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Study abroad : Applying to University

How to prepare for an admissions presentation or performance

If you’ve been asked to prepare a presentation or performance as part of your university application, it’s important to know where to start. We’ve got some advice on how to ace this part of your study journey.

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There are so many universities to choose from, all with many exciting degrees that you may be interested in. With such a variety, it’s natural that each university or specific course may have a different admission process. Whether it’s attending an interview or sitting an exam, universities have a way of finding the students that are right for them.  


If you're invited to give a presentation or performance, it’s a good sign.  

While any university application can be stressful, creating an admissions presentation or performance can be the most worry-inducing. You aren’t being asked to just fill out a form or sit an exam. You’re being asked to show your skills and abilities. We’ve got you covered with some of our best tips to prepare 


Make a choice and stick with it 


Remember, not all admissions performances and processes are the same. A university may ask for a very specific topic or piece, while another may let you decide what you present. Either way, you will likely have to make some decisions, and it’s important to have these sorted as early as possible.  


Deciding what you are going to do can be tough. However, starting early means more time to get everything ready for the big day. Going over your options and selecting the best one to showcase your talents is crucial. Once you decide, go over what the university has asked of you and assess whether your choice fits the brief well. 


If you’re unsure of anything in the process, don’t be afraid to communicate directly with your university.  


Practice, practice, practice 


There are so many examples in life where learning something is simply a matter of going over the topic many times. From language learning to revising for an exam, our brains are great at absorbing information that it’s gone over multiple times.  


This is certainly the case when it comes to any presentation or performance. Practising your piece from start to finish repeatedly will allow you to memorise it. This will truly make it feel so much smoother and well-rehearsed. Knowing that you know your piece by heart can be a major confidence boost and will settle your nerves.  


Don’t forget some of the other crucial parts of your application with our checklist.  


Get to the point 


Sometimes remembering everything you’ve practised isn’t easy. This can especially be the case for the actual presentation, as nerves can often get the better of our memory. 


An excellent way to safeguard against this is to get to grips with the core of your piece. Making sure you take more time to remember the key points or parts means you can jump to the next important point should you start to feel lost. Stay calm and confident even if you’ve lost your way a little.  


Discover some of the creative fields that you can pursue. These often have a performance or presentation element to the application procedure.  


Get a test audience 


Having a second pair of eyes on any piece of work is a great idea. When it comes to your work, while you may be critical of some pieces, your own biases mean often miss potential issues that someone else could see straight away. For example, take a piece of writing, whether it’s an essay or an email, someone else reading it will likely spot issues that your own eyes completely skipped. 


A presentation or performance is no exception, finding someone to act as the viewer can be a good exercise and help you polish off your work. If it’s a family member or friend, make it clear to them that they shouldn’t hold back as pointing out issues that you didn’t see could help. If you can’t find anyone you can use as a test audience, recording yourself and playing it back can be the next best thing. 


Finding out that you must put together a presentation or performance as part of your university application doesn’t need to be as scary as it initially feels. With the right preparation, you can not only calm your nerves but will also give yourself better chance at being accepted.  


Find out more information on anything you need to know about taking a university admissions test and sitting for an admissions interview.  

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