Picking firm/ insurance
I suppose by now most of you would have received your offers from most universities, if not all. This is now time to pick which university to choose as firm and insurance which is what I want to discuss with you today.
Firstly, do you like all five of the universities? I remember I picked some just to fill up the five options and others with particularly low requirements just so I had somewhere to go in case I received no offers (not the most optimistic person). Rule out all the ones you don't want to go to. Remember to ask yourself if you'd be genuinely happy to go to your insurance choice university if you don't make it to your firm. It is a three year commitment (at least). Don't just put a random one down. I heard some people putting down their insurance choice with higher entry requirements than their firm. Please don't do this. I got scared listening to them telling me this.
Grades. Remember to be realistic when predicting what you'll get; not optimistic or pessimistic but realistic. Me and my maths teacher did some UMS point calculations for all my modules sort of looking at the minimum points I needed for my modules to get the grades (of course, with some probability involved as well). Look at recent mock results as a guide but don't rely on them too much. My mocks were always a tragedy at school and I still made it to university (that too, Warwick!).
Look at what the course offers again and see if you're happy with it. Some things to consider might be whether you are happy with the teaching styles, whether you would like exams at the end of the year only or January exams too (love Warwick for this — no Jan exams, at least in year one. Not sure about the other years), whether your first year contributes to your overall result, extra opportunities offered such as a year out in industry or abroad (again, love Warwick chemistry department for this).
In terms of reputation, I personally think it is a combination of how high the university is on the league table rankings as well as what results you graduate with from university. If everyone was meant to go to one of the top ten universities in the country, there would have only been ten universities in the country. Might want to consider this?
How far away from home? Although this should certainly not limit you from choosing a particular university, if you aren't comfortable with going too far or staying too close to home, don't. As I said, it is a matter of three years, take your time and make the right decision.
Then, put the final choices down and get on with revision.
Good luck everyone!