Why now is the time to start researching university

You might think that those applying to Oxbridge or early deadline courses are the only ones who need to start thinking about their uni application over the summer, but you're wrong.

Here's why you should start doing your uni research before the next academic year starts. 

Yoga

You'll have a clearer head over the summer

You’ve got a whole summer ahead of you so make the most of that free time. Researching universities feels like a mammoth task with all the choices available, but it should also be exciting. It’s easier to feel enthused and positive about doing your research when you don’t have looming coursework deadlines or mock exams to think about. 

Starting in the summer will give you a more relaxed and open mindset so you can make your choices from a good place, rather than a rushed or stressed place. 
 

Beginning your uni research on TSR: 
Start your search with Uni Match 
How to choose a uni subject 
The A-Z of universities

 

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You'll have time to change your mind

You don’t have to commit to any university choices until next January for most courses, so researching earlier gives you more chance to be flexible with your decisions if you find you’ve changed your mind a few months down the line. 

This is a lot less stressful then trying to change your uni choices once you’ve already put your application through, or made your firm and insurance choices.

 

More information about making decisions: 
Five steps to deciding your uni choices 
How to avoid five rejections 
Making your firm and insurance choices
open days

More Open day opportunities

 

Many universities hold open days over August. Getting out and visiting your choices now is a good idea as you won’t be missing out on study time. 

You’ll have more options to change your mind if you visit a uni and don’t think it’s right for you, and you’ll also be able to go back and visit again later on to get a clearer idea. 

If you start looking at Open Days now you'll also have more opportunities to visit universities you may not have thought about otherwise, meaning you're more able to discover the hidden gem that's actually perfect for you. 
 

More on TSR: 
Key questions to ask on an Open Day 
Open Day calendar: find out when they are 
Chat to uni official reps here

 

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Personal statement prep will help you narrow down your choices

The personal statement is a key part of your application. Even though you don’t need to finish it straight away it’s a good time to start getting the basics down so that you’re not spending hours agonising over it when you need to be getting on with other work. 

Starting your personal statement early will also help you think more deeply about what you want to study and why, and what you’d like to do in the future. 
 

More on TSR: 
Our personal statement tool will help guide you 
How to choose a uni subject 
How to nail your personal statement

 

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Once college starts, you will be busy

 

If you start getting on top of your uni choices now, you’ll have more time to focus on concentrating on Sixth Form College and getting your grades during term time. 

The second year of A-levels is a busy time so the more you can spread out your commitments, the better. You don’t want to be in the thick of it and also worrying about researching uni choices, visiting open days and trying to sort out work experience. 

Getting the main bulk of your uni research out the way early will give you more time to focus on getting the grades you need. It will also be a strong motivator for you as you'll have a clear goal to aim for once you know what the entry requirements will be. 
 

Study and revision advice on TSR: 
Going from a D to an A* - how to improve your grades 
How study goals will help you get your grades 
57 study habits of A* students

 

Students reading

More time to secure work experience

When you’re researching universities make sure you ask questions about what kind of work experience or extra-curricular activities could support your application. You really don’t want to spend time doing extra work which you thought might help your application if it turns out to not actually be relevant. 

If you start looking now, that gives you plenty of time over the summer months to get a placement somewhere. Through work experience, you might also discover that actually you think a different degree will get you to where you want to go.
 

Applying to uni: 
Applying to uni hub page 
Your uni application made easy 
Registering and using UCAS apply