Applying to Universities
I am often asked questions about applying to university. Which courses and universities are best for my child and their future career? What’s required of them to get a place? How can they maximise their potential and improve their chances of success?
Would you like your child to receive ongoing expert guidance and practical support during this intense process? Would you like to feel assured they are receiving bespoke tuition in every area required to get a place? This advisory service is designed to give your child the best possible chance of achieving a place at their desired university in the UK. It covers all universities and colleges; from the ancient Oxford and Cambridge, to other high- ranking universities such as Imperial, UCL and LSE; from creative Art & Design Schools to leading-edge New Universities. It also covers all elements of university application; from personal statement to entrance exam to interview.
My aim is to put your child in the optimal position to apply to these universities, access the interview stage and, ultimately, receive offers from their chosen universities. This online service is completely tailored to your child, their chosen degree and to the requirements of each of their chosen universities, and runs flexibly around their school commitments. If your child is unsure what degree and which universities would suit them, I will help them make good decisions based on their preferences, interests, talents and what they might go on to do afterwards.
The service comprises 5 key stages:
- Application preparation
This stage is best undertaken in Year 12 as it is designed to highlight what your child needs to do to achieve their goals. If they haven’t yet decided on a path, I will start by guiding them through the decision-making process, demystifying and explaining as we go. This includes providing detailed breakdowns of recommended courses and universities, based on your child’s qualifications, interests and future ambitions. To be an outstanding candidate your child must balance academic achievements with extra- curricular activities, independent work and work experience. I will ensure they lay the necessary foundations for success. If your child is an outstanding violinist without Grade 5 theory I will recommend they take it to maximise UCAS points; if they’re an aspiring medic, I’ll provide them with a list of contacts at local hospitals so they can gain relevant work experience. It’s all about putting them in the strongest position to be an outstanding candidate.
- Personal statement
Your child’s personal statement is the gateway to an interview and offer, which is why we spend significant time on this stage. To construct an excellent, memorable and articulate account of their achievement, ambition, talent and commitment in 4000 characters, whilst demonstrating their fit to the degree and university, is a serious undertaking. The intense work of this crucial stage can really affect outcome. I can’t write it for them, but by clarifying what needs to go in at the outset, and feeding back what is missing from each iteration, I will ensure that your child’s personal statement delivers. I might help them better articulate their motivation or extra curricular talents; I might recommend they rethink how to demonstrate their self-motivation and showcase the adaptability that comes from studying in a second language.
- Entrance Exam practice
Entrance tests are required to study Law, Maths and Medicine at University, as well as by many courses at Oxford and Cambridge. Practice makes perfect where these are concerned, so I will work with your child to prepare for the relevant exams until they feel familiar and doable. I will help them revise and practise timings; I will mark practice papers and provide model answers that show how to achieve a higher level. Some exams, such as the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA), feature complicated and wordy questions. In this instance I will help your child improve their vocabulary and knowledge of relevant issues so that they feel confident they have the right tools when the time comes.
- Interview technique
Not all universities hold interviews, but if your child’s chosen university does, it’s important they feel prepared for the different types of questions they might face: short, long and extended; personal, subject-related, responding to articles, diagrams, text and prose; challenge questions and discussion. My aim is to equip them with the confidence and skills to succeed. Drawing on extensive research of each university’s current interview approach, and my banks of resources, I will practise techniques until they become second nature. It might mean guiding your child through model answers, or coaching them in how to demonstrate lateral thinking and intellectual flexibility whilst thinking aloud. It could be covering how to cope with, and embrace, the inevitable mind-blank. This work is aimed at putting them on an even footing with the other exceptional candidates at interview.
- Mock Interview
This stage gives your child the opportunity to experience an interview ‘for real’. A more structured version of interview preparation, we won’t discuss improvements or nudge them as we go. Instead, I will feedback at the end of the live interview.
IELTS and English
To achieve a place as a non-native candidate, your child will be asked to show proficiency in English Language; IELTS scores of between 6.5 and 7.5 are required depending on your chosen university. Speaking and writing are often the main source of lost marks, and can affect exam and interview performance, so if they need to work on they English Language skills, I will help them prepare and practice for IELTS as part of this service.
If it’s necessary to for your child to participate in Clearing after they’ve received their results, I offer an hour of free support to help students find alternative courses.
Who delivers this service?
Allow me to introduce Joanna, the expert advisor behind the university application service. A distinguished alumna of Trinity College, Oxford, where she studied Mathematics, Joanna radiates an unparalleled passion for guiding students on a transformative journey to top universities in the UK and the US. With unwavering determination, she dedicates herself to leveling the playing field for prospective scholars who possess the potential to excel at esteemed institutions worldwide.
Joanna’s devotion centers around arming students with the necessary tools to curate exceptional and comprehensive applications. Her tireless endeavors reflect a genuine desire to extend deserving candidates an equitable opportunity to realise their aspirations at high-performing universities across the UK and the US. Through her astute guidance, students are empowered to present well-rounded applications that resonate with admissions panels and eloquently exhibit their distinctive strengths.
What truly sets Joanna apart is her meticulous approach, meticulously tailoring her guidance to suit each student’s unique aspirations and goals. She adeptly aligns her support with the specific demands of various courses, ensuring that every application is impeccably tailored. This personalised attention to detail has been the cornerstone of her remarkable success. Joanna’s prowess is further fortified by her profound comprehension of the expectations outlined by academic staff and admissions committees, an expertise seldom found in conventional educational settings or other consulting services.
Joanna’s years of committed advocacy for accessibility to universities like Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford have endowed her with an unparalleled depth of insight. Her specialised knowledge, cultivated over years of teaching and relentless research, has proven to be a game-changer for countless students aiming for top-tier institutions in the UK and the US. The results she attains speak volumes: an astounding 95% of her candidates successfully secure coveted interview opportunities each year.
Standing as a beacon of hope for aspiring scholars, Joanna embodies the essence of mentorship, guidance, and opportunity. Her personal journey, transitioning from being a student herself to becoming a revered Academic Mentor, epitomises her unwavering commitment to forging pathways to success for deserving individuals yearning to tread in her footsteps. With her guidance, students are not only realising their dreams of attending universities like Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford but are also shaping futures that will undoubtedly impact the world.
How is the service delivered?
The service is run online via web video and email communication. Support is available throughout the process, via Zoom and What’sApp, to answer those little queries that invariably crop up. To enrol your son or daughter in this advisory service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form below.
What does it cost?
The fees for the service are £1200, for which Joanna commits 12 hours of her time. This does not include the extra hour she offers for Clearing. This service delivered upon receipt of payment.