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King’s College London a university taking admissions very seriously

King’s College London is a university taking admissions very seriously. As the Headteacher of an international school which has been in contact with King’s I received a copy of the 2014 prospectus akin with a letter. The letter detailed new courses, major adjustments to entry requirements and achievements by King’s. The letter outlined an adjustment to the IB entry requirements for courses at King’s. It read as follows ‘Revised IB entry requirements, placing more emphasis on the Higher Level subjects, whilst reducing slightly the total point score to 35′. As a former IB Diploma Programme Coordinator and former student at King’s this fills me with confidence that King’s is paying careful attention to the precise level of performance of IB students at King’s and their knowledge and ability relative to students … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The 75% rule and the personal statement

There has been a lot of press and advice recently about personal statements. On the one hand is the commonly held idea that 75% of the personal statement should be about why you want to study a course and what academic knowledge you have gained to take your study beyond the classroom e.g. attended a public lecture at LSE on a topic related to the degree and you found it enthralling because… However, in contrast to this typical advice there are two other points to consider. Firstly, different universities take a different approach to the personal statement. Some ignore it in favour of predicted A level grades and actual AS and GCSE results while others look for specific academic points as mentioned above. Secondly, if you are applying to the US … Read entire article »

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Writing a personal statement

Getting the personal statement right is fundamental to a university application. An excellent personal statement won’t compensate for predicted grades below the entry requirements of a course, but it will help you to get across who you are and why you should be offered a place. Making it clear why you should get a place on a competitive course is often the best way to be noticed. A great article was recently published in the Telegraph on writing the personal statement, you can read it here. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Alumni, Applying, Personal Statement, UCAS

The Common Application (Common App) for study in the US

The Common App is very similar to UCAS in the UK for the US.  Not all universities use it, but over 500 of the more than 4000 universities in the US do. The Common App makes applying to US universities a little less time consuming and frustrating than applying to universities individually. Many students do still apply to universities which do not use the Common App. To get started with the Common App visit The first place to start is getting an account and then discovering which universities on your list do support the Common App and which do not. For more information about completing the Common App click here. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Common App, Study abroad, UCAS, University, USA

Excellent advice on studying in the US from the Fulbright UK newsletters

The last two recent Fulbright newsletters in the UK have had excellent articles on why study in the US. You can read them here: Looking beyond band names and Why study in the US The first article looks at how to select a university.  The advice is excellent, but I would also make explicit that when selecting a university it is most important of all to decide overall on whether you will fit in and be happy.  Going against the grain can be difficult in your own country, but doing so abroad would be too stressful for most people. The second article looks at why study in the US.  It is a very good clear article from an actual admissions tutor in the US.  Looking at studying in the US from a British … Read entire article »

Filed under: Applying, Ivy League, Making a decision, Study abroad, University, USA

Clearing 2013

Clearing 2013 has been a very interesting situation compared to previous years.  More of the top universities have entered clearing and more places are available with some lower ranked universities because of the potential for students with ABB or higher to trade up through UCAS Adjustment.  On the Friday after results day over 3000 university places at Russell Group institutions were still available through UCAS. A higher number of lower ranked universities have been asking students to achieve grades around BBB for their more popular courses.  By raising entry requirements these universities are then potentially more able to climb the league tables as entry requirements and final grades are part of the ranking.  However, by asking students to achieve only one grade lower than ABB, there is an increased chance students … Read entire article »

Filed under: Applying, UCAS, University

Keeping up to date with the Fulbright newsletter

The best way to learn about and keep up with how to study at university in the US is to sign up for and read the newsletter from the Fulbright team in the UK. Their talks are also very good at helping map out a typical route to studying in the US. If you haven’t already signed up for the Fulbright newsletter you can see the latest version here. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fulbright, Making a decision, University, USA

SAT and ACT test registration for 2013 – 2014 now open

Nearly all students planning to study in the US will need to take either the SAT or ACT exams. There are not so many places outside of the US students can take these examinations. It is a really good idea to register early and get lots of exam preparation done as soon as you can. Click here for more information. … Read entire article »

Filed under: ACT, SAT, USA

What happens to your UCAS form once a university receives it

Once a UCAS application has been sent to UCAS it is checked by the UCAS fraud protection team for plagiarism and fraud. It is then passed on to each university an applicant as applied to. The university will then print it on A3 paper and read the application form to see if the applicant has met the entry requirements set out by the university. Students then receive a message through UCAS of an offer, a decline, a request for further information or an interview. Student should keep an eye out for commutation from universities often by email to make sure they do not miss deadlines responding to offers. Although some universities will decline students, it is always worth talking to a university to see why or challenge the decision. I have seen … Read entire article »

Filed under: Applying, UCAS

The Student Barometer and the International Student Barometer – how universities measure themselves

Almost all organisations seek to measure how they are performing in the eyes of their staff, customers (students) and through benchmarking comparison with competitors. The International Student Barometer (ISB) is one method of benchmarking which is becoming more and more popular with universities. It is not easy to get hold of a complete copy of the barometer results, but universities often publish the results they are pleased with on their website and if asked will also talk about the actions they are taking to improve their results in specific area. As well as the ISB there is also a national only benchmark known as the Student Barometer (SB) which is also increasing in popularity. You can read more about the barometers online here, but the best way to find out more is … Read entire article »

Filed under: International Student Barometer, Making a decision, Open days, Student Barometer, Teaching Quality, University