Are other folks' kids finding filling in their UCAS forms as stressful as mine?

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  • Are other folks' kids finding filling in their UCAS forms as stressful as mine?
  • Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Sat with my Wife doing hers last year.
    Lost the will to live.

    Do they have to do a statement also…

    ianv
    Member

    Help with the personal statement, most kids write total crap if left to their own devices.

    IHN
    Member

    I did mine on my own, once when I was 17 and again when I was 21 (didn’t work out first time round)

    Leave ’em to it, at what point are you going to stop hand-holding?

    asterix
    Member

    plenty of stress here a couple of years ago with my daughter’s form, but it wasn’t caused by the parents but the school going over and over it again and again

    Premier Icon johnhe
    Subscriber

    Do folks generally sit beside their kids and help them fill it in, or just leave them to it?

    gee
    Member

    I’m a head of 6th form.

    I have 51 UCAS forms to fill in, statements to help with, references to check…

    It’s a fun time of year – it’s really genuinely interesting reading the statements.

    GB

    samuri
    Member

    No, not really. My son filled out his by himself then I went through it and helped him change some bits in it. It wasn’t great but I wasn’t going to write it for him, just provided some advice where it was terrible.

    He got in to university ok.

    taxi25
    Member

    Son filled his own in. But then came the student load forms ect, ect. I still have nightmares.

    Raouligan
    Member

    Personal statement the most important piece of text a teenager will write, the difference between getting into a world class university or not…

    Bearing in mind competitive institutions comfortably will have up to 15 applications per place for the more popular programmes and that the vast majority of the applicants will exceed the minimum entry requirements in terms of grades. Combine that with a general move away from interviewing.

    Still if it’s to study French at a low ranking institution, you can probably write “I luv French me” and be fine ;0)

    If a school is insisting on a lot of rereading and checking they’re doing the job that they should be.

    Oh and it was of course deadline day today for Oxbridge…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Haha, think yourselves lucky, it used to be the main entrance criteria- if you could fill in a UCAS form you were smart enough to go to uni.

    And yes if you’re applying to a selecting university, the personal statement is very important now. Too important probably. And the standard of many is terrible.

    Buuut, another thing that we’re really aware of now is the ones that don’t seem like they were written by the applicant. These ones end up being much the same as the uninteresting/adequate ones- they’re not exactly a disadvantage, they just throw away the chance to stand out. A less perfect one written with a student’s voice is far more effective. My job doesn’t involve selection, which I’m very glad of but this is a hot topic for our guys that do- and ironically, the better the school, the more likely they are to find a personal statement like this.

    Not just personal statements mind, we’re just finishing up a bursary selection (which is no fun) and of the 200-odd applicants, over 50% basically just said “I am applying for this because I meet the criteria” not “Choose me because of this”. Makes our job easier but it’s sad, it wouldn’t take an awful lot more to make a good case.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    I’ve moved this to the chat forum.

    So make sure you get your wife to check the forms. 😉

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor
    Subscriber

    I filled mine in, wrote my creative writing piece personal statement and got through to interview at my 1st choice.

    Parents did my loan stuff though – it was all about their finances.

    Raouligan
    Member

    Surely bursary application is easy it’s purely financial need, scholarship application, now that’s harder…

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    No one interviewing your offspring will read the personal statement for longer than 5 seconds – if they did have time on their hands to read it that would be a bad sign.
    It is important, though, for subjects that are selective and need to sift out applicants prior to interview – something like medicine being the classic example where AAA kids are queuing up to get in so you need some other way to thin the herd.

    Selection is maybe not as widespread as you might think – most STEM subjects have classically not needed to be selective outside of Oxbridge, for example. Or rather they perform a pre-selection by setting entrance requirements at a certain level. This prunes the applicant pool, to which everyone is then made the offer, and if grades are met they’re in.
    This may be changing with the upheaval in fees altering students’ degree choices.

    rocketman
    Member

    I helped rocket jr write The One Personal Statement To Rule Them All but he did the rest himself. Quite enjoy stuff like that

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Raouligan – Member

    Surely bursary application is easy it’s purely financial need,

    Nah, there can be quite a lot of selection criteria involved.

    Raouligan
    Member

    Most STEM subjects don;t have to be selective outside of Oxbridge….

    You’ve not heard of Imperial then which has generally as high if not higher entry requirements for STEM subjects.

    STEM subjects in good institutions are plenty competitive, and applications are certainly read for more than five seconds.

    What you will find is that a lot of institutions will only have applications considered by specific staff. LSE for instance has four/five admissions specialists that read every application that is passed to the after it’s been sifted by administrators.

    They never see an academic.

    bokonon
    Member

    As above, I’ve sat through with a years worth of students (I had 38) helping with their personal statement’s writing personal statement etc.

    I’ve also done the admissions side of it, and how long stuff is read for, and what gets read depends on a whole raft of things – where places don’t fill courses, then they pretty much check the basics (GCSE Maths, English and will they get the UCAS points) and make an offer – if they can fill a course then it becomes a whole other ball game, and different admissions people will check different things – I know people who were more interested in reading between the lines in the tutors/etc. reference, some focus on the students reference.

    Generally what admissions need to know is can the person potentially pass the course – there is no point in letting people on to a course they can’t pass – once you are over that hurdle, then you have to be potentially passing with a 2.1, first, whatever.

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Subscriber

    I’ve got 82 to oversee as Head of 6th…….
    4 done so far. Only the personal statement should take thought.
    When I did mine it was hand written – one mistake and it was start again. Easy nowadays.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Raouligan – Member

    Most STEM subjects don;t have to be selective outside of Oxbridge….

    You’ve not heard of Imperial then which has generally as high if not higher entry requirements for STEM subjects.

    STEM subjects in good institutions are plenty competitive, and applications are certainly read for more than five seconds.Of course they’re competitive, but selection in this context means turning people away who meet the entry requirements. Do you know (not think) if Imperial generally needs to do this across STEM subjects? [for males, obv – gender imbalance at IC means there’s no way any female applicant is getting knocked back, on any course, if she has the grades].

    Raouligan
    Member

    I’d be surprised if Imperial aren’t doing it routinely across all subjects(Turning people away who meet requirements. The fact that they have the highest IB requirements in the UK suggests there’s no shortage of candidates.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    We send 700 students to 100 different universities each year. Each student’s group tutor will check their form and statement and send it back to them if needs be. I’ve helped five different tutor groups fill in their UCAS applications now, so probably heading towards 80 students altogether; everything from engineering at Cambridge to creative writing at Sunderland.

    We have a teacher who helps all the Oxbridge applicants separately, plus three careers advisers who do statement help sessions.

    After the tutor, we have a principal tutor who checks the form, plus senior management look at a selection.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Some helpful stuff from the one of the admissions officers where I work. I suspect it’s probably fairly true of most good universities, but I may be wrong – http://www.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/prospective-ug/applications

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    It’s a fun time of year – it’s really genuinely interesting reading the statements.

    Do you put them in piles:

    – Deluded
    – Narcissistic
    – Beyond help

    I seem to recall doing mine online at college, don’t remember it being hugely successful. I’d have done it twice too as I rejected all my offers and reapplied for different stuff during a gap year.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    No one interviewing your offspring will read the personal statement for longer than 5 seconds – if they did have time on their hands to read it that would be a bad sign.
    It is important, though, for subjects that are selective and need to sift out applicants prior to interview – something like medicine being the classic example where AAA kids are queuing up to get in so you need some other way to thin the herd.

    Selection is maybe not as widespread as you might think – most STEM subjects have classically not needed to be selective outside of Oxbridge, for example. Or rather they perform a pre-selection by setting entrance requirements at a certain level. This prunes the applicant pool, to which everyone is then made the offer, and if grades are met they’re in.
    This may be changing with the upheaval in fees altering students’ degree choices.

    My dad use to do admission at Sussex when it was popular. He use to bring 400 forms home a night. He and my mum would take 200 each and speed sort them into worth reading and rejected by just scanning the O-level grades

    I agree with this. Saved me some typing

    As I understand it personal statements matter for medicine

    I have a mate who does Engineering admissions for an Oxford College. He has also done all admissions for a 3 year period for the same college. He claims never to have read a personal statement. Later he admitted maybe a quick glance to get an idea for an opening question.

    Another friend does all the Oxbridge applications at work. He says he read its about 50:50 whether the person at the other end cares about the personal statement.

    I’m due this stress next year. I assume the major headache is the deciding. Where to apply and what to apply for.

    To the OP. Anything you want actual help with?

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)

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