It's UCAS events season. All across the country, schools and colleges are offering students the opportunity to head to a UCAS conference. Loads of universities come together under one roof, ready to answer questions and let you know about their courses.
If you play your cards right, you can get loads out of UCAS events to help you with your uni application. Here's everything you need to know, and what you need to do to get the most out of them.
1) Do your research beforehand
You should already have an idea of where you're applying for, or at least the range of courses available to you. It's a good idea to take a list of courses that you're interested in and speak to the universities which offer them.
You should also have a list of universities that you might be interested in, so that you can find out more about them and bag yourself a prospectus to check out later.
2) Go to the talks that UCAS puts on
UCAS puts on a stage or two with events. These range from how to spruce up your personal statement to interview and career advice. These will be in the guide that you're given and you should really prioritise ones that will help you.
Make sure you bring a notebook so that you can jot down any important tips and advice so you don't forget it.
3) Take time to speak to unis in depth about any questions you have
While universities tend to send some of their best marketing team to recruit students at these events, they do have a lot of broad knowledge about their university. That's why they're there. Ask any questions you desire (but do remember they'll upsell a bit!).
It's a good idea to write down your questions in advance, so you don't forget anything or get flustered in the moment. You also need to make sure you write down the answers you're given and know which uni they came from, you won't be able to keep track otherwise.
4) Speak to any students on the stands
Sometimes universities will take a few students with them to the event. This is the perfect time for you to ask honest questions about student life, as they'll know their city inside out. Think about what's important to you: What's the nightlife like? Are there many social events? What societies are there? Is there a Nandos nearby? These are important questions, so don't miss out on the opportunity to ask them.
5) Stock up on stationery
Universities have loads of free stuff to give away. You can endure the two minutes of marketing spiel, or simply just say you fancied a pen. They're up for grabs and word will quickly spread of unis with 'good stuff', so go and grab it fast. Who doesn't want a desk full of university goodies?