Continuing our series of ‘How to write your personal statement’ for a university place in the UK. If you missed last month’s look at ‘Self-reflection’ - Applying to United Kingdom Universities - Part 1 and Part 2.
Whilst aiming high is imperative, realistic choices are important for success. Some students have unattainable “dream school” ambitions which usually end in disaster. This is a time for brutal honesty – don’t waste any of your university choices by applying for courses that require grades you cannot hope to achieve in the deluded mindset that hard work, determination and/or sheer good luck will win you a place. However, it goes without saying that hard work and determination are pre-requisites for success at anything – and we can all hope for a bit of good luck, too! Check out the entry requirements early on – your grades NOW should be reflecting the sort of grades your chosen universities are asking for. If you are aiming for top universities like Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics and so on, then you should be achieving current grades that put you in the top 1-2% of your year group in your school. Be sensible. Do not choose five universities that are all asking for similar grade profiles, just in case something goes wrong. Choose one or two university courses that require the maximum grades you think you can achieve, a couple that are slightly lower and one that is a “safety net”, which you can easily achieve.
Make sure you look at any other requirements your chosen courses ask for too – there are extra examinations required for specific subjects – STEP, LNAT, MAT, PAT, TSA, portfolios and so on. Some universities will ask you to provide examples of marked work, write an extra essay and/or attend an interview [see Tangent’s Interview Skills Course] – usually on Skype for overseas applicants. Top universities have a difficult time selecting applicants and often change the way they select, so keep checking their websites for new information and guidelines. Also, do take note of the information provided by individual universities regarding advice on personal statements and so on – they are telling you what they want to see, so don’t ignore it!
Mind your language!
As English is not your first language, it is very likely you will have to provide proof that your level of ability is good enough to cope with the demands of the course. Again, check the requirements carefully for the courses you have selected. Some universities are very flexible on the English language qualifications they will accept and some are very specific. If in any doubt, you should contact the admissions’ office as soon as possible. Do not underestimate the importance of achieving your English language qualification – usually IELTS – pay as much attention to this early on as you pay to your other subjects. It is often too much pressure for a student to know they need to achieve their A level grade equivalents and their English language requirements in the last two months of their final year. Don’t let this be you!
So start early! Tangent can help you all the way to your required IELTS level and much more. Stop wasting your time and contact us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week we’ll look at the detail in the writing the actual statement [‘it’s always in the detail’]. If you’ve missed any articles, click here <link>. If you haven’t started one of Tangent’s courses or discussed your language needs with one of our Learning Consultants, why not try one of our free ‘Taster Lessons’ – yes, I did say free –no obligation.
Tangent Training also has a number of focused courses if you are aspiring for a corporate career. See our Courses Page.
Start the process today by taking our English Placement Test, which will allow Tangent Training to start you at the correct level at any English course.
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