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By now school holidays are over and teachers everywhere will be hassling gently reminding their charges of the need to apply themselves to their studies and to their future careers. Like lots of things (including writing a blog!) it’s easy to leave it till tomorrow when we’ll have more time. Our university is currently offering a workshop on procrastination to staff and students “Are you a procrastinator – do you keep putting task off and never complete them? If so, you are not alone – 20% of adults in the general population are chronic procrastinators, and it is often much higher in university settings”. I can’t make my mind up whether I should go or not.
Anyway, if you’re thinking of applying to uni, listen to what your teachers say. They are your best allies when applying and they know how long it takes to make a good application that will pick you out from the crowd. They also know the dangers of missing UCAS’s deadline – we had a number of good applications after 15th January, but as we’d already made enough offers to fill all our places we had to turn them down and suggest reapplying next year. Now you don’t want that, do you?
If you’re struggling with what to do, just put something down. It’s easy enough to make changes later when you can see your form in its entirety, and at least you’ll feel you’ve done something. Start with the easier bits first, such as your personal details (after all, you do know who you are!). Qualifications should be fairly straight forward as well, but if you aren’t sure please check what you have passed. A couple of weeks ago we had to withdraw a new student when it became apparent they hadn’t got what they’d claimed to have, and now they’ve got the embarrassment of explaining to family and friends what has happened.
Try to set your qualifications out sensibly. We don’t normally need to know all the units, just the overall qualification. Similarly we assume that if you’ve passed your Highers or A-levels you’ve automatically got your core skills.
There are also bits on the last two pages you need to check you fill in correctly, particularly any special needs for which you will want support from the university. And we have had to chase applicants for details of their criminal record simply because they ticked the box incorrectly!
Personal statement? I’ve talked about that before as you know, but let the whole world know just how good you are and that you might be coming their way!
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