By Maxine Harrison
- So, it’s February now and most students hoping to attend university have already applied, unless you are an art and design student in which case the deadline is 24th March. As an A2 student myself, who has received all of my offers I am now looking onto to the next step of the process. With Lancaster University being my first choice, I am expected to get some high grades to enter. Considering my unsatisfactory AS grades I attained last year, this is in no doubt a challenge for me and will therefore require an immense amount of hard work, which I have been doing since entering A2.
In this article I will be addressing the necessary steps you will need to take leading up to your exams dates and the ongoing process of applying for university.
First of all I found that on The Student Room, which is a forum for students, there are various threads that address questions that students are curious about. They even have study groups for subjects, where students gather together and discuss any topics they may be unclear about. An example I can give from my personal experience is the Lancaster University thread I signed up to, as I posted a comment stemming from my curiosity about accommodation there. In response, a current student of the university replied and filled me in with some useful details about accommodation, from both a factual and personal perspective. Of course, it is advised to also visit the official university website for further details about accommodation as there may well be documents detailing further information. Additionally, if you haven’t already, it is always a good idea to attend the universities before you make a final decision regarding your firm and insurance choice. There have been some situations where students are attracted to a university by what they see online, but when they go to the open day they are not too impressed. I realise that for students planning to study abroad this may be less feasible, so as fore mentioned the best alternative in this case would be to search online for various information about the university, in the aim of getting the best sense possible about what the university is like. I am aware that some universities host Q&A sessions online with future students, so look out for opportunities similar to this.
Referring back to study skills, there are several free apps that you could use to help you both revise and learn about topics. One that I am particularly in favour of is the Flashcard+ app. This allows you to make your own flashcards with the interactive feature of flipping it on its opposite side to reveal the answer to a concept written on the other side. Another app that may be helpful is Handy Timetable which allows you to type in how many hours and when you want to revise per week and it subsequently creates a revision timetable for you. Also, SimpleMind is also a useful study app as you can brainstorm your ideas with it. Past papers are also a key feature to include in your revision, as they provide you with insight regarding what an exam paper is like and consequently get you into the habit of dealing with exam pressure. Whilst writing these papers, it is useful to have the examiners mark scheme as it helps you understand what the examiner is looking for and you can therefore integrate this into your essay.
Now that you have applied for UCAS it is advised that you start applying for student finance ASAP! Depending on your financial situation you may need to apply for a variety of loans. This part of the process can often be confusing for students. But don’t worry! When you start applying for student finance there are step by step guides that provide you with information about each loan and section if you get confused. It is also useful to ask your form tutor at your college or sixth form about any queries you may have concerning this process, after all they are there to help!
If you remember one thing from reading this, I would like it to be motivation, as it is such a key factor to achieving your desired grades. If you are someone who usually leaves all the hard work until the last minute, just for the next couple of months leading up to exams, try to adopt a tunnel vision view! By this I mean look at the ending view. Think of all the hard work you are doing now as a means to achieve the ultimate reward at the end.