9 Steps To Help Choose A University That’s Suited To You

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Living in London, I always knew I wanted to move out.  Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t much go off when choosing a university.

I saw so many tips and guides when applying for university, and have narrowed down the ones I found the most useful:

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A simple guide to choosing a university:

  1. Decide What Subject You Want To Do
    •  This does not have to be a subject you have studied before at school.
    • If you are thinking about a subject you have never studied before, visit University taster lectures on the subject to see how that subject would be taught. This is also a good way to view first hand whether the university teaching style is for you.
    • Write down a few reasons why you are interested in this subject – this will help you when writing your personal statement.
  2. List All Your Grades To Date
    • Have a list of all your grades ready to check university entry requirements (both GCSE and A-Level) to see if you meet them.
    • Keep this in mind for step 3 and 4.
  3. Have A Look At League Tables
    • See what are the leading universities at the time you are applying.
      b. My only advice is not to focus too much on this, as apart from a select few universities (such as Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL) the tables change so frequently.
    • My teacher during sixth form made a very good point, that when applying for a job your potential employer already has a pre built league table in their mind of good universities from when they were applying and will probably not check the current league tables.
    • Links to league tables:
  4.  Find A University That Plays On Your Strengths
    • Do your research on the university and the course content.
    • What is the course content? Is there a module you are really interested in? Can you choose your own modules?
    • What is the structure of the course? What percentage is course work and exam?
    • What societies does the university have that you are interested in?
    • Is the university campus or noncampus?
  5. Create A Short List Of 10 Universities
    • Include their open days and required grades.
  6. Visit The Universities To Get A Feel For Them
    • I would recommend doing this during the start of Year 12 so you have a clear image of where you want to apply at the start of Year 13 (I also found that in Year 13 I was reluctant to take days off school as it would mean a lot of catching up)
  7. Choose Your Top 5
    • Be realistic – when applying I broke down my 5 choices into categories:
      • 1 ambitious option (either very high grades or very prestigious university)
      • 2 achievable options (universities that require grades which you are more likely going to achieve)
      • 2 safe options (universities whose entry grades are definitely achievable)
  8.  Be Proactive
    • Start working on things go out in your personal statement.
    • This can be anything from volunteering, work experience, outside activities such as sports, cadets, guides etc.
  9. Start On Your Personal Statement
    • Work on your personal statement over summer of year 12/13 of very early September. If applying to Oxford, Cambridge, Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science you will have to apply in October. Regardless, if you are thinking of applying to university do it asap as universities give out offers on a rolling basis.
    • Follow these links for a personal statement help:

Got any more tips? Let me know!

 

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