It seems like you’ve only been back at school for five minutes and already you’re stressing about your UCAS application.
As the application window opens, here are a few ‘DON’Ts’ to consider before you press send.
Don’t be careless
Completing a UCAS application is not an exciting activity: there will be lots of information to provide, with dates and subjects and grades. Take care and make sure everything is accurate. If you’ve accidentally said an AS level is an A-level, or a D is a B, and a university makes you an offer on that basis, you could find yourself without a place later on when the mistake comes to light.
Don’t leave off information
Did you start university last year and drop out? Did you mess up an AS level? Was your perfect set of GCSEs spoilt by that rogue D? You might be tempted to leave off information like this, but make sure you don’t, because your UCAS application requires you to agree that the information you have given is full and accurate.
Don’t worry too much about your personal statement
The personal statement is the only bit of your UCAS application which is really personal to you – it’s your chance to tell universities about yourself. Yes, it matters, but it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.
Don’t forget the basics – check your spelling and grammar. Pay particular attention to names and titles: you won’t impress universities with the books or authors you’ve read if you don’t spell their names correctly.
Don’t copy your personal statement
There are lots of examples of personal statements online, and these can be useful for getting an idea of the kind of structure you need to aim for. But don’t cross the line between looking at examples and copying them. UCAS runs all personal statements through anti-plagiarism software and if it finds that all or part of a statement is copied, it will notify the universities the student has applied to.
Don’t leave it until the last minute
Don’t put extra pressure on yourself by leaving everything until the very last minute: you won’t do yourself justice and you might make mistakes if you throw it all together with barely any time to spare.