Pre-U Activities Week

This year’s Pre-U week has been unlike any other. Instead of being able to visit universities first hand and attend live seminars about UCAS, we are now glued to our laptops and attending these events virtually. Technology has enabled us to continue with what everyone has been doing every year, allowing us to not lose out, even with the current pandemic. This year, the school held many talks to ensure that we can make full use of the summer to create a competitive UCAS application. There were library sessions, where we were taught how to use the school’s online library for our course-related reading, persuasive essay writing workshops, and a talk about the English requirement for university. The school also had sessions for students applying to specific universities, such as Imperial College London, LSE and Durham – where some of the 6.2s who have been given an offer at those universities spoke about their experiences when applying for them and what they felt went well, allowing us to have a better understanding of what these universities are looking for so that we can pay more attention to those points during the summer.

Despite the current situation, we were still able to ‘visit’ the universities. A UK university virtual search fair was held that week which featured many universities from all over the UK. Each university had a booth where students could find information regarding the university and the links to the website for any further information. There was also a chat function that students could use to message a university representative for any queries. The University of Manchester also hosted a virtual open day that week. They scheduled many talks throughout the week about each of the different courses offered by the university. Some of these include taster sessions and student life talks where students who are currently studying that subject in Manchester speak about their personal experiences when studying that course. There was time at the end of every session for a Q&A and university representatives were available at all times during the session to answer any questions as well. These events have eliminated my lingering doubts about my chosen course and made me more determined to get into it.

The school has also held mock interviews for Oxbridge applicants and mock admissions tests for students who needed to take one to get into their course. The mocks allowed me to become more conscious of the holes in my knowledge and what I need to do to improve.

After attending this week’s Pre-U activities, I realised how long and difficult the UCAS process is, requiring a lot of preparation during the summer to ensure that you can compete with all the brilliant minds who are also applying to the top universities. I feel grateful for the support the school has given us, for letting us know exactly what needs to be done during the summer so that we can have an easier time in 6.2, and for the heads-up about the heavy workload we are bound to have. This allows us to be mentally prepared to face the gruelling but rewarding journey ahead.

Amber – 6.1