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    • Thread Starter

    I'm asking this as an international student who doesn't know the British system well.

    As far as I understood, a person doing a regular gap year (non-national service) has less chances to be admitted to a university, especially if that means that he'll be entering university at the age of 21.

    Where I live, military/civilian/national service is not compulsory. However, if I decide to do one year national service, the university here takes this into account and I have the same opportunities to get admitted as a person applying directly after school.

    Is this the same in UK, and would this also apply to an E.U. applicant who did national service in another country?


    P.S.: If I took a gap year/national service year e.g. 2006/07, can I still apply regularly through UCAS for 2007/08?
    • PS Reviewer

    PS Reviewer
    Gap years don't affect your chances of getting into uni, except for some courses like maths where not studying the subject for a year can lead to you forgetting a lot of it.

    In fact, some places encourage gap years!

    If you are worried, you could contact the unis you're interested in and ask, but for something like national service it should be fine.

    If you take a gap year, you can either apply a year early and defer entry, or apply during your gap year. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by Juno)
    or apply during your gap year. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
    That would currently seem to be my only possibility.

    What are the pros and contras of applying during gap year?
    Especially, what are the pros, and in which subjects? Oo

    I would say applying during gap year as opposed to before it for deferred entry...

    Already got your grades - so very likely to get unconditional offers.
    More time to decide on courses to apply for.
    You'll be that bit older, wiser, and with more life experience.
    Can concentrate totally on exams during your final year at school/college.

    Away from an academic environment - may be hard to answer course-based questions such as 'prove for all x, f(x)...' (tho can keep up with reading/learning during gap year, eg taking another A-level).
    May have to attend interviews (eg for medicine, nursing, all Oxbridge courses) - this could be tricky if you're posted somewhere remote and not granted leave.

    I would say that the only course which discourages a gap year is maths, purely becasue you need to practice or you lose your ability a bit, plus mathematicians tend to peak younger (apparently). Other courses would not see it in a bad light at all, in fact annecdotally (my word of the day!), some admissions tutors for medicine have said that they are very impressed by a good well-planned gap year.

    If you have a good idea of the courses you're considering, ring up and ask them - then you'll know for sure what they think.

    In the Kings College Geography prospectus they actually say they prefer gap year applicants than people who are coming straight from College

    In response to your original question, yes, national service is considered as a gap year (whether voluntary or otherwise). As long as you're not enrolled full-time at an academic institution, you're pretty much considered as taking a gap year. Like the others have said, GENERALLY, this does not affect your chances of being admitted to university. Some places might have a preference for gap year applicants, whereas others might not. Again, generally speaking, universities may not prefer you to take a gap year if you're doing a science or maths subject. But this is entirely dependent on the university, and if you have a valid reason to back up your gap year, you're fine.

    How do you suggest he applies? As a deferred entry this year? Or as a gap yearer (or how do the brits call it) next year?

    (Original post by giwtis10)
    How do you suggest he applies? As a deferred entry this year? Or as a gap yearer (or how do the brits call it) next year?
    Apply normally this year (for entry in 2007), and then after he's received his offers, ask for a deferment.

    If he doesn't secure the offers he desire, he can always reapply next year.

    (Original post by giwtis10)
    ...(or how do the brits call it)...
    A "gapper". Not to be confused with someone who's recentally been in a face-forward collision with something hard. They're "gappy" .

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