Looking ahead: applying to the UK

SMUS-University-Counselling

[Mr. Humphries sent a version of this as an email to all grade 11 students earlier this week.]

The UCAS (University and College Admission Service) has activated its apply system (Apply 2015) much earlier than usual.  Just go to this link: http://www.ucas.com/apply/undergraduate  Make sure you use Apply 2015, not 2014.

You should NOT apply as an “independent”; you should apply through SMUS (called your “testing centre”).  You will need our school’s “buzzword” which has been emailed to all grade 11 students.

Make sure you record your username and password to your Apply account.  Perhaps create a note on your phone or a paper folder where you can log each username and password for your university applications (you will have many!) and keep a back-up of the info in one of your email accounts. You will need this username and password each time you log in.

I suggest that you spend some time going through the information and instructional videos available to you on the UCAS site.  Moreover, use the UCAS search engine to find out a lot about the schools you are considering.  Read the fine print details of your intended program of study.  Dig around a bit in the research being conducted by professors in your area of interest.  When it comes to writing your personal statement for the UK (very important) you will do a better job if you know quite a bit about the “course” (course of study…..aka “degree program”) that you are applying for.

It would be a good idea to use the help UCAS offers on the topic of your personal statement.  Just google “UCAS personal statement”. I have previewed a useful app for $5.95 on the Apple App Store called “UCAS PS” that provides helpful information and guides you through the process of creating a personal statement. There are also numerous books (electronic and print) that can help you get through the process. Bring your academic advisor a thoughtful draft of your personal statement in September.

You won’t be able to complete the application until we start school in the fall, but this information gives you a chance to get a head start during your summer holiday.

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Alison McCallum
Alison McCallum is Head of University Counselling at SMUS and one of the Academic Advisors.

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