Current students answer questions about applying to university.
I was wondering what kind of extra curriculular activities you took part in during school, during 5th and 6th year?
Mark: "In my 5th and sixth year, on top of gaininig the relevant work experience, voluntary work and grades (etc etc) I played for a local boys football club, represented my district and captained my school in the same sport. I also helped organise events and shows at my school, as well as being an active member of the charity and yearbook committee."
Scott: "In fifth and sixth year in school I was on the yearbook and charities committee and helped to teach first years in science an hour a week. Out of school I was involved through the instrumental music service in a number of local area bands, including one that has won a number of national awards. I also done a lot of volunteering at a service providing breaks for children with disabilities where I was gained a number of MV awards for my continuing commitment. Finally, I had built up my SCUBA qualifications as an outside interest."
Megan: "When I was at school I did a variety of different things. I enjoy dance and went to some different dance classes as well as taking part in Duke of Edinburgh and the Mark Scott Leadership for life award. I also enjoy creative things so went to a textiles evening class and enjoy ceramics, although I don't think these are things I particularly talked about in my application. It's also good to get involved in school committees or buddying schemes. I don't think it really matters what you do. It's important to demonstrate that you have other interests apart from studying. It shows them that you are a balanced person and that you enjoy a wide variety of experiences."
I'm in 4th year and I'm about to pick my subjects for Higher...I was thinking of taking higher English, Geography, RMPS, a Science and Int 2 French. Is this a good choice for Law? Can you recommend what I should take?
Colin: As long as you take a range of subjects you should be alright for Law, although obviously you’ll need Higher English (even if you hate it like I did!!). Studying any social subject at Higher is good as it allows you to develop skills in presenting fact based arguments. I found Modern Studies was particularly useful at Higher as it involves the study of electoral systems which you will cover in some areas of a Law degree. Other than that, take subjects you enjoy and will do well in, and if in doubt contact the Pathways team for advice - they helped me make the right decisions when I was choosing my Highers!
When is the UCAS deadline, and what happens if I miss it?
The UCAS deadline for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October. If you missed it, you might want to consider taking a gap year to get more work experience, and then apply before 15 October the following year. The UCAS deadline for Law and Architecture is 15 January. Some Universities will consider a late application through UCAS Extra.
I have an interview coming up - what should I wear, and what kind of questions will I be asked?
Don't wear jeans or trainers, but don't worry about buying an expensive suit either! You should dress smartly and comfortably.
Most of all, don't panic! Interviews are an opportunity for you to show your enthusiasm for your subject, and the work experience you have had will help you do this.
Have a look at our hints and tips for Medicine interviews and Veterinary Medicine interviews:
When did you start hearing offers back from Universities such as Edinburgh? I've had offers for other Universities in January but still haven't heard from Edinburgh! Should I be worried?
Allana: I can remember the exact day I heard from Edinburgh for Law, it was 21 February, for some reason it always sticks in my mind! In saying that, I heard that Edinburgh can be as late as March.
Nicole: I started receiving offers from January for Law. My acceptance from Edinburgh finally came through on 4 April 2004 - I kept the letters.
Joe: Medicine took ages to come through! Since they don't interview, I think they spend even longer on the applications than other Universities, as Edinburgh was the last one I heard from.
Looking back what do you think are the most important decisions to make when choosing a university? Any tips?
Karin: It's not just about the reputation, but finding out a bit about the city your are studying in, what support you get from course organisers and other schemes. Also, looking into course content, including things like exchange programmes, outside courses available etc etc.
Brian: Essentially, there is no 'perfect university'. However, the best piece of advice is to just go with what you think is right for you. The 'Post Application Visits' which are in March will help you decide if you are undecided, as they give you a feel for what studying at the uni would be like.
Nicole: I had already decided to stay in Scotland to study as I didn't want the added debt of tuition fees in England, and if I had studied Law at an English University I would have had to convert to the Scottish system after graduating.
If you're moving out of home, do you want catered or self-catered? Can you cook, or can you learn? Maybe you eat a specific diet, or are intolerant to some foods. This is actually important, you can't study on an empty stomach!
So if you can, get a look at the halls on offer to help you make the decision. No matter whether you opt for catered or self-catered, please learn to cook anyway - no-one likes a 4am fire alarm the night before an exam due to some burnt toast (this happened to me!).
Use of all the resources Universities make available to help make your choice - from prospectuses, tours, online information etc. Ask some students at the University at an open day or through a friend, what student life is really like.
This article was published on Nov 29, 2011