Decided that university is right for you, but you've not started your application yet? Don't panic, it's not too late. You'll need to be organised, but follow these steps and you should be able to get everything sorted by the 15th.
Make sure your school or college know that you intend to apply
If they don’t know yet, make sure you make them aware by the end of this week or by Monday at the latest. Your school or college will have a buzzword provided by UCAS that you will need to include to be able to apply. This is also very important because they will be required to provide a referee (one of your teachers or head of year) to write your personal reference. Some schools speak to more than one of your teachers to ensure that your reference is well-rounded and spot-on representation of you. This can take a lot of time so make sure you let them know as soon as possible.
Make sure that a teacher will be able to provide you with a reference
The reference is just as important as your personal statement. Confirm now who will be writing your reference. If you don’t have a reference you can’t apply to uni so it’s important to get this sorted to avoid any disappointment over the next week.
When you speak to your teacher make sure you provide them with a draft of what you want to say in your personal statement so that they have a good understanding of what you want to achieve. You’ll need to confirm the universities and courses that you are intending to apply for too. It’s also a good idea to provide a course information URL from the university’s website so that your referee is fully in the loop about what you plan to study in the next three years.
Make sure you agree a deadline for your final draft of your personal statement and the time and date that you plan to upload everything on to UCAS apply. By midday on 15th January at the latest is a good idea.
Get your personal statement sorted
Get it done. This weekend needs to be all about your PS. Write simply and honestly and explain why you really want to study the course you’re applying for. Share why you are a very capable applicant, the more personal it is, the better. Explain the subject knowledge you already have and highlight how this will support your success at university, plus any other skills or experiences that you know will help you.
Once you think you’ve nailed it, get someone who knows you well to give it a read and then let you know what you think. Once you’re happy with your final draft, make sure you email it to your teacher, ready for review on Monday morning.
Make sure you have included all your personal information on UCAS apply
Double check everything you have written, which boxes you’ve ticked and what grades you have included. You want your application to be perfect first time. Make sure you have included all of your exam grades (even if you think they’re not good enough or not worth mentioning) and make sure you’ve selected the correct grades.
Get someone to check your application before you send it off
It’s easy to miss things, so make sure you get a parent or another family member or friend to go through what you have written and included in your application. Get them to double check the exam grades you have entered, as well as the course and university UCAS codes to ensure you’re applying to right places!
Still not sure?
If all of this turns your stomach upside down and you still don’t feel ready to apply, it’s ok. UCAS Extra begins in February and last year, there were thousands of courses advertised at the start of Clearing in the beginning of July. The chances are you will find a brilliant course at a reputable university in the summer so if you’d rather just focus on nailing your studies and your exams then do just that. Remember, that there are lots of brilliant opportunities to be grabbed during a gap year so even waiting to apply next year might not be the worst thing.
Whatever you decide, good luck!