As exam season comes to a close in the UK, many students will be using the summer break to research universities and think about their application for next year. If you’re one of them, here are five resources we recommend.
As your AS-level exams finally come to an end, your attention will probably turn from flash cards and late-night revision sessions to your next step: which higher education route to take.
UCAS have now opened applications for 2016 and new university league tables are published every day. But if you don’t know what you want to study or at which university, where do you even begin?
We’ve pulled together a few of the best resources around to help with your university application. From choosing the right course to what to ask at an Open Day, these five should have you covered:
1. The Student Room
The Student Room is committed to helping every student reach their potential in exams and higher education. With a forum full of students, both past and present, who are happy to answer your questions, it’s a great place to get some answers.
The site also has a personal statement builder, which guides you through the application process, helping you decide what to include and how to structure your statement. It also picks up common mistakes compared with UCAS best practice, so you can just focus on writing a great application.
2. Which? University
Which? University have been doing their research – they’ve gathered stats from The Guardian, The Times and endless student surveys, to help you understand the courses available and what careers they can lead to.
The course finder lets you filter by your preferred subject area and your predicted A-level grades to see what courses are available. Other filters include student satisfaction scores for each university and average graduate salary. Try it out and you might find something you never even knew existed. Robotics at King’s, anyone?
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, download the Open Day questions checklist for your chosen subject. It will help you make sure you’ve got everything covered before submitting your application.
UCAS don’t just sort out the application process: they also have a comprehensive video hub for people who want to know more about the university experience. Take a look at their videos on advice to prospective students and virtual campus tours, as well as course-specific videos from students themselves.
Push mainly offers Push Talks. These are held in schools, where great presenters deliver interactive, live talks to students to advise them on their higher education choices in an informal setting.
But on top of this, they have plenty of information on their blog to help with the application process. This includes preparing for interviews and full profiles on every university, including housing costs and student survey results.
5. FutureLearn Choices
Finally, we couldn’t end this post without mentioning our own range of free online courses to help you with your UCAS application – FutureLearn Choices.
The courses give you a taster of new subjects, such as computer science, forensics, medicine or dentistry, or help you develop skills for university learning, like critical thinking or research. The University of Sheffield even runs a couple of courses on the university application itself, such as How to Succeed at: Writing Applications and How to Succeed at: Interviews.
The short courses, which run between now and the end of July, and are designed to prepare you for those all-important decisions next term.
Do you have any recommendations for resources to help with university applications? Is there a site that you find particularly useful? Tell us in the comments below.