The Dos and Don'ts of a UCAS Application
Mikhail Yakovlev
CampusTales Editor
University College London (UCL)
October 21st, 2017


Now in my third year at university and in the process of applying for a Masters degree, I cannot help but remember the traumatic experience of filling out UCAS applications in the last year of secondary school. Sure, even back in prehistoric 2015 there was plenty of official advice given by various staff at my school and by UCAS itself. But, the real problem was that this tsunami of information only made me more confused and anxious. Are you in the same boat? Here are some simple tips to get you started.
#1 Do not leave it too late!
You are probably thinking "Not again! We've heard this all before!" and you probably have, but this advice can really not be emphasised enough. Most of us who are not clever enough to apply to Oxbridge have the option of putting-off our applications till at least March. However, this really isn't a great idea. It's one thing for your teacher who started university back in 197something, in other words long before the days of UCAS, to say so. But, as someone who went through the process relatively recently [come on! 2015 wasn't that long ago!], I really think that trying to juggle your university applications with revision and mock exams ends up being a particularly cruel form of self-inflicted torture.
#2 Do make a plan
Make a plan! If the words 'UCAS' and 'university applications' bring you into a state of debilitating panic and you simply don't know how and where to start, making a plan is probably the first thing you do.

Even if you're quite confident, a plan provides a clear roadmap for action that allows you to compartmentalise the tasks and tick them off as you go along. Not to mention that making a good plan and sticking to it is good practice for university, especially when/if you come to writing a dissertation, mark my words!
#3 Know what courses you want to study and where
One of the greatest benefits of being at school or university is that we get great long holidays. So why not spend a tiny proportion of you summer holiday before your final year at secondary school researching the courses you want to study and the universities where you want to go? The last point is particularly important as sometimes we forget that it takes a much more than good teaching to make a great university experience.
Anything from your chosen uni's location to the breadth of clubs and activities on offer can make or break your experience. You might also turn up on freshers and realise that you simply hate it, so it's always a good idea to visit your uni of choice in advance!
But, even if you didn't spend your summer holiday bussing from one university to another or simply live too far to go to an open day, there's loads of resources online that can help you find out what it's like. CampusTales is a great one of course (check out Bristol's Top Secret Study Spots, what a Typical Day at the University of Birmingham looks like, and more) but there's lots more out there, from thestudentroom.co.uk to Youtube videos made by current students - or staff.
#4 Ask for advice, but always make your own choices
The only thing worse than having to deal with UCAS is probably trying to choose your courses, complete and edit the required paperwork all on your own.
To avoid bottling up the stress, you can try talking to your friends and family. After all, that's what they're there for anyway, am I right? Even your teachers can offer you valuable advice on how to get the rights grades and technics for securing a place at your dream uni.
What I found extremely helpful is reaching out to current or recent students either studying at your university of choice or doing the same course somewhere else. If you're not quite as comfortable with Facebook/LinkedIn stalking as I am, you could try going through your school - after all it's more than likely they can put you in touch with someone who has just gone on to do something similar to you. Family or social connections could also come useful.
Having said that, try not to let yourself be swayed by where great-aunt Lilly went to college. Equally applying to a college just because all your friends hare going there is not a great strategy. Who knows whether you'd still be friends in 3 years time and you certainly don't want to be stuck on a land economy course in Inverness surrounded by people you no longer like.
If you still want to know more, check out this helpful video below and GOOD LUCK!



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University College London (UCL)
University College London (UCL)
University College London (UCL)
University College London (UCL)
University College London (UCL)
University College London (UCL)
The Dos and Don'ts of a UCAS Application
Mikhail Yakovlev
CampusTales Editor
University College London (UCL)
May 16th, 2017
Now in my third year at university and in the process of applying for a Masters degree, I cannot help but remember the traumatic experience of filling out UCAS applications in the last year of secondary school. Sure, even back in prehistoric 2015 there was plenty of official advice given by various staff at my school and by UCAS itself. But, the real problem was that this tsunami of information only made me more confused and anxious. Are you in the same boat? Here are some simple tips to get you started.
#1 Do not leave it too late!
You are probably thinking "Not again! We've heard this all before!" and you probably have, but this advice can really not be emphasised enough. Most of us who are not clever enough to apply to Oxbridge have the option of putting-off our applications till at least March. However, this really isn't a great idea. It's one thing for your teacher who started university back in 197something, in other words long before the days of UCAS, to say so. But, as someone who went through the process relatively recently [come on! 2015 wasn't that long ago!], I really think that trying to juggle your university applications with revision and mock exams ends up being a particularly cruel form of self-inflicted torture.
#2 Do make a plan
Make a plan! If the words 'UCAS' and 'university applications' bring you into a state of debilitating panic and you simply don't know how and where to start, making a plan is probably the first thing you do.

Even if you're quite confident, a plan provides a clear roadmap for action that allows you to compartmentalise the tasks and tick them off as you go along. Not to mention that making a good plan and sticking to it is good practice for university, especially when/if you come to writing a dissertation, mark my words!
#3 Know what courses you want to study and where
One of the greatest benefits of being at school or university is that we get great long holidays. So why not spend a tiny proportion of you summer holiday before your final year at secondary school researching the courses you want to study and the universities where you want to go? The last point is particularly important as sometimes we forget that it takes a much more than good teaching to make a great university experience.
Anything from your chosen uni's location to the breadth of clubs and activities on offer can make or break your experience. You might also turn up on freshers and realise that you simply hate it, so it's always a good idea to visit your uni of choice in advance!
But, even if you didn't spend your summer holiday bussing from one university to another or simply live too far to go to an open day, there's loads of resources online that can help you find out what it's like. CampusTales is a great one of course (check out Bristol's Top Secret Study Spots, what a Typical Day at the University of Birmingham looks like, and more) but there's lots more out there, from thestudentroom.co.uk to Youtube videos made by current students - or staff.
#4 Ask for advice, but always make your own choices
The only thing worse than having to deal with UCAS is probably trying to choose your courses, complete and edit the required paperwork all on your own.
To avoid bottling up the stress, you can try talking to your friends and family. After all, that's what they're there for anyway, am I right? Even your teachers can offer you valuable advice on how to get the rights grades and technics for securing a place at your dream uni.
What I found extremely helpful is reaching out to current or recent students either studying at your university of choice or doing the same course somewhere else. If you're not quite as comfortable with Facebook/LinkedIn stalking as I am, you could try going through your school - after all it's more than likely they can put you in touch with someone who has just gone on to do something similar to you. Family or social connections could also come useful.
Having said that, try not to let yourself be swayed by where great-aunt Lilly went to college. Equally applying to a college just because all your friends hare going there is not a great strategy. Who knows whether you'd still be friends in 3 years time and you certainly don't want to be stuck on a land economy course in Inverness surrounded by people you no longer like.
If you still want to know more, check out this helpful video below and GOOD LUCK!



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