Gaining admission into a top university can be extremely competitive. Simply following application instructions is the minimum requirement to get in, because there’s a lot more to it than just form filling.

My Tutor Club works with many students who are trying to or have gotten into universities all around the UK, and many of those who have succeeded possess a number of similar traits.

The best applications are focused, show enthusiasm and interest for their chosen degree, and give the impression that the applicant understands what possibilities and opportunities their degree will provide them with after graduation.

So if you’re planning to apply to university this autumn, here is some advice to help you get ahead of the pack.

1. Show some effort

Your personal statement is your chance to sell yourself, so make sure you show some effort. When writing your personal statement think about why you would want to choose yourself. What makes you special? What can you offer? What are your passions? And don’t submit your first draft. Be prepared to take a step back from your personal statement and return to it a couple of days later to refine it. Those few days may just be the difference between transforming your personal statement from good to outstanding.

2. Be prepared

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Put them in your phone’s calendar, stick them on post-its and on your wall, and never forget them. Many applications are rejected because there are sent late or lack quality due to a rushed job. You don’t want to be that person. Apply early and don’t leave your application until the last minute. The best places often fill up quickly, so make sure you are in the first batch.

3. Attend university fairs

First impressions really do count. And you can make a great one by attending a college fair, where you can meet with members of the admissions team and get unique insights into life at university. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a better idea of what university admissions officers are looking for – and a chance to start impressing them by showing that you have the right qualities.  You may also receive personalised responses to questions that are not on the university website.

4. Use social media to your advantage.

 Follow the universities of your choice on social media and remove all ‘digital dirt’ from your profiles.  Nowadays, some universities are using social media to snoop on applicants, and you don’t want to lose a spot at your first choice because of some incriminating post updates. Follow faculty members on Twitter and LinkedIn, and engage in conversations about your desired course.

5. Be Yourself

Your interview is your time to shine. Show off your knowledge, personality and desire to attend the university. Talk about your hobbies and how they are relevant to what you want to study, and prepare yourself by researching example questions for your degree. And remember, your university of choice wants to see that you’re genuinely enthusiastic about your subject. Your application has persuaded them so far, so just try to be yourself.

Your A-level grades will certainly open doors for you, but you’ll need more than just good grades to compete with all the other students who want to get on the same course as you.

If you’re looking for some more tips on getting into university, get in contact with us at: [email protected]