Applications to University
Achieve good AS results
The first thing a student needs to do is achieve good results in their AS exams – these help inform universities about a student’s current attitude towards their learning far more than a personal statement or a reference from the school or even their GCSE results. Universities sometimes use AS results as the “first sieve” if they have a lot of applicants.
Decide on a course
Some students will already have a clear idea about what they want to study. If you are applying for a “career” degree (e.g. medicine, veterinary, law, teaching) it is important to organise some relevant work experience before September (ideally during the summer holidays). Students will also get the opportunity to go on a week's Work Experience during a week in July at the end of Year 12.
It would be beneficial to try to get involved in extracurricular activities in school e.g. paired reading, mentoring younger students, helping with House Competitions or help out of school. It may be directly relevant to your course, or at least allow you to demonstrate leadership qualities, good communication skills, responsibility and reliability etc. All these things can be mentioned in your personal statement and tutor’s reference.
Things you can do if you don’t know what to study…………
- Ask for a careers interview.
- Speak to your AS teachers about what you are particularly good at in your subjects.
- Think about things that you enjoy doing.
- Make use of the course guides in the study room – you will be amazed at the range of different types of degree that are actually on offer.
- All Year 12 students visit the Higher Education Convention in June each year.
- Make sure you research courses properly – don’t pick courses just because you think they sound good.
- Visiting university departments can give you a good idea of things you might / might not enjoy studying.
Visit some universities
Universities have open days throughout the summer. You can check their individual websites for exact dates. Aim to visit at least 2 or 3 to get an idea of what it is actually like to be in different locations e.g. a university in a city or on a campus outside of town. The Higher Education Super Convention may help you make some decisions as there are talks about studying different courses. Be realistic about what grades you can achieve when deciding which universities to apply to.