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    I am going into sixth-form next year, and so I have decided to start aiming towards things which I can later add to my CV as I want to get into a good university. For example, I play for my school rugby team, joining D of E next year, and am going to do the youth enterprise thing next year as well.

    What other things do you recommend me (and other people) to aim towards in order to have a better CV?
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    To try and help other people, here's a list of things I've thought of. Please feel free to leave comments to help compile the list further:

    Sports team
    CCF
    D of E
    Prefect
    Head boy
    Musical instrument
    Youth enterprise
    Volunteer work
    Helping at school, eg helping at a subject clinic
    Build a website for a charity
    ...
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    I was in a music video and this is on the last but one line of my CV. So you always know if they have read the whole thing.
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    (Original post by HT12345)
    I am going into sixth-form next year, and so I have decided to start aiming towards things which I can later add to my CV as I want to get into a good university. For example, I play for my school rugby team, joining D of E next year, and am going to do the youth enterprise thing next year as well.

    What other things do you recommend me (and other people) to aim towards in order to have a better CV?
    Instruments
    Learn a language
    Volunteering work
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    For university in the UK (the US, for example, is very different), extra curricular activities are really not that important. Most students will mention some on their CV, but this is often skimmed over by admissions tutors, and if it's not there, it's not usually seen as a problem. Schools may, for example, try and sell to you that being a prefect will look really good on your personal statement, but in reality, universities won't care, as many students will be coming from settings (e.g. college) where there aren't prefects or head students or whatever. So, firstly, it's not worth doing any extra curricular activities at the expense of your A-level grades. However, having a hobby, e.g. rugby can be really good for downtime and making friends once you get to uni, so it might be a good idea to keep this up for other reasons.

    What universities want to see is an interest in your subject outside of your A-level study- to demonstrate this they will expect you to read around the subject in popular and semi-academic books/magazines, and, importantly, be able to discuss what you have read in you personal statement. As well as this, you may be able to attend things relevant to your subject at local universities, e.g. lectures, summer sessions etc. or gain work experience in a related field (although this is not essential). Sometimes, extra curricular activities may be relevant, e.g. acting in a Shakespeare play could be relevant for English lit.

    The most important thing for getting into university is a really strong set of A-levels. Your reference and PS are also important, but these should mostly focus on your academics, not your extra curricular activities.
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    Is there any way of proving you've learnt a language by yourself? For example, an online certification sort of thing or something like that? Only I did French at GCSE but I don't think the exam went too great (waiting for results), so if I can say because of this I decided to learn French further in my own time rather than at school, that would look good, but I need a way of proving this on paper ideally.
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    (Original post by HT12345)
    Is there any way of proving you've learnt a language by yourself? For example, an online certification sort of thing or something like that? Only I did French at GCSE but I don't think the exam went too great (waiting for results), so if I can say because of this I decided to learn French further in my own time rather than at school, that would look good, but I need a way of proving this on paper ideally.
    Are you going to be applying for a language based subject? If not, then this probably won't be worthwhile. If you are applying for a MFL, then could you investigate retaking French GCSE via your school or evening classes?
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    For university in the UK (the US, for example, is very different), extra curricular activities are really not that important. Most students will mention some on their CV, but this is often skimmed over by admissions tutors, and if it's not there, it's not usually seen as a problem. Schools may, for example, try and sell to you that being a prefect will look really good on your personal statement, but in reality, universities won't care, as many students will be coming from settings (e.g. college) where there aren't prefects or head students or whatever. So, firstly, it's not worth doing any extra curricular activities at the expense of your A-level grades. However, having a hobby, e.g. rugby can be really good for downtime and making friends once you get to uni, so it might be a good idea to keep this up for other reasons.

    What universities want to see is an interest in your subject outside of your A-level study- to demonstrate this they will expect you to read around the subject in popular and semi-academic books/magazines, and, importantly, be able to discuss what you have read in you personal statement. As well as this, you may be able to attend things relevant to your subject at local universities, e.g. lectures, summer sessions etc. or gain work experience in a related field (although this is not essential). Sometimes, extra curricular activities may be relevant, e.g. acting in a Shakespeare play could be relevant for English lit.

    The most important thing for getting into university is a really strong set of A-levels. Your reference and PS are also important, but these should mostly focus on your academics, not your extra curricular activities.
    Came here to say all this, but it's already been said better.
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    Just to add, I am looking towards a maths/physics course at uni (possibly natural sciences). So yeah, I guess learning a language isn't so worthwhile.

    Another question: are maths challenge results worth putting in there? I got a merit in the senior kangaroo and hope to get into the BMO next year.
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    (Original post by HT12345)
    Just to add, I am looking towards a maths/physics course at uni (possibly natural sciences). So yeah, I guess learning a language isn't so worthwhile.

    Another question: are maths challenge results worth putting in there? I got a merit in the senior kangaroo and hope to get into the BMO next year.
    I think it's worth mentioning if you decide to apply for maths, as it shows an interest in maths beyond the curriculum. However, your maths challenge results are very unlikely to have an influence on whether you get a place or not, so if you run out of space, you could cut them out. If you do mention them, it might be worth explaining what you thought of them/ how they interested you in further study, rather than just stating you've done them.

    Remember, the PS has a tight line/character limit, so you won't have room to talk about lots and lots of extra curriculars anyway.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    For university in the UK (the US, for example, is very different), extra curricular activities are really not that important. Most students will mention some on their CV, but this is often skimmed over by admissions tutors, and if it's not there, it's not usually seen as a problem. Schools may, for example, try and sell to you that being a prefect will look really good on your personal statement, but in reality, universities won't care, as many students will be coming from settings (e.g. college) where there aren't prefects or head students or whatever. So, firstly, it's not worth doing any extra curricular activities at the expense of your A-level grades. However, having a hobby, e.g. rugby can be really good for downtime and making friends once you get to uni, so it might be a good idea to keep this up for other reasons.

    What universities want to see is an interest in your subject outside of your A-level study- to demonstrate this they will expect you to read around the subject in popular and semi-academic books/magazines, and, importantly, be able to discuss what you have read in you personal statement. As well as this, you may be able to attend things relevant to your subject at local universities, e.g. lectures, summer sessions etc. or gain work experience in a related field (although this is not essential). Sometimes, extra curricular activities may be relevant, e.g. acting in a Shakespeare play could be relevant for English lit.

    The most important thing for getting into university is a really strong set of A-levels. Your reference and PS are also important, but these should mostly focus on your academics, not your extra curricular activities.
    How am I able to then show that I am different from other candidates? Say if I get really good A level results, even then if I apply to say Cambridge, there must be loads of others with similar results and so I will not be able to stand out from the rest without more things to add?
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    (Original post by HT12345)
    How am I able to then show that I am different from other candidates? Say if I get really good A level results, even then if I apply to say Cambridge, there must be loads of others with similar results and so I will not be able to stand out from the rest without more things to add?
    If you're applying for maths, they don't usually even read the ps. It's all about the grades, nothing else.
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    (Original post by carnationlilyrose)
    If you're applying for maths, they don't usually even read the ps. It's all about the grades, nothing else.
    What about with natural sciences?
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    (Original post by HT12345)
    What about with natural sciences?
    Not sure there, but with many science courses, the ps is not used much. It's much more useful for arts and humanities. High UMS marks are the way to distinguish yourself. Certainly don't start something just to put it on your application.
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    With Cambridge they might want you to sit an additional test during your interview period, which is a way to distinguish yourself with good performance. It depends on which college you get interviewed at though. They're just mega into high achievers.
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    (Original post by HT12345)
    Is there any way of proving you've learnt a language by yourself? For example, an online certification sort of thing or something like that? Only I did French at GCSE but I don't think the exam went too great (waiting for results), so if I can say because of this I decided to learn French further in my own time rather than at school, that would look good, but I need a way of proving this on paper ideally.
    If you can speak a language, say you can, but expect to be asked something in that language.
    You can always put it as an interest too, if still learning.
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    (Original post by HT12345)
    How am I able to then show that I am different from other candidates? Say if I get really good A level results, even then if I apply to say Cambridge, there must be loads of others with similar results and so I will not be able to stand out from the rest without more things to add?
    Well Cambridge interviews, and also uses the STEP test. UMS may also be used. For some universities, grades are enough, and decisions are made almost solely on the basis of achieved and predicted grades.

    At universities which don't interview and use the PS, the most important thing is to show an interest in your subject beyond what you've learned at school- discussing books you've read and other relevant activities which you've done, as well as explaining why you enjoy the subject. It's not a very long essay, probably less than 500 words.

    However, a poor PS can cause you to lose an offer- one that's badly written or shows an interest in another subject instead of the one you're applying for could cause you to lose a place. A PS which mostly focuses on activities irrelevant to your subject won't help you gain a place, and may look like you lack commitment to your subject. If you apply for physics, no-one cares that you can play the guitar, to put it bluntly.

    Perhaps doing some reading around the site about what a PS is actually for might help you? At least 3/4 should be directly relating to your academic subject.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    Well Cambridge interviews, and also uses the STEP test. UMS may also be used. For some universities, grades are enough, and decisions are made almost solely on the basis of achieved and predicted grades.

    At universities which don't interview and use the PS, the most important thing is to show an interest in your subject beyond what you've learned at school- discussing books you've read and other relevant activities which you've done, as well as explaining why you enjoy the subject. It's not a very long essay, probably less than 500 words.

    However, a poor PS can cause you to lose an offer- one that's badly written or shows an interest in another subject instead of the one you're applying for could cause you to lose a place. A PS which mostly focuses on activities irrelevant to your subject won't help you gain a place, and may look like you lack commitment to your subject. If you apply for physics, no-one cares that you can play the guitar, to put it bluntly.

    Perhaps doing some reading around the site about what a PS is actually for might help you? At least 3/4 should be directly relating to your academic subject.
    Are there any things I can do which are directly related to maths/physics you can think of?

    Also, I am currently looking to design/create a website for a charity for free as I have decent knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript and a little experience with creating websites to reasonable standards. This is a hobby but I was wondering whether I could mention it in my PS?
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    (Original post by HT12345)
    Are there any things I can do which are directly related to maths/physics you can think of?

    Also, I am currently looking to design/create a website for a charity for free as I have decent knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript and a little experience with creating websites to reasonable standards. This is a hobby but I was wondering whether I could mention it in my PS?

    Finally I know it seems way too early to think about, but how long before the exam should I start revising for STEP? Otherwise when it comes to it I'll end up procrastinating.
    Read around the subject- especially for physics. Read some popular physics books and maybe move onto some slightly more academic books.

    You can mention your web design experience on your PS, but don't dwell on it for too long. Remember, you only have 4000 characters and 40 lines, so with proper spacing, you are looking at less than 500 words. One sentence on a hobby is fine. A paragraph isn't.

    I have no direct knowledge of STEP, but I'm guessing if you haven't started Maths A-level yet, then it's mostly going to be full of concepts you aren't yet familiar with. I would suggest waiting until you start core 2 at least before making firm decisions about wanting to study maths, as A-level is a huge step up from GCSE.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    Read around the subject- especially for physics. Read some popular physics books and maybe move onto some slightly more academic books.

    You can mention your web design experience on your PS, but don't dwell on it for too long. Remember, you only have 4000 characters and 40 lines, so with proper spacing, you are looking at less than 500 words. One sentence on a hobby is fine. A paragraph isn't.

    I have no direct knowledge of STEP, but I'm guessing if you haven't started Maths A-level yet, then it's mostly going to be full of concepts you aren't yet familiar with. I would suggest waiting until you start core 2 at least before making firm decisions about wanting to study maths, as A-level is a huge step up from GCSE.
    I currently read New Scientist, do you know of any other things to read which may be more advanced? And I just did additional maths which takes bits from AS level maths and I found that too easy, hoping for a minimum of 95% (maybe 100% is too ambitious as I'm bound to have made at least one stupid mistake!) so whilst further maths will be a large step up, I enjoy maths enough to hopefully put in the effort required.
 
 
 
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