How to Perfect Your UCAS Application Form

Preparation

This is perhaps the most valuable advice during this process. Before you even attempt to open your UCAS form be totally prepared; research your choices, prepare your personal statement, compile all the relevant personal details. It is very important to pay close attention to detail. 

Registration

In this stage of the process you will be asked to add a few personal details. You do not have to include your mobile number, but it is an extremely useful way for UCAS to contact you if they need to.  A key thing to remember is to ensure you enter your name as it appears on your examination entries, do not use any nicknames or shortened versions. This will prevent any problems further down the line.  The next step is to enter security information for your account. UCAS will assign you a generated username. You will be asked to provide a password (check with your school or college whether they provide these for you), and answers to a security question. Write these down and keep them in a safe place, they are very important for accessing your account in the future.

 If you are applying independently there will be a few more questions. However if you are applying through your school or college, it is at this point you will have to enter the buzzword specific to your institution.

UCAS will send you a verification email with a code to finish the form.

Personal Information

This section requires information about where you live, your nationality and your eligibility for student loans and grants, and fee payments. As well as any information on disabilities or special needs. The drop-down menus are very clear. However there are a few things to consider; if you have a UK passport then select British (and likewise for passports from other countries), if you do not wish to have a parent or guardian act on your behalf at any point – then simply ignore this section, even if you do not have any disabilities you must fill in these fields. This information is all relatively simple, but it is essential that you get it right. If any details change then contact UCAS immediately. 

Additional Information

It is in this section you will be asked of your ethnic origin, which gender you identify as, your national identity, parental occupation and education and finally any summer schools or courses you have attended. Remember to include any summer school or taster course that you plan on talking about in your personal statement. If there are questions you do not wish to answer then simply select the ‘I’d prefer not to say’ option. UCAS declares that these are not used in the selection process, but simply useful for statistics.

Choices

At this stage you may enter up to five institutions you wish to study at, it does not matter which order you enter them in. UCAS does not offer a preference system; once your application is processed they will appear in alphabetical order. It is wise to play close attention to the University you select, as well as the campus code. You don’t want to accidentally end up at the opposite end of the country!  It is also at this stage you are to enter which course you want to do.  If you are applying to Oxbridge, or medical courses then you will be able to enter up to four institutions.

Education

In this section it is easy to make mistakes or miss things out; it would be a good idea to totally complete this section before moving completing your choices and personal statement. These fields require information about every institution you have attended since you were eleven years old. You need to accurately record all qualifications you have gained, as well as those you are currently studying for. Be vigilant, there is no point guessing dates or names.  When entering the details of the qualifications you already hold, do not leave anything out. It is essential to include every result, the correct exam board and date For exams that are still to be taken, simply put ‘pending’ in the box. A handy tip is to have your certificates in front of you, that way there can be no confusion about examination boards or dates.  There is no point in lying about your previous education; both UCAS and admissions tutors will be able to spot this.

Employment History

If you have ever held a part-time job then this is the section to include it. This is about paid work, not experience or voluntary work.  You may also include these in your personal statement; if you feel they are relevant.

Personal Statement

Often seen as the most daunting aspect of the application process; check out the next article for some tips.

Reference

This will be added to your UCAS application by your referee. Once you have completed your form, the final step is to submit it. If you are submitting it via your school or college, then this will normally go to your Head of Sixth Form. They will then add the reference, written by a teacher who knows you well. This is the final stage before UCAS receives your application. The lack of control over this stage may seem scary, but this is the best possible way for the Universities to which you have applied to gain a full picture of you as an applicant. You may seek out a teacher or member of staff who knows you very well and ask them to write this.  If you are applying independently then you need to ensure the reference is from a professional who knows you academically.

Payment

The application fee for this application depends on how many courses you apply to; if you apply to just one then it will cost you £12, multiple courses will cost you £23.

Handy Tips

Remember to save as you go, you can come back to the application at any point before it is finalized. When you’ve finalized a section, mark it as complete. Always check with your school or college in regards to their specific UCAS protocols, some may have specific arrangements for payments.  When adding your email address, remember who will be seeing it. If your email address is ‘funkyqueen101’, it might be an idea to change it. 

Thu 17 Dec 2015