Applying to University
By Simon Kinder, Deputy Head Teaching & Learning at Gresham's School, in Norfolk
With the long summer holidays looming, time well spent can really strengthen students’ chances of getting the course and university they want. Simon Kinder, Deputy Head – Teaching & Learning at Gresham’s School in Norfolk, offers his top tips on how sixth formers can get ahead in the race for a university place…
- Find the best university course for you. An excellent starting point is to search through UCAS course search (http://search.ucas.com/). Match skill sets and likely predicted grades to the courses on offer.
- Review what you like (or dislike!) about your existing Sixth Form subjects to help to refine your choice of courses.
- Investigate whether any Sixth Form subjects are deemed essential or highly desirable for chosen courses.
- Be bold! Explore university courses that exist beyond the subjects traditionally studied in the Sixth Form.
- The personal statement. This should demonstrate a student’s suitability for, commitment to and interest in their chosen course of study. In general, about 80% of a personal statement should be related to the course you wish to study and provide evidence of why it appeals to you.
- Provide plenty of specific evidence of what you have done beyond classroom studies to demonstrate your academic potential. Such evidence does not need to involve expensive global travel – it may simply be appropriate additional reading and your critical reflection upon it.
- Get the application in early in the Autumn term. It makes the start of the Upper Sixth year a much less stressful process.
- Visit university open days. Taster days exploring specific courses can be particularly useful – as can speaking with students who have been through the process themselves.