what would you have done instead as an applicant in the 2021 cycle (UCAS)

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22lfd
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What would you guys do again? I think I would swap out a few uni choices.

edit: I've replied to everybody oops! I'll stop replying and let you guys benefit from the 2021's applicants as the advice shared has been very valuable !
Also 2021 applicants feel free to vent & be reflective of your applications. To those still waiting on offers, good luck and you got this !
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ashtolga23
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I'd go for Oxford rather than Cambridge if I still went for English.

I'd explore different degrees a lot more as I'm still uncertain I made the right choice. In year 11 I was going for law, psychology in year 12, and then the month before I applied I decided on English. Perhaps I'd look harder for a psychology course that has less focus on science, as I don't find it too easy to get to grips with biopsychology and research methods. Maybe I'd look into degrees such as sociology and anthropology. I honestly just don't know.

Wouldn't change the universities I got offers from (Durham, Lancaster, Manchester and Nottingham) as I was very happy with them. I would, however, change my college preference at Durham as the circumstances since that decision have changed.
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22lfd
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
I'd go for Oxford rather than Cambridge if I still went for English.

I'd explore different degrees a lot more as I'm still uncertain I made the right choice. In year 11 I was going for law, psychology in year 12, and then the month before I applied I decided on English. Perhaps I'd look harder for a psychology course that has less focus on science, as I don't find it too easy to get to grips with biopsychology and research methods. Maybe I'd look into degrees such as sociology and anthropology. I honestly just don't know.

Wouldn't change the universities I got offers from (Durham, Lancaster, Manchester and Nottingham) as I was very happy with them. I would, however, change my college preference at Durham as the circumstances since that decision have changed.
Wow congratulations! and I relate, maybe really honing down on which degree I want instead of being broad. But honestly oxbridge aside all your offers are from amazing institutions!!
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IB.Makes.Me.Cry
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I would have spent more time on league tables and looking at statistics instead of simply looking at who requires higher grades and assuming they are good as a result. Sounds stupid of me to make such a mistake, but teachers shoved a website called BridgeU down our throats, it was the only thing I paid attention to.

Advice to others: Forget what teachers tell you to do for university applications. It's better to be independent and doing things off of your own accord, even when the teachers are unrelenting about doing things their way.
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Levi.-
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same universities, different course.
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22lfd
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(Original post by IB.Makes.Me.Cry)
I would have spent more time on league tables and looking at statistics instead of simply looking at who requires higher grades and assuming they are good as a result. Sounds stupid of me to make such a mistake, but teachers shoved a website called BridgeU down our throats, it was the only thing I paid attention to.

Advice to others: Forget what teachers tell you to do for university applications. It's better to be independent and doing things off of your own accord, even when the teachers are unrelenting about doing things their way.
Dude same! I had to tell myself to stop looking at entry requirements as a way of measuring how good a school is. I hope this application cycle has gone well for you regardless!! Which universities did you end up picking in the end?
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Ototot
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I definitely would have had another look at my personal statement or had more people read it. I now look back and wish I changed the phrasing or I added more of what I was passionate about as my referee told me to remove it even though it was completely relevant. Maybe change a few uni choices and pick ones that where further away but where more realistic for me to get into. One thing to take away is that teachers aren’t always right lol.
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22lfd
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(Original post by Levi.-)
same universities, different course.
man reading all these replies makes me feel like I messed up my applications so badly cause I relate ;( ! I'm lucky I got to apply to schools that I would say are all prestigious and I totally relate with the course thing! man ... I hope everything goes well for you, also what course are you at the moment and which course would you want to be doing?
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Levi.-
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(Original post by 22lfd)
man reading all these replies makes me feel like I messed up my applications so badly cause I relate ;( ! I'm lucky I got to apply to schools that I would say are all prestigious and I totally relate with the course thing! man ... I hope everything goes well for you, also what course are you at the moment and which course would you want to be doing?
applied for med at cambridge ucl and imperial, interviewed at cam and ucl rejected by imperial. Rejected by cam and then withdrew from ucl (and leeds) cos being a doctor just seems so depressing post covid. Applied for chemistry & maths at UCL through extra and got an offer a few days after so luckily i managed to come out well but it could've been less stressful if i just applied for chem and maths right from the start lmao. I don't even have an insurance looool. wbu?
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22lfd
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(Original post by Levi.-)
applied for med at cambridge ucl and imperial, interviewed at cam and ucl rejected by imperial. Rejected by cam and then withdrew from ucl (and leeds) cos being a doctor just seems so depressing post covid. Applied for chemistry & maths at UCL through extra and got an offer a few days after so luckily i managed to come out well but it could've been less stressful if i just applied for chem and maths right from the start lmao. I don't even have an insurance looool. wbu?
woah felt. All the med students had it so rough this year and congrats on landing UCL !! At the moment i'm going for a Bsc in Physics applying to Manny, UCL,KCL,St Andrews, Imperial, and its been good and I was very passionate about Physics at the beginning of the year but post-covid Ive been really worried about job prospects and if in the end I'll actually BE in the research or field I enjoy. I think if I did this over again I'd do a Maths-comsci degree or at least a physics-maths degree so id be more employable. anyways
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PQ
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I would say to any applicant - DON'T USE ALL 5 CHOICES

If you're applying before Christmas then use 3, if you're applying after Christmas then use 4.
Adding 1 or 2 choices later on is a good idea - you'll learn more about universities after you apply and might get an offer or rejection or two through quickly which will help you decide whether to take a risk with your final choices or to play it safer.

An unused choice gives you FAR more flexibility than the benefit you'll get from using all 5 up straight away.
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22lfd
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(Original post by Ototot)
I definitely would have had another look at my personal statement or had more people read it. I now look back and wish I changed the phrasing or I added more of what I was passionate about as my referee told me to remove it even though it was completely relevant. Maybe change a few uni choices and pick ones that where further away but where more realistic for me to get into. One thing to take away is that teachers aren’t always right lol.
bro I've definitely learned that for sure, my teachers messed up my applications a couple of times sending wrong references and messing up documents for different universities! I only had 1 issue with UCAS which was they messed up my documents initially but they appealed and everything is ok now but to Australia and Canada they just messed up everything smh.
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Levi.-
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(Original post by 22lfd)
woah felt. All the med students had it so rough this year and congrats on landing UCL !! At the moment i'm going for a Bsc in Physics applying to Manny, UCL,KCL,St Andrews, Imperial, and its been good and I was very passionate about Physics at the beginning of the year but post-covid Ive been really worried about job prospects and if in the end I'll actually BE in the research or field I enjoy. I think if I did this over again I'd do a Maths-comsci degree or at least a physics-maths degree so id be more employable. anyways
A physics degree makes you VERY employable - it matters less about the degree and more where you study and how that bran influences your ability to cultivate new skills and get internships. Physics is very quant-based so a lot of careers are open to you lol. Learn to program - I'm learning python atm and tbh thats the core skill I'd say you need unless you explicitly wanna go into comp sci and even then a physics degree should be fine - especially at the universities you've applied. What field do you want to go into?
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22lfd
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(Original post by Levi.-)
A physics degree makes you VERY employable - it matters less about the degree and more where you study and how that bran influences your ability to cultivate new skills and get internships. Physics is very quant-based so a lot of careers are open to you lol. Learn to program - I'm learning python atm and tbh thats the core skill I'd say you need unless you explicitly wanna go into comp sci and even then a physics degree should be fine - especially at the universities you've applied. What field do you want to go into?
The dream is quantum engineering; nano technology, quantum computing/optics, or quantum based researches. The second option which i'm also growing to love is medical physics, took an internship with a firm based in our national hospital, loved it. And in terms of a whole plan B is taking a masters in econs or finance if physics is not what I really wanted. Also I really appreciate your response my parents were quite upset I didn't go for engineering or compsci but I think I have to remember that its not really what im passionate about
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22lfd
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(Original post by PQ)
I would say to any applicant - DON'T USE ALL 5 CHOICES

If you're applying before Christmas then use 3, if you're applying after Christmas then use 4.
Adding 1 or 2 choices later on is a good idea - you'll learn more about universities after you apply and might get an offer or rejection or two through quickly which will help you decide whether to take a risk with your final choices or to play it safer.

An unused choice gives you FAR more flexibility than the benefit you'll get from using all 5 up straight away.
Facts I applied with 4 to begin with (applied early dec) and was between Manny and Edi as my last, safe to say Im happy I chose manchester
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IB.Makes.Me.Cry
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(Original post by 22lfd)
Dude same! I had to tell myself to stop looking at entry requirements as a way of measuring how good a school is. I hope this application cycle has gone well for you regardless!! Which universities did you end up picking in the end?
Thank you! I hope your applications went well. I applied to King's College, Warwick, Reading, Royal Holloway, and City. I got an offer from all except King's which I'm still waiting for. Personally, after visiting the campuses in person and more research, I stopped being interested in Reading and Warwick, but I am anxiously waiting for King's and heavily considering RH. What about you?
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Levi.-
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(Original post by 22lfd)
The dream is quantum engineering; nano technology, quantum computing/optics, or quantum based researches. The second option which i'm also growing to love is medical physics, took an internship with a firm based in our national hospital, loved it. And in terms of a whole plan B is taking a masters in econs or finance if physics is not what I really wanted. Also I really appreciate your response my parents were quite upset I didn't go for engineering or compsci but I think I have to remember that its not really what im passionate about
engineering and comp sci are maths and physics but heavily applied, your degree is more versatile I'd have thought since both are somewhat specialised (although still quite broad in fairness). Doing a masters in econ and finance will be absolutely fine with a physics degree since its numerical just make sure u get good grades. To be honest for research you will need a Ph.D but tbh I'm not sure why you feel like you chose the wrong course its very employable. Some parents (mine included) don't really understand the fact that 95% of jobs don't require a specific degree (top law firms, consulting, investment banking and a whole host of other corporate jobs) and they're quite old fashioned, i.e. study law to be a lawyer (most didn't), study engineering to become an engineer etc. Your degree is fine mate, can't advise you on the other careers since I only really know about banking/high finance and in that ur degree is unimportant
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22lfd
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(Original post by IB.Makes.Me.Cry)
Thank you! I hope your applications went well. I applied to King's College, Warwick, Reading, Royal Holloway, and City. I got an offer from all except King's which I'm still waiting for. Personally, after visiting the campuses in person and more research, I stopped being interested in Reading and Warwick, but I am anxiously waiting for King's and heavily considering RH. What about you?
woah amazing ! RH is also such a beautiful campus! I'm applied to UCL,ICL,KCL,St Andrews & Manchester and honestly Im finding it hard to narrow down! I love every course so much. I do have to say Manchester and St Andrews gave me great offers and Manchester recently reduced my offer which has made me consider it as well. I love the London uni's too ofc but cost wise I'm not sure if that's going to be a reality unfortunately
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megellen
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I'm applying for university from an access course, so I was really unsure of how my application would be received as I've not taken the traditional route. With my choices, I think I played it overly safe. Honestly I just wanted to make sure I got into somewhere 😅 I applied for King's, Nottingham, Royal Holloway, Sussex & Hull. Still haven't heard back from Hull or King's, but have received offers from the other three. If I was able to redo my choices I probably would switch out hull, king's and possibly sussex. I would definitely do more research on universities and apply to one or two more Russell groups. But hindsight is 20/20
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Ototot
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(Original post by 22lfd)
bro I've definitely learned that for sure, my teachers messed up my applications a couple of times sending wrong references and messing up documents for different universities! I only had 1 issue with UCAS which was they messed up my documents initially but they appealed and everything is ok now but to Australia and Canada they just messed up everything smh.
Oh no, I’m glad for ucas application it was sorted out. But I can’t imagine how annoyed you must be about your other applications. I hope everything works out!
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