One of the key ways we help students to learn and grow in their subject is to match them with a mentor. Their mentor will be either a graduate in the subject from the same university, or, in some instances, a current undergraduate or affiliated student (those reading for a second undergraduate degree). In instances where a student has no first choice university, we will suggest a mentor whom we believe will prepare the student in the best way for the shortlisted institutions.
The role of the mentor is to guide the student and help them to develop the skills required to perform well at interview for their chosen degree course. This goes beyond the role of a tutor who will help to prepare a student in a particular subject in accordance with a particular syllabus. A mentoring role is designed to ensure that students develop a sound understand of key concepts within their subject such that they will be able to perform well at any interview and, when successful, in their first year of undergraduate study.
For Arts and Social Sciences, mentoring includes (but is not limited to) working through essays and plans, critically analysing unseen material, and sustaining rigorous academic debates, whereas for those applying for “hard” Science subjects, mentoring will take the form of solving problem sheets, and finding elegant solutions to complex problems.
We take great care when matching students with mentors, since this relationship is crucial in maximising a student’s chances of success in securing an offer from their chosen university. We take into consideration the student’s current academic position, their personality and learning style, and potential interests within their chosen course, and we match these aspects as closely as possible.
We remain proactive in monitoring an applicant’s progress in order to ensure that they are on the right track. We also invite ongoing feedback from students to ensure that the maximum benefit is being derived from these programmes.
Typically, students working with us will have one mentor, however, in some instances, they may work with more than one. This could be because we feel that a student might benefit from more than one working style, or to ensure that the student is being stretched as much as is appropriate so that they can subsequently perform to their full potential. It is extremely rare that a student is not happy with the mentor with whom they are matched, or that a mentor is unable to continue to support their student throughout their application, but, if this is the case, we will find another mentor as quickly as possible, ensuring that any disruption to your preparation programme is kept to an absolute minimum.
Some of our mentors are also admissions test specialists, in which case, they would typically support their student in terms of admissions test preparation. If, however, the mentor did not have to sit an admissions test themselves when they applied, we will assign a specialist to the student specifically for their admissions test support. In addition to this one-to-one support, we also offer small-group admissions test course days. Our priority is always quality over quantity, and so we always guarantee that there will be ten or fewer students in a group.
Unlike other companies, we have a “subject cap” in terms of the number of students we will support per degree course. This is to ensure that we get the best out of our own students, without compromising their chances of success. We want our students and their families to have complete confidence in our bespoke services, and to know that we care about each individual’s success. This is why we do not require any student to follow set programmes of support, or impose inflexible, fixed costs. We also do not compete with any services being offered by the student’s school. Instead, our role is to support and work alongside students in the most effective manner possible. We do this to ensure that our approach is holistic, and a positive experience for our students.
We do our utmost to find mentors who are able to match the student’s availability so that we can provide our services around the student’s timetable. This may mean that the mentoring sessions are conducted over Skype as opposed to face-to-face, and all of our mentors are happy with this arrangement. Similarly, if you have any preferences in terms of your mentor (for example, if you specifically would like a female mentor) please let us know, and we will try to make sure that your needs are accommodated.