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🖊️ My Top 5 Tips for Applying to University!

Tip #1 - Make sure university is the right choice for you.

If you’re applying to university because everyone else is, or you feel pressured to, it might be worth reconsidering your options. Ask a careers advisor, teacher and yourself if you believe university is the best option for you and see if and how it would benefit your future prospects.

Remember that it is okay to take a gap year or undergo an apprenticeship or training contract, or do none of these options at all. Figure out what is best for you. Higher education is not always the best option for everyone.

Tip #2 - Make sure the course is right for you.

This may be the most important tip of all. Ensuring that the course you choose to pursue is something you see yourself doing for the next 3/4/5 years is absolutely fundamental. It has to be a course you are interested in and know you’ll enjoy.

Is it your current passion? If it is, go for it.

Tip #3 - Do research on the different universities you are interested in.

The university location, required grades and course structure are all important things you should know about the university you wish to apply to. It is where you’ll spend the next few years, so it’s an important choice to make!

Consider going to an open day so you can really catch a feel for the campus and atmosphere. Remember UK universities aren't the only option. There are plenty of international universities I am sure will be happy to have you!

Tip #4 - Personal statements do not have to be a drag!

Personal statements are exactly as the name suggests: statements that are personal to you. It should be a fun experience writing them, not daunting or stressful.

  • What is it about the course that you are applying to that you particularly like?

  • Do you have any books or documentaries (relevant to your course) that you find really interesting?

  • What are your career prospects?

  • What are your hobbies, interests and extracurricular activities?

Answering these questions one at a time can help build a solid frame for your personal statement. Then, you simply fill in the gaps with more descriptive words and examples.

Tip #5 - If your chosen university requires admission tests or interviews, try to practice them.

It is common advice given to students that have tests or interviews as part of their university application to practice for them, but I cannot stress this enough. Connect with students studying at your preferred university and ask them for help, or ask your teachers. You can find plenty of advice and practice papers online to best prepare you for what is an objectively nerve-wracking aspect of applications. The best thing you can do is use the resources you have to build the best version of yourself that you can and want to put forward to universities.

So now you've heard my top tips go and impress them but more importantly make sure they impress you!

Thanks for reading!

Yetunde (AFC Alumnus, Yetunde is currently studying Geography at the University of Oxford).

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