Your UCAS application – does it have the X Factor?

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With thousands of prospective students applying to university every year your application is going to have to be top quality to get into your dream university.

Luckily, we’ve got loads of great advice to make sure every stage of your UCAS application is perfect.

Getting your application in as soon as possible is a great way to make sure you stay motivated during your final year at college and exam period.

Where to start

Start researching the types of courses and universities you might be interested in early on so that you’re ready when UCAS is open for applications. Remember, if you want to study a medical, dental, or veterinary course, or you want to go to Oxbridge, you’ll need to apply earlier than everyone else.

What does a UCAS application involve?

Your UCAS application will have seven stages including your personal statement, your academic record, and at least one reference – usually from a teacher. Your personal statement will take the most time and in some ways is the most important part of your application.

For more information visit our UCAS Applications: The Ultimate Guide

What makes a great personal statement?

First things first, your personal statement really should be personal – don’t be tempted to copy examples that you find on the internet.

Equally, make sure that you’ve really done all of the things you say you’ve done. Looking after orang-utans in Borneo sounds great, but if you haven’t actually done it, don’t put it on your personal statement!

Your personal statement should contain your skills, experiences, and anything else that would make you the ideal student at your chosen university.

Triple check your personal statement before you submit it, spelling and grammar mistakes are unacceptable.

Keep in mind when you’re writing that you need to make the admissions team think, “I want that person at my university.”

If you need help writing your personal statement vist the ApplytoUni personal statements page where you can find a number of examples and other articles to get you started.

How can I submit my application?

You’ll need to submit your application online on the UCAS website and you’ll be able to apply for up to five different courses.

Once you’ve made your application you can use UCAS Track to watch the progress of your application.

What if I don’t get made any offers?

If your application doesn’t go the way you want it to, don’t despair, you’ve got two options.

If you need to make a new choice before the application deadline – 30th June – then you can use the UCAS Extra service.

If you find yourself without a university place after this time then you’ll be eligible for Clearing and can make your application through UCAS once Clearing officially opens on A Level results day.

Many universities also offers courses that start in January so you might not even need to wait a whole year before you can reapply.

For more information visit our UCAS Extra and Clearing 2024 pages.