Cutbacks in funding for nearly all Universities has meant that there is increasing demand for courses at the more well respected higher education institutions, i.e. the Russell Group of Universities and those with First Division Performance. This makes it essential for every student to be given the correct guidance when he or she is progressing through the application procedure.
St. Michael’s Sixth Form students are given on-going advice in regard to choice of most appropriate course and university, timetabled teaching for entrance exams such as BMAT, UKCAT and LNAT— and in-depth assistance in completing their UCAS forms, especially their all important personal statements. The vast majority of students will go through the UCAS process for entry to UK universities, however the school has expertise in supporting the often more complex applications to universities overseas. This includes universities in Asia as well as the USA, where particular requirements vary in terms of entry, competitive application, transcripts, interview and matriculation.
Typical overseas university admissions support includes: Guidance in booking and preparing for admissions tests (SAT and ACT); provision of recommendations (references), forms and transcripts; helping students collect and prepare documentation in the correct format for applications (exam certificates etc.); support for essays and personal statements – ad hoc or extra 1:1 lessons; interview practice with a senior member of staff. We tend to only have a few students each year interested in US admissions, which is why help tends to be more individual and bespoke.
Our holistic approach to the university application process, which covers as already indicated personal statements, correct choice of courses and institution, as well as attendance at 6th form taster courses in Law, Business and Medicine, plus focus on added value aspects of CVs, regularly results in 100% entry into Higher Education, with a highly pleasing success rate into the immensely competitive fields of medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy, finance and law.
UCAS application guidance
As some of the most prestigious courses attract hundreds of applicants for perhaps a few dozen vacancies, the initial effect of the UCAS form becomes all important. Thus the monitoring and guidance students receive is highly advantageous to them, making a crucial difference in this highly competitive market place. Mrs Prickett and Mr Ellis work together to ensure that every pupil’s UCAS application is correct, appealing to the admissions tutors, and submitted early, (before the end of November – some 7 weeks before the UCAS cut-off date).
UCAS Tariff and University Offers
Every year competition for university places is increasing, and with English based students seeking maximum value for money faced with ever increasing fees, many universities are in a position to select only those candidates with the highest levels of A Level performance. As a result we have seen courses that were offering ABB two years ago now demanding AAA, offers of three As becoming A*A*A, and courses that were BCC, now demanding ABB.
University offers can consist of required grades e.g. ABB, UCAS points, e.g. 300pts or a mixture of the two e.g. 300pts including an A grade in geography. It is up to each university to determine how the offer will be structured. (Currently the government is considering switching from points back to grades only).
The current UCAS TARIFF was introduced for first use in 2016 applications. Click on the link above for the details.
Interview preparation techniques
As soon as individual offers of interview are received, St. Michael’s applicants are taken carefully through a range of interview preparation techniques. This is carried out through group discussions, one to one practice and mock panel interviews.
The Extended Project
The Extended Project provides students with an opportunity to carry out an in-depth study, based on personal interest or an aspect of a subject they are studying. Learners are supported throughout the process by a supervisor and a teaching and learning programme. The Extended Project is becoming more sought by universities as evidence of independent learning, and counts for UCAS points as an AS Level, but with the added advantage of a potential A* Grade. A variety of possibilities The Extended Project can be a written project – e.g. research into an historical, political, sociological, economic or cultural issue or perhaps a fictional work, film or theatre script, or can take a variety of other forms. The EP can therefore be a field study, or a scientific report based on research or experimentation (ideal for medicine/dentistry candidates), or even a performance-based activity e.g. role in a drama production or a film.