As well as ushering in a new year, January also marks the beginning of a very busy month in education. With university deadlines, interview outcomes, mock exams and the next stage for 13+ school applicants to content with, students of all ages will hit the ground running as they return to their institutions this month.
For applicants who are waiting to receive Oxbridge interview outcomes, we sincerely hope you receive the news you are hoping for and are placed in your first-choice college. If successful, the next stage of the process is to prepare for your A-Levels to ensure you are on track to meet your predicted grades. For applicants who did not receive an offer, be kind to yourself and try not to be too disheartened; Oxbridge is extremely competitive, with acceptance rates of just 14% at the University of Oxford, and 21% at the University of Cambridge in 2022.
With the UCAS deadline swiftly approaching on 25th January, most students will hopefully be reviewing and fine-tuning their full applications. Within the UCAS application, one area in particular that requires close attention is the personal statement. The allocated 4000 characters are integral to a student’s application as this piece is the first opportunity for self-expression. Students should aim to highlight their motivations and passion for their desired subject discipline, showcase their ability to articulate eloquently, and reflect on personal experiences.
Quintessentially Education’s top tip for writing a competitive personal statement is to ensure that your subject choice is neatly woven into both your academic and extra-curricular experiences. To find out more top tips for submitting a competitive UCAS application, or to receive guidance on the next stage of Oxbridge applications, speak to one of our advisors.
With UCAS applications about to close, a tutor can assist students with reviewing and fine-tuning their application.
GCSE and A-Level students
Although the actual exams are a few months away, A-Level and GCSE students will either be completing their mock exams or receiving their results. These exams highlight progress made this academic year whilst identifying any areas that require improvement.
Whether they need to work on their subject knowledge, exam skills, techniques to manage stress and anxiety, or a combination of all three, one-one tuition could be an avenue to explore. Tutors provide bespoke lessons tailored to the needs and learning style of the student and have proven benefits – including increased confidence and better overall exam performance.
13+ school applicants
With students in Year 6 having now completed the ISEB pre-test in the autumn term, we hope that you and your child will have had some time to relax and recuperate over the holiday season.
By the start of the spring term, many schools will have shared relevant information regarding the next stage of the application process. For candidates progressing forwards, this will likely include an interview, internal assessments, or group activities and team-building exercises.
The interview and internal assessment process can be a nerve-wracking experience for many children, as they may find it difficult to express themselves in a strange and unusual setting. While we do not recommend over-preparing (as this is always obvious to the assessors) Quintessentially Education does encourage parents to consider some light interview preparation to ensure the smoothest experience on the day. We also encourage students to comprehensively research the school to better understand its unique ethos. The latter is especially important when considering the ‘best fit’ for your son or daughter. It might include focusing on academia, sport, the arts, or virtues such as curiosity and inclusivity.
Quintessentially Education recommends comprehensively researching your child's potential school.
If you would like advice on how best to support your child this academic term, our team of expert consultants at Quintessentially Education are on hand to offer impartial advice and guidance. Contact us today at and a member of our team will respond to your query.