There has been a buzz at Sixth Form, with the UCAS deadline finally taking place this week and students beginning to receive offers from prestigious Russell Group universities including Warwick, UCL, KCL, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bath, Leeds, and York.
To mark the occasion, we spoke with Dr. Maroon, Head of University Admissions, about what we do to prepare students for the application process.
How does our UCAS programme provide the necessary individual guidance to each student?
All KPS Sixth Form students have one-to-one meetings with their personal tutors to advise on their aspirations and intentions for university study. In Year 12, students visit the UCAS Discovery Day exhibition which includes exhibition stalls from all UK universities, as well as a series of seminars on the application process and information on what university courses are like. During enrichment sessions, I advise Year 12 students about the process of applying, i.e., how to register on UCAS; how to structure your writing on the personal statement questions; and what factors to consider when making your choices. I also hold a weekly workshop where students can drop in to discuss any issues with their applications. In addition, I am always available to students for one-to-one meetings about their university applications, and to give feedback and support for personal statement writing.
How do you support those students interested in applying for international universities, Oxbridge, or medicine courses?
As Oxbridge and medicine courses have an early deadline in October, the process of application needs to start a bit sooner. All of the prospective students are given one-to-one meetings with me to help them plan the processes of applying and to give feedback on personal statements before the end of year 12. We also run Oxbridge club which gets our students discussing philosophical questions in a way that could be useful for interviews and entrance examinations.
When students are invited to interview we try to arrange mock interview practice. For instance, Ms Galouzis, our Head of Drama and Theatre, is experienced in offering body language workshops and mock interviews for medical candidates. For US applications, we organise the provision of references and grade transcripts for the students using the common app, and we offer as much advice as we can on these issues. However, the US system is highly diverse in terms of what different universities want, so I would tend to advise students that they may need to look to professional US application advisers for more specialist knowledge.
What advice would you give to a prospective student embarking on the UCAS programme?
Any student entering the Sixth Form should try and get a clear picture of their goals for university study as soon as possible through early research. They should choose to study those subjects that they truly enjoy the most, as this will better motivate them to achieve their desired results. The process of applying to university is not as difficult as it can seem if you have clear goals and are ready to do the work required in good time. The key thing for students to remember is that getting into the course of your dreams will not simply be based on the strength of your application. It is also about achieving the best possible A level results by developing consistent self-motivated study.