The UCAS deadline is coming — Last minute application tips

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The 2017 UCAS deadline is 15th January. With just a few days to go till the deadline, you might be forgiven for getting into a tizz over your application.

Well, if you're not quite ready to take the leap and submit your application, don't panic – a calm and zenlike mind is what you need to avoid making any silly mistakes!

'Calm those last-minute UCAS panics with Success at School's ultimate check list'

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Take five, grab yourself a cuppa, and make sure your application's tip-top with our last-minute tips:

1. Make sure you've selected the right university and courses

In the "Courses" section of your online UCAS form, you can select up to five universities and colleges to apply to, and we suggest you fill all of your places (check out our guide to choosing a university if you haven't).

When you select your choices, they'll be converted into a code on the UCAS system. That means it's probably worthwhile checking that if you want to apply to the University of East Anglia, you haven't picked the University of East London by accident (otherwise you might be greeted by some very confused faces when you turn up at the wrong place next September).

Similarly, make sure you've picked the right course as well – particularly if there are two courses which have very similar names, like English Literature and English Language.

Since you also have the option of choosing a start date, double check you've selected the correct year – and haven't accidentally opted to defer till September 2018 (unless you want to, of course).

2. Check your exam results are correct

Universities will make their decision based on your exam results or predicted exam results.

Make sure you've entered these details correctly to avoid a mix up which could lead to your application being rejected.

Make sure you've selected the right options and haven't for example, selected "A-level" instead of "AS-level", or vice versa.

Getting your grades right is equally important. If the entrance requirement for your maths course is an A* in that subject, the last thing you want to do is accidentally choose A and get your application automatically rejected.

UCAS deadline or no UCAS deadline – get this part wrong and you may as well not apply.

3. Check your personal statement for mistakes

Your personal statement is the only part of your application which actually gives the university admissions staff a sense of your personality.

Needless to say, you want to make a good impression. As well as making yourself stand out from the crowd, you should strive for a meticulous and error-free piece of writing.

A methodical attention-to-detail is part of being a good student and will go a long way with admissions staff. It also shows you care about the quality of your work and, crucially, the outcome of your application.

If you're worried about your spelling or grammar, ask someone else to take a look if you haven't already.

4. Do I need to get a reference?

If you're applying through school or college, you won't need to request a reference through UCAS, and it won't even show up on the form.

But if you're applying independently (for example, if you're on a gap year, or are a mature student), you'll see a "Reference" section in the left-hand menu on the form. Fill in your referee's details, and UCAS will send them an email asking them to fill in a reference for you.

With the UCAS deadline approaching, you'll need to move quickly if you're submitting an independent application. We suggest speaking to your referee straight away to make sure your reference is done on time.

5. Make sure you've submitted your application!

After all that hard work, it would be a shame if you passed the deadline without actually sending your application off.

The last stage is to read and sign the declaration on the last section of the form. Once you've checked all the boxes, you're ready to submit. Hooray!

If you're applying through school or college, your application will go off to your referee to complete your reference before you submit.

If you're applying independently, you'll need to make payment at this stage as well.

Phew! You're all done, with literally, erm, days to spare before the UCAS deadline – good luck! If you're at the beginning of the UCAS application process, check out our five tips for a great submission.

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