10 Oct 2018
11 Top Tips for Last Minute UCAS Applications
15 October is the deadline for UCAS purposes to all programs on the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, in addition to most programs for drugs, dentistry and veterinary science. The deadline for purposes to just about every part else isn’t till 15 January, so yearly, the 15 October deadline takes some college students abruptly.
When you didn’t realise you wanted to get your software in so quickly – or perhaps you probably did, however you’ve been procrastinating – then you definitely is perhaps feeling greater than a touch of panic by now. However don’t lose hope. Whether or not you’ve gotten most of an software written or not, it isn’t too late to get one despatched in.
Hopefully you’ll have already got been working in your software over the summer time, or at the very least throughout September, and may have probably the most vital elements (together with the daunting private assertion) written already. If that’s the case, learn our ideas under; if not, scroll down for our recommendation on a very last-minute software.
Sure, it’s extremely unlikely that you simply’ve chosen Car Engineering if you meant to pick Veterinary Drugs, however errors alongside these strains occur to somebody yearly; attempt to keep away from it being you. Watch out for autocomplete filling in varieties fallacious, particularly on a shared pc, as you don’t need to danger sending your sibling’s particulars as an alternative of your personal. It will be deeply and profoundly embarrassing to be the one that spelled their identify, or their faculty’s identify flawed on their UCAS type. Even if you’re so tired of checking that you simply really feel you may recite all the small print of the shape from reminiscence, examine it some extra.
When you’ve checked the factual particulars, it’s time for some proofreading, particularly of that all-important private assertion. You need to stand out with admissions tutors for the appropriate causes, and never for being the one that despatched of their UCAS software to review “Medecine” or for saying, “I am passionate about this subject because [insert reason here]”.
Proofreading one thing that you recognize nicely (as you need to hopefully know your private assertion) is especially difficult. One method that may assistance is studying it backwards as an alternative of forwards – that means, you make it slightly more durable for your mind to fill within the right model as you’re studying quite than displaying you the errors which are there. Studying it aloud also can assist, as can another methods that make your mind decelerate and parse the phrases anew, similar to a hard-to-read font.
Proofreading isn’t a process you possibly can simply do as soon as and declare it achieved. Attempt to look over your software for spelling and grammar errors a number of occasions should you can.
There are two varieties of people who find themselves helpful for studying over your UCAS software: individuals who know something concerning the course of and individuals who don’t. Attempt to get at the least one individual from every group to look over your software earlier than you submit it.
Individuals who know one thing concerning the course of are helpful as a result of they’ll spot errors in the way you’ve accomplished the shape, or factors in your private assertion that sound odd or are open to misinterpretation. Individuals who know nothing concerning the course of are simply as helpful as a result of they’ll spot the errors that individuals who know the method gained’t, as they’ll see what they’re anticipating to. Explaining the contents of your UCAS software to somebody who has by no means crammed one out for themselves could be a good way to repair any lingering errors. In case you don’t know anybody who falls into that class, clarify it to a teddy bear.
Nevertheless, when you’re doing this, do watch out to not let whoever is looking to edit something, or ideally, contact something in any respect. You don’t need them to hit “submit” on a hunt for a “save” button, or to make edits that they assume are useful with out your approval.
References are the a part of a UCAS software that college students most frequently overlook about, as a result of often you gained’t should do any of that work your self: your academics will write them and submit them for you, and chances are you’ll by no means even know what it’s that they wrote. However they’re an important a part of your software, simply as a lot as your grades and your private assertion. That goes triple if there are any extenuating circumstances to elucidate – for occasion – a dip in your grades, as references could be a excellent spot for these particulars to be included.
Most faculties which are used to college students making use of to Oxford, Cambridge and the programs which have an early UCAS deadline could have no drawback getting references sorted in time (although in fact, it does no hurt to verify). Nevertheless, in case you’re making use of from a rustic the place instructor references aren’t the norm or the place the deadlines are totally different, otherwise you attend a faculty the place making use of for these formidable and demanding programs is uncommon, then it’s notably essential to examine that the references have been written and that your faculty understands what’s required.
If in case you have a private assertion that’s completed already, it’s value checking over it once more, however not altering it an excessive amount of at this stage. Clearly, you must right any errors of spelling or grammar that you simply spot. It might even be value going as far as to modify paragraphs round, or including or deleting a sentence or two to vary the emphasis of the assertion – particularly remembering that for the schools and programs with a 15 October deadline, admissions tutors’ curiosity in your extracurriculars is minimal and it is best to as an alternative give attention to why you need to research the course with supercurricular actions as your proof.
However don’t make any wholesale modifications at this level. Whenever you learn over your private assertion, particularly in the event you haven’t checked out it shortly, you’ll perhaps discover it deeply embarrassing. That’s merely the character of this type of factor. You don’t need to have to put in writing a model new assertion now, and when you did, it will in all probability make you cringe simply as a lot anyway. Keep on with what you’ve obtained.
In the event you’re making use of to Oxford or Cambridge, it might be that these universities are all you’ve targeted on – however you continue to have one other 4 slots in your UCAS type to fill. No matter else you do, don’t be a type of individuals who insists that it’s Oxbridge or nothing and applies to no different universities; come springtime, when you don’t get into Oxbridge and provides are flooding in for all your mates, you may properly remorse your selection.
Keep in mind that solely about one in 5 candidates will get in to both Oxford or Cambridge, and just remember to have a back-up plan that you simply’d be proud of. You must attempt to go to your second-choice universities as properly; if that’s not potential, no less than take the time to learn their web sites and look into whether or not their strategy to your chosen topic fits your preferences.
It’d really feel such as you’ve achieved the exhausting work as soon as your UCAS software is in, however there’s nonetheless much more work to do. When you left your UCAS software till the final minute, make a dedication to not do the identical for the subsequent levels of the college software course of, such because the Supplementary Software Questionnaire (SAQ) in case you’re making use of to Cambridge (with a deadline of 22 October for most programs), and naturally, the all-important interview.
Should you’re doing all of your full software solely last-minute, then you definitely may have to take a special strategy so as to get it completed on time.
You’re in all probability targeted on the large duties like getting your private assertion sorted out, however there are a number of different elements to the UCAS software corresponding to filling in all of the fiddly particulars of your qualifications and schooling. When you can’t get anybody to put in writing your private assertion for you, there’s nothing flawed with asking a pal or member of the family in the event that they wouldn’t thoughts serving to you with the admin elements of the duty, with the intention to get it executed a bit faster. Simply keep in mind to double-check what they’ve crammed in!
Should you’ve knowledgeable your faculty of your intention to use for a course or college with an early deadline, it might be that when you haven’t been organised sufficient to get your software collectively, they could nonetheless have gotten your references prepared. (That’s particularly more likely to be the case in case your faculty has loads of high-achieving pupils; some faculties will get all references prepared for the 15 October deadline, simply in case).
However in case you haven’t, you may need lots of apologising in your close to future to influence your academics to get your references prepared on time. Writing references is a variety of work, and there might be multiple pair of eyes on every reference in order that any unlucky turns of phrase could be eliminated and the accuracy and equity of the assertion ensured. This all takes time, and by leaving it to the final minute, you may properly be making your academics keep late to get your references achieved. Ensure that to be suitably grateful.
When writing a UCAS software last-minute, undoubtedly the factor you’re most apprehensive about is getting your private assertion written. Sometimes college students spend weeks over this, gathering content material and crafting it rigorously. That choice isn’t open to you any extra, so determined occasions name for determined measures. One method for getting 400 phrases of one thing written is to talk your private assertion, relatively than write it. Take a speech-to-text software (there’s one in Google Docs) and reply the query, out loud, of “why do you want to study the subject you’ve chosen?” Your trustworthy reply to that query could be the inspiration of your private assertion.
Do word, although, that it’s “the subject you’ve chosen” and never “the university you’ve chosen”. The private assertion will go to all the schools in your listing, so by no means point out a specific college by identify. Not solely will – say – Balliol School, Oxford, already know why you’ve picked Oxford (it’s in all probability one thing to do with it being one of the best college on the earth), however universities decrease down in your record are unlikely to be persuaded to take you by your enthusiasm for a special establishment.
When you’ve left it a lot too late to write down a very good UCAS software, don’t despair; keep in mind that you’ve choices. One is to ship in a nasty UCAS software now and, if all of it goes mistaken, to reapply this time subsequent yr and luxuriate in taking a Hole Yr. One other is to not apply in any respect at this level, and to select from a variety of prospects: making use of to different universities or topics with the January deadline, wanting into different nations with later software deadlines, or equally, ready till subsequent yr to have one other go.
Ready a bit longer to go to college can really feel disastrous now, however it’ll come spherical quicker than you assume, universities are unlikely to penalise you for it, and you could even profit from the wait. For one, it lets you focus in your A-levels with out the distraction of interviews and ready for presents or rejections to reach. It’s also possible to spend the time increasing your instructional horizons; for occasion, programs reminiscent of our Drugs Hole Yr programme may also help construct your understanding forward of going to college. Shorter Oxford summer time faculty programs in Drugs or Veterinary Drugs also can assist together with your software in order that subsequent time spherical, you gained’t be doing it final minute and also you’ll be absolutely ready to put in writing an excellent software and for the thrilling research forward of you.
Picture credit: hourglass; vet; proofreading; laptop computer; clean display.