What do students ask UCAS?

What is UCAS?

What do students ask UCAS?

UCAS, the body that handles all university applications is the central point of information when you are applying to uni. They have just published their 10 most-asked questions in their bank of FAQs – so we have summarised them here so that you can be one step ahead.

10. 46,000 people clicked on “How to I start using Apply?”

Apply is the online application system and is the only route through which you can apply to study at a UK university. UCAS has produced a clear guide to take you through the process, step by step. Check out the application overview now. Remember that you don’t have to rush and do the application all at once – you study the guide for each section, get that information together and add it. Keep adding to your application until you’re done.

9. 91,000 of you clicked on “Can I substitute a university choice?”

If you have second thoughts about one of your choices, you can make a substitution, but you have to do it within 7 days of the date on your UCAS welcome letter. You will receive this after you’ve completed your application. You are allowed to make a change to each of your university choices – but you only get to do it once. Make sure you have a good reason to change and that you have taken your college’s advice first. Then log in to Track, click on choice details and finally substitute choice. Make your changes.

8. 98,000 students clicked on “Why haven't I received my letter?”

Letters sent in the post are something of a rarity for students – with Facebook, Twitter and texting, who still writes letters? When you apply to uni, UCAS will send you several letters – a welcome letter after receiving your application, and offer letter, a rejected offer letter, letters updating your offers and status and finally confirmation on next options letters, depending on how good your results are. Remember that letters are slow, slow, slow. Posted to a UK address, a UCAS letter can take a week. Elsewhere in the world, three weeks is likely. And UCAS needs a few days to process your information at each step and send the letter. Top tip from ApplytoUni – provide a verified email address to UCAS and most of your letters will be available in Track and you can check them online as soon as they are posted.

7. 107,000 of you asked “What is the UCAS Tariff and how do I work out my UCAS points?”

The UCAS Tariff is a scoring system that assigns a number to particular types and level of qualifications so that it becomes easier to compare course requirements between different universities. The tariff table on the UCAS site goes into all the detail you need to know. Most students will want to know the A level tariff points:  A* is 140 points, A is 120 points, B is 100 points, C is 80 points, D is 60 points and an E is 40 points. Most course information will specify the total number of points required but they may also mention particular requirements, eg. 300 UCAS points, including B in English.

6. 120,000 students asked “Can my personal statement be more than 4000 characters?”

The simple answer is no; your personal statement must be no more than 4000 characters (and that includes punctuation and spaces, not just actual letters). See our advice on writing a personal statement [Link to relevant page in apply to uni site]

5. 140,000 of you clicked on “Can I apply late?”

The simple answer here is yes: if you apply after the October 15th deadline (medics, vets and dentists) or after January 15th (almost everyone else) or after March 24th (some arts and design students), you still have until June 30 to get your application into UCAS. Find out more about what happens if you miss your application deadline

4. 203,000 of you wanted to know “How many UCAS Tariff points does my qualification have?

You need to check out the tariff table and look up the qualifications you are doing. It’s also a good idea to look in detail at course requirements set out by different universities – some will give a guideline tariff but may also give the exact grades that they want you to get in your exams. Some of the requirements may be subject specific and many universities do not accept general studies at A level, so any grade you get will not contribute to your overall UCAS tariff score. There are exceptions though; Sheffield University, which is in the Russell Group has departments that accept it as a full A level for points.

3. 220,000 people asked “How should I end my personal statement?”

An impossible question to answer, but check out the Apply to Uni advice on writing a brilliant personal statement.

2. 301,000 of you clicked on “Which universities offer the course I'm interested in?”

For this you need to check out the course finder on the UCAS website and check the courses and course requirements. Apply to uni also has a unique resource – a full table summarising the UCAS tariff level of offers made by all UK universities. This shows, at a glance, which universities you could start looking at, bearing in mind your target grades.

1. And the top slot: 490,000 students clicked on “What are the UCAS deadlines for applying?”

For 2014 entry, it was October 15th 2013 for medicine, vet medicine and dentistry; January 15th 2014 for all other courses except some arts and design courses, for which the deadline is March 24th 2014. The final deadline for all other applications is June 30th 2014. See our advice about what to do if you miss your application deadline