spelling or grammar mistakes could reflect badly on your application, suggesting that you’re not able to write to university standard so the time spent checking your information is well worth it.
- Waiting for offers – Waiting for your offers to start coming in can often be stressful but remember while most offers are made by the end of March some can come in right through to May. Worries about making the right choice is one that plagues many students but armed with the research you did in the early parts of the process you should have all the information you need. It’s important to remember if you really feel like you’ve made a mistake in picking a university you can generally change if places are available.