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What to do when

Throughout Year 12 and the beginning of Year 13: Research courses and Universities/specialist institutions and Higher Education colleges. Attend UCAS events and University/Higher Education college open days. Decide which five courses to apply for. Start writing your personal statement. Make sure any required work experience is completed.

Year 13: complete the UCAS application. Sept: UCAS applications open. Oct: deadline for applications to Oxford and Cambridge plus some specialist institutions, in particular conservatoires. Deadline for applications to courses in Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary science. Jan: deadline for applicants to be guaranteed consideration onto a course. Students are advised to submit their application before this deadline. Gather together any qualifications achieved (GCSE) and any that are currently being undertaken (A Levels, BTECs, etc). Write a personal statement. Ask a teacher to write an academic reference and provide predicted grades. Submit the application form to UCAS. Undertake any extra admission/tests/interviews, etc. (not all courses will require this).

Wait for decisions from September of Year 13 onwards. The length of time between applications and decisions varies greatly between providers. This will also depend on when the UCAS application was submitted. Offers/deadlines/invitations to interview arrive online on UCAS Track. Attend interviews or subject open days to help decide about where to study. UCAS Extra opens in February for students who have not received any offers/have declined all of their offers – they can apply for another course through this.

Accept or decline offers by May/June of year 13. Applicants will be informed by UCAS of the exact deadline. Inform UCAS of which offer is their firm choice (their first choice) and insurance choice (their back up or second choice). This can be done once all offers/declines have been received.

August of year 13: results day. Firm/insurance offers will either be met or not. If the applicant is not accepted by their firm or insurance choice, they can use Clearing to apply for other courses where places are still available.

September/October after finishing year 13. Start your chosen course!

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