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Study Across The Pond Canada Blog | Advice and guidance for Canadians wanting to study in Britain

Tips on preparing your application

Posted by Scott Elliott on Nov 22, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Preparing your application to universities in the UK can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. Your student advisor will help walk you through the whole process, and we have lots of advice and even create guidelines and webinars on how to make your application as close to perfect as possible! Below are some of our tips for getting the best start on your applications.

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Start early

One of the biggest stresses that students have with regards to their application is when they try to rush it in before a deadline. This stress is then compounded after their applications are submitted and offers are received, as there is then a rush to find funding, accommodations, and to deal with the student visa application. The earlier you start your applications; the smoother things will go. Since most programs work on a rolling deadline basis, applying early has the added benefit of giving you better chances of success, especially if you just barely meet the entry requirements. For most programs, we typically recommend that students apply before Christmas, as there tends to be a rush of received applications in January that can slow down the universities’ processing time.

Find your references early

Professors are usually more than happy to write letters of reference for students, but they can be fickle, especially around exam times. We recommend students ask around for letters as soon as they start the application process, to give profs plenty of time to write them, and to give students time to find back-ups in case a prof flakes out. If you’ve been out of school for a few years, you may think it is unlikely, if not impossible, to find a prof that remembers you enough to write a letter, but don’t be afraid to ask anyway; you may be surprised by the results. When I applied for my master’s program in the UK, I had been out of school for about 2 years and was sure I wouldn’t be able to find anyone to write the letter for me. But after visiting campus and meeting with my former profs directly, I really didn’t have any trouble getting the two letters of reference necessary for my program.

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Get advice on your personal statements

The personal statement is an important part of your application, and so it’s crucial that it be as close to perfect as possible. For this reason, we do have guidelines on what is expected of the document, and even have a recorded webinar that walks you through the process of writing it. The statement does not have the same format or required content that similar documents would for applications and Canadian universities, so make sure to read the guidelines closely. Your personal advisor is always on hand to give you some advice, and even help revise it if you send over a rough draft!  The statement typically takes a few drafts to get right, so make sure not to leave this until the last minute!

Entrance exams and other additional qualifications

Most programs do not require entrance exams at all, but there are a few that do. Medical programs always require exams (typically the UKCAT or BMAT), and a few law programs require the LNAT. Some graduate level psychology programs require membership in the GBC, and engineering programs often require ATAS certification. It’s important to know what exams and certifications are required for the programs you’re applying to, and your personal advisor will help sort that out early in the application process. Some of these have strict deadlines, so make sure you don’t forget anything and miss out on attending.

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Our student advisors will work with you, one-on-one, to make sure that your application is in the best possible shape, and following the above advice will help us help you make this process as stress-free and straightforward as possible.

Please contact us if you’re ready to consider your options for studying in the UK and are ready to start the application process!