Applying to University: The Essential Guide – Book Review
Insite reporter, Shae Courtney, reviews Applying to University: The Essential Guide (Paperback) by Anne Coates
In Britain, we are fortunate enough to have a central body to which we submit our university applications. Other countries do not enjoy this comfort. In the United States, for example, separate applications, and much tougher essays than the UCAS Personal Statement, must be submitted to each and every hopeful institution.
Coates’ book does, however, appeal to a wide audience. Students, parents, guardians and education professionals will be able to digest the material in an easy and relaxed manner. One of the particular strengths of the book is the inclusion of real-life case studies. The guide is also packed full of places to go for advice; from Connexions to The Penguin Careers Guide – there are plenty of places to seek help.
Anne Coates draws from a wealth of experience as a mother, as a journalist and as a governor of her local school
Perhaps of particular interest to those who contribute to and use the services of Rural Media, page 13 offers sound advice for the generally accepted route into media. Indeed, Coates is entirely accurate in ephasizing the need for experience with a commercial media company (the BBC for example) and a longstanding position with “community media projects”, which I would interpret as Rural Media and the like.
At the end of each chapter, there is an extremely useful “Summing Up” paragraph that both helps to jog the memory and to reassert the really crucial parts of the application process.
There is particular emphasis on the UCAS Personal Statement part of the application, so much so that two whole chapters have been dedicated to it. There is a good step-by-step approach to the Personal Statement with plenty of advice and superb use of case studies to boot.
On the other hand, the book is fairly simplistic. In my opinion, there is not enough emphasis on overseas university study and too much emphasis on often overrated Gap years before university. There is a very real risk that the most able students applying to university will not be pushed to perform to their best with this guide.
That said, Mrs. Coates’ book is written in a style which is informal enough for anyone worthy of university study to comprehend whilst maintaining a tone and range of vocabulary to satisfy adult readers and the skilled education professional.
Anne Coates draws from a wealth of experience as a mother, as a journalist and as a governor of her local school. With this in mind, readers can be sure that they are receiving solid and bona fide advice from a person that has dealt with the application process on all levels.
The crux of the book, and in fact the crux of the application procedure, is all about finding what you have a passion for. Once you’ve found what you are both good at and enjoy, take it to degree level, find your drive and never let go.
Applying to University: The Essential Guide (Paperback) by Anne Coates
Publisher: Need2Know (1 Jul 2008)