Top 10 Questions Students Have About University Entry

June 22, 2021
Students

University is the next big chapter in your life. No wonder you have so many burning questions. It’s a big life change and there are a lot of different options to choose from! Tutor House is here to help with our top 10 questions students have before university. 

1. How do I know what the right course is for me?

This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself, and the most difficult to answer. Think about what subjects you have enjoyed at school and then research courses related to them. It might not always be an obvious one! For example, if you enjoy Art and Maths, you might want to look into architecture. 

UCAS has a large list of different subjects offered at universities for you to look at. Relevant work experience can also help you understand your future goals and make deciding on a course a lot easier!

2. Which universities should I apply to?

Choosing a university can depend on many factors, and it’s important to think carefully about which are the most important to you. Location is definitely something to consider. Maybe you crave the bright lights of a city, or you might prefer a smaller campus town. This ties in with the kind of student experience you’re looking for, as university isn’t just about work! Proximity could also sway you. How close do you want to be to your hometown? 

But the most important element to consider is the course. Research the modules that the university offers in your chosen subject as much as possible. The approaches that different universities take to any given subject can differ wildly, so make sure the course content excites you.

3. What is the university entry process like?

So you’ve decided what you want to study and where to apply. Now what? Once you’ve registered with UCAS, university entry consists of a few different stages. First, you will need to write a personal statement. So get thinking about how to convey the most possible passion for your subject (more on that later)! Depending on what or where you have chosen to study, you may also be required to have an interview. 

Based on your personal statement, and your predicted grades, universities will contact you with, most likely, conditional offers. This means you can come and study on the condition that you can achieve the A-level grades. That’s pretty exciting — but now it’s time to knuckle down and make sure you get those grades. 

4. Will I have to interview?

It depends. Highly prestigious universities, such as Oxbridge and UCL, interview most applicants. Although entry into some arts subjects (such as fine art and music) also requires interviews, most humanities courses do not. However, if your intended course does, don’t panic! There’s plenty of coaching out there to help you feel as prepared as possible, including various interview guides on university pages themselves. 

5. Should I apply for universities I don’t have the grades for? 

While it is important to be realistic, don’t let self-doubt get in the way of achieving your goals! There are plenty of ways to ensure you achieve the grades necessary for university entry, starting with extra tuition. 

Tutor House offers a range of personalised tutoring opportunities tailored to suit your academic needs, whatever they may be. One-on-one sessions might just be exactly what you need to properly click with your subject and exceed your own expectations. 

6. What if I want to apply for more than one subject? 

 If you have lots of different interests and passions — that’s perfectly fine! UCAS usually only allows you to write one personal statement. Try finding some common interests between the subjects that interest you. Then explain why you have chosen different courses and provide reasons for this.

A joint honours degree may also be a good option for you. Research some of the subjects that interest you, and see if they can be combined. Remember your personal statement will shine if you show a real interest in what you are applying for.

7. Can I do a year abroad or placement year on my course?

A lot of courses do offer the option to go on a placement year or a year abroad nowadays. It is worth looking at your course details on the university’s website. 

If you want to learn a new language or gain insight into a particular industry, this might be of interest to you. It may be useful to consider similar courses that could provide these options too. It's worth doing your research if you want that year in the sun! 

8. How much of a step-up is university work from A-levels? 

There is, without a doubt, an increase in the level of academic sophistication that students are expected to strive for at university. However, all your fellow undergrads will be in the same boat. So if you maintain the level of discipline you established during your A-levels, the transition should be manageable. 

Academic work requires more independent learning, but, as a student, you will generally have more time outside classes to devote to this autonomous study, so it all balances out. And there are plenty of resources available to help you cope with the changes.

9. Will I have exams at university? 

Exams depend on which course you end up doing. Art related degrees tend to rely on coursework and presentations. So if you are tired of exams this is perfect for you!

Science degrees are more likely to focus on group projects and practical work but can still have exams. Make sure you check how your course is assessed so you can go into your lectures with confidence!

10. How do I write my personal statement?

Personal statements can be tricky. It’s generally the first piece of this genre you will have had to write, so it’s hard to know if you’re doing it right. 

At Tutor House we are aware of these difficulties. Whatever you’re hoping to study, we have expert tutors in all subject areas who can help you every step of the way, from those daunting first drafts to the reviewing stage. You can also use our free personal statement checker service. This guarantees you help and advice from our UCAS experts tailored to you.


Need help with your personal statement?

We provide a free personal statement checker service to help you ensure your UCAS application is the best that it can be. Contact us today and we’ll pair you with one of our experts who will provide you with feedback and tips.

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Ella Burgess and Sadiyah Zaman

Ella and Sadiyah are content writers at Tutor House — a top quality tuition company to students of all ages, budgets, and levels. They have both worked as English teachers and lived overseas, and are fascinated by all things education. Ella is a foreign language and text art devotee, while Sadiyah studied linguistics and specialised in multiculturalism. At home, she enjoys pursuing her artwork.

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