How to Handle Applications

Seeing as the majority of the senior class has now applied to our desired universities, I thought it would be fitting to write about it. The do’s, the don’ts and how to approach the process. At the end of grade 11 you write and send your requests for references, but what isn’t clear at the time is that you never actually see them. For this reason, I’d recommend including exactly which course relevant units or pieces of work you have done well that you would like your universities to know about. Also list what applicable skills the class has taught you that your teacher can expand on.

If you decide to change your course later on, like me, you might be lucky enough not to have to ask for more references as the original ones remained relevant. But this is not the case for everyone, I know students who were rushing last minute waiting on references a mere few days before the UCAS deadline. Try and let your teachers know as early as possible if there is anything they need to do for you, before you apply.

Now, starting early seems to be unnecessary and stressful, at least that’s what I thought. Why begin writing a 600 word (more or less) personal statement, amidst PDW, the extended essay and a million IAs? Writing an application can be a process that takes months, as you find yourself learning and wanting to add more whilst you’re writing. I wrote my personal statement two weeks before christmas holidays, which made me realize I should probably add something like an online course. Seeing as the shortest one I could find was 6 weeks, I realized I would only be able to apply a week before the deadline, 3 weeks before all my coursework needed to be in, and 4 weeks before my mocks were going to begin. Not an ideal situation if you ask me.

So, the lesson to learn is that your senior year will be busy from start to finish, so it’s never too early to begin. You will get a better sense as to what you need to do and how to approach all of your deadlines.