One thing that will boost your chances of getting into university

One thing that’ll boost your chances of getting into university

read around a subject

Do you want to go to university?

For many young ambitious people university is the next step on the road to achieving their hopes and dreams.

But there's a lot of confusion and a lack of understanding about how to stand out from the crowd when you apply.

If you do this one thing it will majorly boost your chances of a place at your chosen university.

What is it?

Reading around your subject.



Why do you need to read around a subject?

Put yourself in someone else's shoes…

Firstly, put yourself in the shoes of the people reading your application at your chosen university.

They have made it their life's work to study the subject you're applying for. They're passionately interested in it and want to find people to teach who will be just as passionate and committed as they are. This makes their job more interesting and easier.

They have to read dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of applications every year. Can you imagine what it's like to read through personal statement after personal statement trying to sift through who's going to be a good fit for the course?

What you should be thinking is – how can I make their job easier?

Answer: make yourself stand out from the crowd.

How do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?

Demonstrate that you're passionately interested in the subject you've chosen to study. Now, there are many ways you can do this. They range from paid summer jobs to voluntary work; from work experience to getting out and about in the world. But, reading is key.

If you're willing to put time and effort into selecting relevant books, reading them and thinking about them before you get to university, the university can make a fairly certain bet that you're going to be an engaged and interested student.

When you weave the reading you've done into your personal statement, the university will know they're on to a good thing with you.

If you can't be bothered to do this, or you find the reading boring then you'll know that either university, or this course, aren't for you. You'll be able to start considering other options before you make an expensive and time-consuming mistake by applying for or starting a course that isn't for you.



How do you read around a subject?

Firstly, you have to know what that subject entails. So, if you want to study anthropology, look up a definition of that subject. You'll find something like this:

The study of humankind. In particular, the comparative study of human societies and cultures and their development. The science of human evoluation, zoology and ecology.

Once you know this, you can choose an area of the subject that you find most interesting and start searching for books on that subject. But it doesn't have to stop there. You can read relevant news articles, journals or magazines. You could even set up Google alerts. Just read, read, read. And think about what you read.

Don't just read around a subject….

Don't just restrict your reading to your chosen subject, though. You'll get too narrow and boring. Read novels, biographies and autobiographies and books on subjects that are closely connected to your chosen subject. Read personal development books or self-help books to help you improve aspects of your character that hold you back e.g. anxiety or lack of organisation.

The Summer Reading Challenge

Inspired to get reading but need a bit of help and support? I'm inviting your to join The Summer Reading Challenge. There's a whole community of people who are aiming to read five books this summer to improve their chances of getting into university, and to generally become more interesting and well-educated. I'd love you to join.

What's involved in the summer reading challenge?

You'll aim to read five books from five different categories. The categories are:

  • Class novels
  • Modern classics
  • Personal development
  • Your subject (the one you'd ideally study at university)
  • Recommended by a friend

This challenge is meant to be fun and inspirational, not onerous and stressful. There is no succeed or fail, the five books are an aim. If you don't get to five, it doesn't matter. If you read ten or more that's great.

When you join the challenge you'll be sent an email giving you ideas about what to read in each category. You'll also be invited to join the private facebook group where everyone will be encouraging each other and sharing their reading along the way. You will not be alone doing the challenge.

Does this sound like something that will help you? Great! Join the Summer Reading Challenge today!

Sign up to join the Summer Reading Challenge

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