Supporting Your Child through UCAS

A new generation of parents is approaching the process of applying for university.  Here are some ways to help your end-of-year-twelve child right now.

The UCAS website is excellent .  Make sure you register as a parent to get the newsletters.

1)      Help them choose their subject – then everything falls into place: which A2s, which course, which university.

2)      Take them on open days, but go on a Saturday to avoid missing school lessons.  Remember, you can often arrange mini tours or tours using a phone app on a Saturday even if you miss the full open day.  If your child can picture themselves in a particular place, they become immensely interested in gaining the grades.  (More on open days tomorrow.)

3)      Help them to cut back.  A2s are harder than AS’s.  The most academic universities – Russell Group and those similar will be asking for three very good A2 grades, not four quite good ones.  More vocational courses will be asking for a points total, again not four A2s.

4)      Have a practise run at the UCAS personal statement.  The most important area is building the CV around the chosen subject.  There is still time to improve this – a week or two of volunteering in a relevant environment.  Or Google whether there is a national society, exhibitions, public talks, books to read.  See what’s going on at your local university.  Encourage your child to organise subject-specific museum outings and evenings watching relevant films/documentaries with their friends. Call it a Society (e.g. History Society, Biology Society).

5)      Know your deadlines for each stage of the process – these are on the UCAS website.

6)      Apply early – only a few universities wait until all the applications are in before they start allocating places.

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