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Planning to study in the UK for University

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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by shri
    (To give you some perspective how late you are in the decision cycle. BUT it all depends on what they want to study and where they want to study.)

    To give you an idea of what sort of prep work goes into the UCAS application, international school kids will have to start narrowing down choices this summer, for 2020 entry. Over the summer they'll need to work on personal statements and narrow their choices further to 5-7 and eventually down to 5.

    Once school opens in Sept, they'll have to start nailing down their personal statements - these are important for top tier universities.

    Many universities depending on the courses you want to take will add supplemental tests - law, maths, entry tests (oxbridge and a few others if I recall). These tests will need to be done by Nov 2019.

    Then some universities might have personal interviews (very few do this) and also interviews for scholarships in Nov-Dec 2019.

    Offers start rolling in around this time of the year - many are conditional and few exceptional students get unconditional offers.

    Almost a full time job for the students for the next six months - and this is for 2020 entry.
    Or do clueless international student route (also coming from high school with no information on UK unis).
    Me(holding gun to daughter's head) Write the statement and did you pick any schools?
    Daughter : Cambridge.
    Me: You need 6 (or 5 forget which).
    Daughter : No
    Me: Ok just write it.
    One hour later
    Daughter : Here.
    Me: Maybe change the order of these sentences.
    Daughter : Ok
    Me: How about some Scottish schools in case you want to go for 4 years and Durham because their English course ranked high somewhere (Times maybe).
    Daughter : Ok and I picked Kong's College.
    Me: That's nice, they have a nice choir and chapel (exhausting all of my vast knowledge of Cambridge from a visit in 1982).
    Ok, go ahead and upload it (AP exam scores already reported by her to UCAS).
    Don't forget to find a teacher to write something nice about you.
    Daughter : Ok.

    When you know very little about the system, well picking the one Oxbridge school and then a few others that have varying offer levels is all you know to do. Not really many US kids even think about the UK.

    So it seemed to us a pretty painless process compared to the silliness of the US (Actual MIT essay question: If you could be any animal, which animal would you be and why). Sigh. Daughter did not bother with U.S. schools.
    So if your daughter already knows her scores and she will by this summer, she will know where she will be accepted and can choose schools based on that. Maybe I am cynical but seems to be what they care about.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Ah, crappy typing on the ferry, too late to edit- that would be King's College, not Kong's.

    I think you can put some more effort than my daughter did but, seriously, somewhere there is a list of all courses and what scores will get you in.

    Also you don't need to apply to the same course at each school (mine did- English- but that was her own choice).

    Even if you don't read all the stuff online, I was very impressed with the actual website application process, it was seriously user friendly and this was back in 2006. They make it very easy. The only hard part (vs. the process in the US) is that you need to know what subject you want to study (in the US you typically don't need to say what you want to study). But if your daughter knows that, then picking some schools that will match her test scores is pretty straightforward. (Mine also already had all her scores at the time she applied). The good thing about already having your scores is that the offers are typically unconditional if you meet the scores.

    So she can take a gap year before going to the UK (seems to be done a lot these days) maybe do a working holiday somewhere or work locally.

    Good luck!

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