We all know that getting into university is a massive achievement. Spending years learning new material, working hard at getting the grades and having to do lots of extra-curricular work to show that you are a candidate that has more to them than just book smarts.
But over time, universities have started to look for other things and the way they select candidates, such as attendance at summer schools or extra curricular activities. Interviews have become a big part of the selection process as well as demonstrating passions for any hobbies and activities you may have or participate in.
Aside from all the standard advice, like we’ve just thrown out, there are plenty of other things you can do to quickly improve your chances of getting into university.
Start a blog
One of the best ways to harness the power of the internet for you good is to use the tools that it has, for free, like a blog, to help raise not only your profile but also make you more of a credible applicant by showcasing a real desire to learn and put forward original ideas in your chosen field of study.
Blogging about your chosen subject is not only a great way to formulate opinions, perform research and to create something tangible for your your work, but it also helps with things like your personal statement, especially when it comes to talking about your interest in the subject. Admissions tutors will look for things like this, and clearly showing that you have a blog in that chosen field is a great way to showcase that passion.
Use programs like WordPress and Blogger, which are completely free and start writing. It doesn’t have be to take all of your energy, it could be reflections on recent news stories in your chosen field or developments in that area.
Set up alerts & read the news
Keeping in touch with what is happening in your chosen field is a given. You can do this in lots of ways, and one of the benefits of the internet is, you can do it for free by using the tools around you. From things like Twitter (which has a fantastic search ability, just simply use the hashtag) to Google Alerts – your inbox on a daily basis can provide you with stories, reports and other ground breaking information that can help you identify new things to talk about when it comes to any interviews you are attending.
Interviewers are always looking for candidates that can show that they’re learning not only when in the classroom but, when they’re taking the time to develop their knowledge and create ideas and solutions to things that they are taking an interest to study in. What things like Google Alerts does is bring that information to you, rather than having to scramble to get it. I.e. if you were studying art history, you could get alerts on “renaissance art discoveries” or “lost art” or even “new art history”. All these provide a richer input in to your application.
Use Social Media Properly
Do you have a social media account? It would be strange if you didn’t but, we need to get some home truths clarified. Firstly, yes, admission officers look at your social media on applications and secondly, yes, it does matter.
Social media when used properly can be a positive for everybody, even potential students, as we have discussed but in a growing number of cases, it can also damage your chances of getting into university. From sharing content that isn’t suitable to photos of drunken nights out, it is a minefield.
Our advice, keep personal pages, personal. Increase their security and make them private. If you’re applying for a photography course, your Instagram could be a portfolio – so make sure that the pictures you have reflect that and take out personal ones or better still, make a separate one for that. Use LinkedIn to create a profile that talks of academic and volunteering achievements and be sure to use Twitter wisely. You may want a private account here as well and a more public persona interested in the subject that you’re applying for which reposts and retweets subject matters.