Applying for university
If we had to identify one key aim for KE, it would be: to open up opportunities for our students. Making an application for university can look pretty difficult. It’s certainly a big step, and you need to get it right.
Our work in this area is introduced by three presentations:
- Choosing the right university/making a good application
First of all, we suggest the processes you should follow in choosing a university and a course. We encourage you to identify what is important to you, and see how that ties in with making good choices. And even if you’re not planning to apply for university in an English-speaking country, the skills you learn here will be really valuable in many different contexts.
In most countries, you make direct applications to your university or universities of choice; this is generally (but not always!) the way things work in the USA. We go through the process, and suggest how you should make your application really stand out to admissions staff. If you’re applying for university in the UK, you do so through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service). Therefore, in the UK, we explain how UCAS works, and of course give you tips on making your application as attractive as possible to universities; one of our members of staff has been trained in UCAS procedures (KE is a UCAS centre).
- The Personal statement/essay
The requirements are slightly different in different countries, but we go through what is expected in the country you’re visiting. You’ll see how admissions staff use this to help assess your suitability.
After going through the theory, you start work on the practice, and we generally timetable about 90 minutes for you to work on your personal statement or essay. This probably won’t be your final version, but we’ll go through it with you and give you tips on what you can add in the future to make it really stand out.
If you’re not planning to go to university in an English-speaking country, you’ll still take part in this exercise, as it’s a really useful first step towards creating a cv and focusing on your own skills and achievements.
- Presentation skills
This seminar helps students prepare for the need to be vocal and stand up to make a point, or a series of points, in front of others. At the end of each KE programme, students do put on a presentation relating to their specialist subject, so the seminar is very timely!
- The Interview
Some universities require an interview, some don’t. Never mind! You will be interviewed on many occasions during your career, and the sooner you start practising the techniques, the better. Preparing for an interview is also another way of helping you to assess your strengths and weaknesses.
At KE, we first of all go through the interview process, considering its purpose and how you can use it to your advantage. Of course, we consider the things you should say – and the things you should definitely avoid saying!
And then there is practice. You will have two 1-1 interviews, with different people. At the end of the interview, we give you some feedback. (When interviews are scheduled on the timetable, you only have to attend at the time which you’ve been assigned; otherwise, you’re free for project work or other activities.)
- SAT and ACT (USA only)
In order to gain entrance to a US university, you will usually have to take one of these tests, which focus on English language skills, reasoning and mathematics. This seminar provides an introduction to both, so you get a feel for the one which is more likely to suit you. Most US universities accept either, so it is really up to you which one you choose. (KE also offers the chance to sign up for an online course offered by market-leaders Kaplan in either SAT or ACT at a much reduced rate.)
- The practicalities of student life
This seminar, new for 2020, and introduced by popular demand, focuses on the realities of everyday life for students, often living more independently than ever before. We start off with arrivals and the first week, looking at ways of meeting people and making friends with those you’ll have something in common with. Then we look at the longer-term issues, such as managing finances, coping with many different demands and challenges, and everyday issues, such as eating well and staying healthy.