Know The Requirements
First step on how to avoid getting a ‘no’ is checking the requirements for the course. These include qualifications and exams you need to take, grades, and, if you are an international student, language tests. You can easily find all of these on the official website and in case you are having any trouble, email the admissions office.
Don’t assume that all universities have the same criteria for the course you want to apply to.
In case you apply for the course and something doesn’t match the requirements, universities may actually contact you and talk to you about alternatives they can offer. But in order to avoid that in the first place, choose the subjects that will get you into most universities and realistically assess whether you can get those grades.
Show Your Interest All The Way
Personal statements and teacher recommendations play a huge role in the application process in the UK. Although you don’t see what your teachers include in their responses, you have control over how you present yourself to the admissions officer through your personal statement.
This essay is the only way how you can show your interest in the subject beyond your grades. When writing your personal statement, you need to keep in mind the course you’re applying for and tailor all your achievements accordingly. All the information needs to resemble your passion for the course.
Keeping that in mind, do include your extra-curricular and co-curricular activities even if they are not directly related to this course. In this situation, talk about how the skills and experiences you gathered will help you in pursuit of the course.
Choosing Your Degree
As you know, you can apply to up to five universities for your undergraduate studies. So how can you have your back covered? First, identify the area of studies that interests you so much that you don’t mind spending at least another three years diving into it. Once that’s sorted, start searching for degrees in that area.
A lot of students fall into the trap of choosing “pure” degrees. Let me explain. For example, you enjoy Mathematics. And a logical step here would be to continue studying Mathematics on the degree level. Or you could change your approach.
Try to search around and you will see that there are also Statistics degrees, Physical Mathematics, Finances, Engineering, Accountancy.
What is it that you like about the subject? Think of its applications and how you see yourself implementing it in your future career. Do you want to work with people, or do you want to have more independent projects? Do you want to teach, do research, work for the corporation or be self-employed?
Do consider these questions when searching for degrees and don’t eliminate the “non-pure” ones.
The next step once you pick your top five is to identify what’s common in all of them and base your personal statement on common areas.
In case it happened… Rejection
Sometimes even if you think you did everything the right way, you can get a rejection. Don’t take it personal and don’t get too focused on this one university. Here is what you can do.
What is Clearing?
Clearing is a process that students can go through if they want to change their courses or apply to different ones for various reasons. The process begins in the second have of the academic year, after all the general applications have been submitted to UCAS.
Once universities receive applications by 15 January, they see if there are any places left for their courses and if there are, the are posted in the “Clearing” section of UCAS website.
Why Would I Apply Through Clearing?
Life happens and most common reasons why students go through clearing is because they got rejected, didn’t get the grades required or simply because they changed their mind over the summer.
Clearing options provide lower requirements for the courses and sometimes, if you got rejected from one uni and you see they offer clearing places, you can still get accepted!
In the moment, it can seem that you whole life is going to crumble because you didn’t get in that one uni. But remember that rejections don’t define your abilities. Do your best when it comes to applying to universities and always know that there is a back-up plan out there!
Photos: Shutterstock / Design: Martina Advaney