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What to think about this month - November 2014

In this month's newsletter we discuss personal statements...

Half term drifts into the memory like a fading firework and halfway through the afternoon, night falls faster than the leaves. We understand: it's a tough old life. So it's lucky we're here to hold your hand through the dark and mysterious avenues of UCAS and plunge with you into the depths of your personal statement. Remember, every university course wants something different and so now is the chance you've been waiting for to get the credit you deserve for all those years of sports practice, for all those grade exams you took on the clarinet, and for your deep obsession with worm-rearing.

If you're in year 12

If you're in year 13

In the news

If you're in Year 12

This time next year, most of you will have finished your personal statement and be working towards submitting your entire UCAS application. Trust us, it will come round quicker than Usain Bolt in a Ferrari; and everything you do between now and then will become the experiences you write about in your personal statement, so it might be the right time to start thinking about applying for part-time jobs to show unis (and future employers) that, like Goldilocks, you have just the right qualities like: punctuality, a good work ethic, loyalty, trustworthiness or cash handling experience.

To help you along the path of employment, Push's good friends at Evergrad have put together a couple of articles on what not to do in an interview and how to perform at your best. See, piece of cake.

If you're in Year 13

If you haven't started writing your personal statement already, it's time to get a wriggle on. The offical deadline might not be till January, but the likeliest candidates have already started forming a queue. If you're still stressing about the two extra characters Lucy from geography has in her personal statement, deep breath, it's time to hit the send button. Just before you do, here's Push's checklists of 10 things to think about when finishing your personal statement.

  1. 1. Have you checked for typos and spelling mistakes? If that sounds obvious, it's because it should be.
  2. 2. Have you explained your passion for the course? If you're excited, they'll be excited about teaching you.
  3. 3. Have you proved what you're saying with actual examples? Rather than saying you're good at archaeology, why not tell them about that lost city of gold you discovered?
  4. 4. Is it interesting, relevant and readable? Admissions tutors have stacks of these to read, make yours stick out (for the right reasons).
  5. 5. Does it make sense? Like spelling, it sounds obvious, but get other people to read it to make sure.
  6. 6. Is it all your own work? UCAS uses sophisticated software to detect plagiarism so it's a pretty daft idea to pinch someone else's personal statement.
  7. 7. Are there wasted words?
  8. 8. Do you talk about how the courses you're applying for connect to your ambitions? No one expects a full life plan, but a sense of direction will impress.
  9. 9. Does it make you want to offer yourself a place?
  10. 10. Have you checked for typos and spelling mistakes? (Yes, we already said that. But check again).

What's New?

bC4me App for iPhone and Android
What jobs do courses really lead to? Which course will get you the degree you want? What will you earn? What do people with your A levels usually study? The bestCourse4me app has been updated with new features. You can check the most popular A-levels and grades achieved by previous students for specific courses at specific universities. Download the latest version here.

In the news

Live under my house, live under my rules

So goes the old adage, but it would appear that students these days are taking it too literally. 1 in 7 sixth-form students say they value the opinion of their parents over their own. We know what you're thinking, madness. But that's because you are a well-informed devotee of Push. Feel sorry for the three-quarters of sixth-formers who don't feel they have enough information on how to decide which uni to go to. This all means that students in this position tend to apply to redbrick unis that their parents have heard of over the modern universities which may have better facilities.

Bank of Mum and Dad II: Return of the sponger

Following on from our Bank of Mum and Dad article, Experian have got on the case. They found out that it isn't just you who is struggling with the finances of university; 1 in 5 parents are having to cut back in order to help bail out their little darling in their time of need at. If you think you or your parents ight be in need of a little extra help, the BBC have set out some of the guidelines for loans and grants. It's a bit of a bummer having to call your parents to ask for money, so why not start planning your uni budget now? You'll have the last laugh.

Show me the money

Who wouldn't want to become a billionaire? Well if you've been looking at self-made men like Alan Sugar or Roman Abramovich as your get-rich-quick model, think again. A recent article would suggest that the best way to increase your chances of being able to afford a 500ft yacht is to get a degree. Almost two-thirds of dollar billionaires have a university degree - that amounts to 4 out of 5 UK billionaires. Like the odds? So do we, but don't go thinking you'll be instantly soaked in cash, the average age of the group is 63. Patience is a virtue. In the meantime, pick the best place to make your first mint with our Uni Chooser.

Last updated on: 20 November 2014

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