As I said in a previous post, clicking on “Pay /Send” does not, contrary to popular belief, send your application to UCAS. Only an authorised person – usually your referee, UCAS Co-ordinator or Head of Centre is able to do this. They check through your application and write your reference, which usually involves asking your teachers to contribute, and they may have mock exams to set, reports to mark….you get the picture. So how can you help?

Observe Deadlines – if your UCAS advisor has given you a date to have everything done by, then do everything in your power to have it all finished by then! Most likely the date has been set to try and avoid other teacher commitments such as end of term exams, so it is in your interests to make sure you keep to it!

Has Something Gone Wrong? – if something has happened, even in the last few years, that affected your GCSEs, AS levels or A levels, then you should ask your referee to mention it & the effect it had on you, in the reference. Perhaps you were ill for a period of time, or there was disruption in your family due to illness or divorce, or you have had a change of teachers. Universities want to know about these unusual circumstances to help them make a fair decision.

Keep Checking on your Application – keep on top of your emails and log in to UCAS every day or so, as once your referee checks through it, if they see a mistake they have to return the application to you! You then correct the error & click on “Pay / Send” again – don’t worry, you won’t be charged again! Your referee can’t send your application until you do this….

Do Things Seem to be Taking a While….? I always take a long, deep breath when an applicant says to me, “I’ve just clicked Pay / Send, so what time will you send it today?!” That said, if the days and weeks are passing & you haven’t had that email from UCAS informing you that they’ve received your application, it’s only natural to worry. Talk to your UCAS advisor. Politely ask them if there is anything that you need to do, as it seems to be taking a while for your application to be sent to UCAS. Don’t immediately go to their supervisor and / or get your parents to come in and complain – a courteous enquiry will normally resolve things! After all, though it may not always feel like it, you and your UCAS advisor are on the same side – you both want the best possible quality application to get sent off as early as you can!

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