“So to get yourself ready to hit these deadlines, you must have decided whether to go, chosen a subject or course, chosen a university (well, a list of 5 universities actually), written a personal statement and have had a reference written by the school.” Nicholas Oulton
Many students go to their first open days during the summer term of Year 12. That sounds unbelievably well organised to me, but you’d be amazed at how useful that can be. Because actually, if they want to put in their application for uni, getting an idea of where they might want to go is pretty important, granted that UCAS applications can be made as early as mid September.
But if you are not ahead of the game like this, what do you need to know in terms of timings? Working backwards, the final deadline for most university applications through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is 15th January. If it’s Oxbridge or medicine you are looking at, the deadline is much earlier: 15th October. So to get yourself ready to hit these deadlines, you must have decided whether to go, chosen a subject or course, chosen a university (well, a list of 5 universities actually), written a personal statement and have had a reference written by the school. All while trying to get on top of the vital 6th form work on which so much depends; because it is no good putting in an amazing application if the A Level results are a total wash out.
So how can you help? Well, our view is that knowing what it is that they need to know is half the battle. If you know what steps they are having to go through, what decisions they are having to make, where they are expected to get answers to their questions, you will be a million times more able to help than if you rely simply on your own half remembered experience of a system that has changed out of all recognition since you were at school.
Most of what you need to know is in our book on university entrance. Have a look and see if you think it will help. And good luck!
Nicholas Oulton is Managing Director of The Parent Brief.