Getting the most out of the application process

Thursday 19 December 2019, UCAS advice


Getting the most out of the application process


When choosing which university or conservatoire to apply to, the vast amount of options can seem disorienting. As though you’re at a junction with signs to your destination pointing in all directions and you don’t know which route is best to take. Picking the right place of study for your educational desires is an important factor that can sometimes get overlooked when locations or friendships sway your decisions, but it needs to be kept in mind how integral this choice is to your future. The course itself needs to be kept foremost in your mind. Will it benefit your personal needs? Will it take you into your chosen career path? Attending open days or campus tours is one of the best ways of getting an idea of a university’s facilities and the way in which the course is run, so make sure to book onto anything your places of study have to offer!

Don’t wait until the last minute to apply. Although starting your personal statement can seem a daunting task, once you’ve got your first words on paper with a good plan to back you up, you’ll find the rest will flow naturally. Explain what attracts you to your chosen subject. Talk about your hobbies and interests; the things that make you unique. And finally, your work experience and previous employments and how this can aid you with university life. Don’t try and lie to impress, as you could end up getting caught out in your interview! Just make sure to keep it personal, but well organised and relevant, focusing on what makes you right for the course and the course right for you.

When your interview date finally comes, you’re going to be nervous. And that’s unavoidable. But it’s not an exam, it’s not a test, it’s you talking about yourself. And you’re an expert on that topic, because you’ve lived you’re life. Go through some of your answers before hand – answers to common interview questions such as ‘why did you choose this university for your studies?’ – and make sure you can articulate you’re answers in a non-tangential, precise manner. Be sure to smile, be friendly, and talk with confidence about your passion for your area of study, conveying to the interviewer that you are dedicated and sure about what you want to do.

With everything considered, keep your future in mind. Keep in mind your ambitions and dedications and that drive will flow through into your words and actions. Remember that applying to university shouldn’t be something you do out of pressure or a desire for conformity, but something you do to further your knowledge of a subject that you sincerely respect and enjoy. So, after experiencing all these stages of the application project myself, I hope that this article can help somebody out there who might have lost their drive; disorientated by choices, confusion and nerves. And the best of luck to anyone taking on this life-changing project!

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