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What to think about this month - October 2014

In this month's newsletter we discuss UCAS deadlines and how to make sure you stay ahead of the game...

Here at Push we don't really like to drop the 'D' bomb without good cause but here it is: DEADLINES. That's right, October 15th marks the cut-off point for Oxbridge, medicine, veterinary and dentistry applications. But even if you don't plan on roaming the halls of Oxford dangling a stethoscope, it's still time to pull your finger out, as many other students are applying now.

Even if you're in Year 12, it's not too early to start looking at universities, or even to put together a budget. No one was ever turned down for being too keen. At least not by universities.

Meanwhile, if all the choices seem more like a jungle of options than a world of possibilities, or if the idea of uni just isn't shaking your maracas, then Push's good friends at Bright Knowledge have got you covered.

If you're in year 12

If you're in year 13

In the news

If you're in Year 12

You'd be forgiven for thinking that with a year to go until your first application deadline looms, you've got time to sit twiddling your thumbs/toes/other body parts. While this is a perfectly legitimate leisure activity, choosing the right uni for you is easier if you get started early and take the time to do it right.

Maybe you've already got a career in mind, but don't know what you need to do to get there. Perhaps you know what subject you love, but don't know what kind of job it can lead to. Either way, take a peek at bestCourse4me, which is the closest thing you will find to a career road map.

If you're further down the road (we like the map metaphor and we're sticking with it) and you're already looking at universities, then it can be easy to get lost. With over 140 different universities offering thousands of different degrees, you're spoilt for choice. One useful tool for thinning the herd is the Push Uni Chooser. It's worth trying it even if you're just starting on the journey: it helps you think about what might be important to you in the long run.

So whatever you do, leave those thumbs un-twiddled and start looking. Just one teaspoon of effort now will save buckets of panic-sweat this time next year.

If you're in Year 13

October 15th is the deadline for applications to Oxbridge, medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses. This is not a seriously-ill-line or a near-death-line, it is a deadline. Miss it, you'll be waiting a year to apply again. If you're not ready yet, then turn off your phone and brew up all the coffee you've got.

And don't go thinking you're off the hook if you read the paragraph above and cackled manically at the idea of you applying to either dentistry or MEDICINE!? No, no, it doesn't mean there's no rush for George Geography, Mary Marketing or Ellen English whose deadline is January 15th 2015. Don't be a plonker and leave it until then or you'll end up Norman No Course. Many students applying for these courses will submit their whole UCAS application at this stage. Universities leaf through competing applications on an 'as they arrive' basis, so go on, get it sorted. The sooner you send it, the sooner you can sit back and wait for responses to roll in.

Think 3 years isn't enough time to make the most of the university experience? You wouldn't be alone, in fact, you'd be one of 79,000 choosing to stay an extra year for an integrated masters. Sign up now and student finance will cover you for all four years.

What's that? Surely staying longer would mean more debt? Rather than shivering in a corner whispering "debt... debt...", it's far more useful to find out what this would mean for you. You can start putting together a budget now with the help of the Student Money Calculator. Try not to fret too much about the finances of going to uni, graduate unemployment is on the steep decrease, which means the money you're 'spending' is well worth it.

What's New?

U-Multirank: the best unis in the world?

You'll find lots of league tables that claim to tell you which is the best university in the world. But the fact is they're all nonsense. There's no such thing. It's like saying which is the ice cream flavour you like best. It depends what you want. U-Multirank is a new website (that Push has had a small hand in helping to create) that helps you sort nearly a thousand of the world's unis into your personal order of preference, depending on whether you like strawberry sorbet, cookie dough, sprinkles, sauce and a flake.

bC4me App for iPhone and Android

Want to keep ahead of the game when securing the ideal university place? The bestCourse4me app has been updated with great new features. You can check the most popular A-levels and grades achieved by previous students for specific courses at specific universities. Another great feature is being able to find the courses that lead to the career you are interested in. Download the latest version here.

In the news

Drink responsab... risponsibl... respunsa... erm, not too much.
Intersted in going to Loughborough University? Well then you better watch your alcohol intake before a night out. Loughborough's Students Union plans to equip its bouncers with breathalysers so they can refuse entry to students who have had a bit too much. And it doesn't stop at Loughborough; Brighton, Liverpool John Moores, Manchester Met, Royal Holloway and Swansea are all set to partake in the same scheme.

My mom ate my homework

Well, not quite, but a recent study has given thousands of students the excuse they've been waiting a lifetime for. A lovely man called Dr Martijn Finken has found that low thyroxine levels can lead to children being worse at maths. Yeah, we don't get the thyr..x.. thing either but if it gives us an excuse for struggling with times tables, then we're not complaining.

The early bird gets the... grades?
A professor from Warwick Uni has found that the later you submit your work, the lower your scores. We know... eek! Prof David Arnott says students who submitted their assignments 24 hours before the deadline scored, on average, 64%, but students who got their assignment in just one minute before the deadline had an average score of 59% - that's 5 whole percent lower. Maybe we'll put the kettle on instead of going to bed then...

Don't worry, be happy

Apparently the UK is in a pretty good place at the minute. An ONS survey has found that the UK is happier this year than it has been for three years. So what has made the difference? We thought it might have been the maths thing, but apparently it's something to do with the economy. Of the top five happiest towns in the UK, FOUR were in Northern Ireland. Well? What are you waiting for? Go and look up Queens University Belfast and University of Ulster.

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