If it’s your ambition to get into one of the top universities in the country, there are a few things you can do to tip the odds in your favour. Obviously, there’s no substitute for hard work, but the following could help…
This may sound silly, but so many students shy away from applying to top universities. This is because they don’t think they stand a chance. Well…nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.
Take a Prep Course
It may be a bit late if you’re gearing up to apply in the near future, but if you have the time and opportunity to do so, enrolling on something like a STEP Preparation Course is a really good idea. It will get you used to doing the kinds of admissions tests that top universities like Oxford and Cambridge often require. This will put you on an even pegging with students from other walks of life; who may have more advantages than you in some ways.
Extra-Curricular Activities are a Must
Good grades are the most important thing you need when you apply to top universities; however, they aren’t all you need. Chances are most people who apply have done well, which means the admissions staff need to look at other areas beyond school. Whether you volunteer at a local hospital, raise money for a charity close to your heart or excel in a particular sport. Anything you can do that will make you seem more valuable to the university will push you ahead of the competition.
A lot of students apply for a particular course because they have been pushed to do so by family members or because they think it’ll be their ticket to a high paid job in the future and that is fine, but if you have a genuine passion for your subject that could help you to secure a place ahead of someone who has different motivations. Why? Because admissions tutors love to see candidates who have a real interest in the subject; who really know what they are talking about; who demonstrate that they will take the course seriously and they do have what it takes to succeed. These people are less likely to drop out and more likely to do well, which makes them an attractive prospect.
Usually, when you apply for university, you need to do so one year before you plan to study. You also need to ensure that you have all of the required paperwork and that it is carefully filled out and free from errors, especially if you’re applying to a top university where that sort of stuff matters. That means, getting organised and starting as early as you possibly can; so you can iron out any wrinkles before the deadline sneaks up on you.
At the end of the day, you’ll either get in or you won’t. So, do work hard and so what you can to boost your chances but don’t become obsessed and don’t run yourself into the ground because there are other options out there.
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