University Preparation

Greene’s helps you to apply to university in many different countries. Good A level grades provide you with a wide choice of universities and courses around the world.

A university application requires careful consideration and involves several elements:

  • Course selection
  • University choice
  • Personal Statement/Essay
  • Application form completion
  • Academic reference
  • Required A level grades
  • Language tests
  • Entrance & aptitude tests
  • Interview practice

Applying to U.K. universities

Every year, we support many applications to U.K. universities through UCAS. Over the summer break – at the end of your first year of A level study – you should aim to complete most of the additional work that is needed for your university application. Each university application will be different and needs careful thought and preparation.

By completing all the preparatory work for your university application over the summer break you are then ready to concentrate on your studies when you return in September and to obtain the grades you need.

Fundamentals of Greene’s UCAS application support:

Choosing the right course: There are over 300 institutions of higher education in the U.K., which together offer over 50,000 different courses. It is therefore important that you research carefully the options available to you. We will help you find courses that match your interests, career aspirations and talents whilst realistically taking into account your academic history and predicted grades.

Deciding where to study: There are many universities and colleges to choose from and Greene’s will help you make informed choices that meet your academic and personal requirements. All our students are kept informed about where to research for specific help relating to their chosen courses and interests: pre-university courses, ‘taster days’, presentations, and Open Days. We encourage you to visit universities in your own time at weekends, half terms and holidays.

Admissions tests: Some universities require students to pass an admissions test – often called aptitude tests – when applying for courses in certain subjects, in addition to A level or I.B. qualifications. We will ensure that you are guided throughout this process and are fully acquainted with the requirements of the tests.

Presentation of material: We will support you in completing your application and help you to present material, such as Personal Statements, enabling you to make the most of your achievements and cast yourself in the best light.

References: If you choose to submit your university application through Greene’s, we will endeavour to ensure that you have the fairest and most comprehensive reference possible. We will liaise with your teachers (past or present), current Greene’s tutors where relevant, employers and other individuals or organisations as appropriate. Your Director of Studies will assemble and moderate the various reports and comments, and the College Principal will then sign the reference. If you prefer that your previous school or college provides your reference, we will give every assistance to ensure that your academic progress with us has been fairly reported.

Interview preparation: Should you decide to apply to universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, or to universities offering professional vocational courses such as Medicine or Veterinary science, you should expect to be called to a selection interview before being given an offer of a place. Practice interviews are opportunities to provide suggestions for improvement or refinement of your interview technique. Most academic interviews will tend not to be about facts, but about the way you respond to those facts, and are designed to challenge the way you think. Depending on the likely format of the actual interview itself, your practice interview may also require you to write an essay, or to prepare a short passage, which will form part of the focus of discussion in the interview. We provide you with advice on a variety of aspects of the interview, from body language to recommended reading.

Applying to U.S. universities

Each year students from all over the world choose to study for their undergraduate degree at a U.S. university or college. With more contact hours, wider course options, and an application process which encourages the well-rounded candidate with wide interests, many students are increasingly drawn to the American higher education system – which includes many of the world’s top-ranking universities.

We know that for students with no knowledge of the American application system, the process can be daunting. Our advisors, with specialist knowledge of U.S. universities, will guide you through the process of understanding and planning every aspect of your application.

Entrance and aptitude tests

For some courses and universities you will need to complete entrance or aptitude tests as part of the admissions requirements. These are for top-ranked universities and/or to study medicine or veterinary science or law.

Entrance for most degree courses at the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge in the UK requires high scores in aptitude tests. Students wishing to apply to Ivy League universities in the United States may well need to complete SAT II subject tests in addition to the SAT or ACT tests. In the UK and Australia, students wishing to study medicine will need to take clinical and/or medical aptitude tests.

Aptitude tests are designed to assess your potential and suitability for a place on a chosen course, giving the institution an idea of how you might cope with the work that you will encounter at university level. Much depends on your reasoning and analytical skills, rather than on your subject knowledge.

Greene’s offers individual tuition to help you gain a better understanding of whichever entrance or aptitude test you are required to sit. Often the best approach is determined self-study with a flexible level of support from Greene’s.

The format and requirements of each test varies, and our typical support will be structured over a number of tutorials, all aimed at covering different aspects of the test. You will receive homework exercises after each session, which your tutor will collect and return to you with feedback. For those looking to sit the ELAT or the HAT this homework may involve an intensive course of essay practice, while for those undertaking the BMAT it may be a case of attempting difficult calculations or answering ethical conundrums.

While most U.K. aptitude tests tend to be taken in the late autumn, U.S. aptitude tests, such as the SAT or the ACT, are available throughout the year, and Greene’s can offer tuition at any time to suit your needs.

Re-applying to university

When re-applying to university, you will need to have a new approach to completing your application.

Whilst retaking your A levels we will actively guide you through re-submitting your university application. It may not always be appropriate to apply to the same universities and courses, and elements of your application will almost certainly need to be rewritten.

You may need another visit to your chosen university departments, knowing what questions to ask, and to strengthen your application with a greater knowledge of the course you are applying for – as well as to make an accurate appraisal of the university’s attitude towards A level retakes.

We will put together your academic reference and advise you regarding your university choices – perhaps some that you may not have considered previously. It is always important to obtain a realistic range of universities and courses to which to apply so that offers received can be met.

Where the course for which you are applying has additional requirements – such as an interview or an entrance test – we will ensure that the appropriate tuition is arranged to support you.

To learn more about how Greene’s can support your university applications, please contact us.