Things like profile and academics are activities students do naturally in high school. While it takes time to plan it, they are often less deliberate than this last aspect of your admissions chances – the application itself.
The UK stands out in its application process, which is very unique. All students apply through UCAS, and they select only 5 degree options. They only write one application, and it is sent to all 5 options.
The main application deadlines vary by university. If you are applying to Oxford or Cambridge, you must send in your application by October 15th. All other applicants, unless you chose medicine, have to apply by January 15th. International applicants are encouraged to apply earlier than this deadline though, as some schools start making offers as early as November.
Firstly, remember that you will need one recommendation. Ideally, this is a teacher that taught you an advanced class in a subject you indicated interest in.
As such, remember to tell your school early!
The most important part of your application, however, will be the personal statement. The personal statement is not a creative essay per se. Instead, you will have to describe
- a) your motivation to study your chosen degree, and
- b) your ability and aptitude for the degree.
Here are some tips:
- Talk about academics: Many think your grades will be sufficient to show your academic abilities, but that doesn’t necessarily demonstrate passion for the subject. Talk about why you like your chosen subjects, or if you cannot study it in school, related subjects (Law, English or social sciences, Engineering, Physics or Math).
- Describe non-academic experiences: The universities will want to see if you are engaged with your degree outside of the classroom. Remember not only to talk about what you have done, but how it increased your overall motivation and skill-set for the degree.
- Do not mention university names: All 5 of your options will receive the essay. Do not mention one of them, as it must be general.
The personal statement has to be 4,000 characters (including spaces) long at most, which is around 670 words. While it is not as much writing as in the US applications, the essay needs to be even more carefully thought out to include most of the things you have done with concision. Most Prep Zone students start crafting their essays at least in July before their last year in high school, so they can be ready by the October deadlines.