Archive for the ‘UCAS’ Category

UCAS 2011

Before I post the new instructions, you could refer to these.

I could not see any fundamental differences at my first glance 🙂

Foundation year UK

Аз съм много доволна от foundation годината която взех, но може би първо трябва да започна с кратка история за мен и при какви обстятелсва направих избора си за foundation година.

След като завърших гимназия и преди да кандидатствам в Англия минаха 5 години. През това време бях ходила на няколко бригади в щатите, което ми помогна да подобря и да боравя говоримо с английския на прилично ниво, но в  никакъв случай на академично. Моите най-големи притеснения бяха, че не мога да пиша есета на английски и почти бях забрвила как се учи. Дипломата ми също не беше отлична, а ТОЕФЛ-а ми беше нисък. Така че за един добър старт в университета ми трябваше добра основа и foundation годината се оказа решение в моя случай.

Какво представляваше foundation годината. Аз имах един основен модул (или предмет) и два помощни. Структурата на основния модул е така организирана, че да ни запознае е с най-емблематичните трудове в разнообразните сфери на психологията.  Докато двата допълнителни модула развиваха умения за писане на академично есе и лабораторни доклади, воденето на дебати и презентация (едни от основните методи за изпитване в английските университети, различни от изпита на края на семестъра).

Сега от позицията на първа година студент, смятам че съм направила правилния избор. Голяма част от основната литература за тази година вече съм я чела, благодарение на foundation годината, и мога да се средоточа върху повече странична  литература (и така да получа по-добра оценка и по-задълбочени знания по определената тема). Уменията, които придобих по време на foundation годината ми помагат в писането на есета и търсенето на странична литература. Създадох си много контакти и приятелства, така че знам с кого мога да работя в група тази година по проекти. Факторът културен шок вече е преминал, така че също не ми създава допълнително напрежение. Накратко, ако трябва да се върна назад и да се изправя пред същия избор “да взема или да не взема” foundation година, отново бих се доверила на foundation година.

Внимание! Не за всяка foundation програма се отпускат заеми. По-вероятно е заем да се отпуска за foundation година, която се предлага като част от 4 годишна бакалавърска програма.

UK, UCAS and Us

I have just found out that the new UCAS application has changed again – it has made things easier for us again 🙂 Now you could apply as individuals and not worry about your schools not having registrations. I’ll post the new instructions soon.

Meanwhile, you might take a close look at the UCAS website, even create an account. Make sure your e-mail address and user name are not funny!!!

Always imagine an interview

When applying for a career oriented course, you have to write a personal statement, explaining how you got interested in the field and how you have developed your interest so far, demonstrating that you have some personal characteristics and skills which will make you a successful student and professional.

Yesterday I read a personal statement which looked like a list. When I asked the student to elaborate on some points, for example his internship with a professional, he said that he had taken a certificate from the professional – to certify that he has really interned. Hm.

First, some formats just don’t give you the opportunity to enclose such documents.

Second, even if they do, such a note does not say much about what you have done and learned.

Third, what if you are interviewed and asked to elaborate on the internship? Are you going to tell them that you have a certificate?

Talking intelligently about your experiences counts most when applying to college; it cannot be replaced by certificates, even if issued by the US president.

Being unable to talk intelligently sends the message that you are either unintelligent or just boasting about an experience you never had or trying to pass it off as something more special than it really was.

Here is my wisest tip: always imagine you are interviewed about the items you list in your resumes or mention in your essays. That will help you remember more and be self-reflective and coherent.

UK: UCAS 2010

I have covered only the tricky parts here. The rest is either obvious or clearly explained in the help sections on the right side of each item. You could also read my 2009 instructions and ask specific questions in the FB group or via e-mail / phone. Make sure you have carefully read the UCAS website and not rely ONLY on my notes and help. You should make sure you understand the process before you ask me about details.

Personal details

Postal address: write it the way a Bulgarian post officer could find it easily. I would just write the address in Bulgarian with Latin letters.

Residential category: UK Citizen or EU National

Reference numbers:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Number: your registration number – this is the number you are given when you register to take the test, and it is also displayed on your score sheet when you get your results

Student support:

Fee code: If you’ll be applying for student tuition loans, choose: 02 LA, SAAS, NIBd, EU, ChI, IoM or Student Finance England – Applying for student support assessment by Local Authority, Student Finance England, Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Northern Ireland Education and Library Board, SLC EU Team, Channel Island or Isle of Man agency.(if you are going to apply for tuition loans),

and then choose EU Team

Be careful here: The help says: “A small number of universities and colleges do not receive public funding and their students may not get help towards tuition fees under the student support arrangements. These institutions are clearly marked in the Course Search section on the UCAS website.” Check if the university you have chosen allows you to pay your tuition through public loans!

Education:

If you cannot find your school name, just fill it in the box

Did you / will you receive any formal qualifications at this school? Yes (even if you have not received them yet!)

Once you have added a school, you can add your qualifications:

Bulgaria-Diploma za sredno obrazovanie (or if you’re studying in profesionalna gimnazia: Bulgaria-Diploma za sredno spezialno obrazovanie). You could find this by clicking on the letter B in the alphabet.

If you have already graduated from school, you could give your GPA (среден успех от дипломата); you could also add your scores from the state exams (матури). If you haven’t, you’ll leave the “Grade” box blank, but you’ll enter the date when you’ll receive your diploma.

You could also add “Modules”. Here you could enter school grades. I would enter some grades on important subjects – by adding modules.  It might be a good idea to enter information about all academic subjects, starting from the ones that might be the most important for the chosen course (major). The registration centre is going to check if you have entered the correct numbers, comparing what you have entered to the official school transcript. When you add the subjects you study now, in 1year 12, leave the grade box empty (or chose “pending” if there’s a drop-down menu) as these will be available at the end of the school year.

After you have added (and saved!) all modules for subjects, click on the “back to summary” to enter other qualifications, for example TOEFL scores. You could find it by clicking on the letter T in the alphabet – TOEFL / TEFL (not TEFL / TOEFL!). You could enter the TOTAL score above, and then, by adding modules, you might give separate scores for separate skills.

You could also add your SAT scores even if UK colleges might not need them to accept you. If they are good, why not boast them?

Always make sure you have saved the information you have entered! Do not check sections as completed before you have made sure they really are! You’d better check them as complete right before sending your application.

Make sure you have a valid bank card with enough money in it  to pay your fees! You should have more money than the fee as your bank might charge some for the transfer!

Questions to ask yourself before you apply for a specific major

1. Why do you want to study this subject? Can you prove that you have a real, not superficial interest in it? What is your evidence?

2. Why do you want to study at this university? Do you understand the demands of the course? Do you know the way you will be taught and the way you will be expected to learn?

3. Do you know what skills you need in order to be a successful student in this major and a successful professional in the field?

4. Do some of your extracurriculars demonstrate your leadership, excellence or initiative?

Application forms

If you are applying to US or UK colleges (except Oxford and Cambridge), you don’t need to worry about application forms now. In September we’ll be focused on essays. At the end of September / beginning of October, we’ll get together to discuss these. You can find information in the blog and in the Facebook group. I’ll start posting some specific instructions on current forms soon, but you should go through everything else that has already been posted ( you know you should have already read the whole blog!).

If you are applying to other countries, you could check some information in the Facebook group and then see the current forms. Please, approach me AFTER you have made sure you have read everything and ask me specific questions. At this point it’s enough to check requirements and deadlines. Filling an application form is the last step AFTER you have prepared the rest.