How to get into your first choice course if you were not accepted the first time (South African Universities)

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For certain courses such as medicine and engineering the competition to get in is tough which means you may not be able to get in when you try and apply straight from high school. When you fail to get in the first time do not give up if you feel that career choice is the best one for your future, if you feel it’s your calling. Always do your research properly before you start applying and before you give up. I will share some tips which have been used by current university students to get into their first choice course after not being accepted on their first try. Before I continue I would like to say that champions are not people who win all the time but people who stand up after they fall and learn from their mistakes so that they don’t get defeated by the same challenge, they approach that challenge in a smarter way.
how to get into your first choice course in south africa
Your future is not a sprint, its a long winding road and there are many ways to get to the finish line

 Tips to get into your first choice course

1. When applying for your first choice course,  also apply for related fields which are easier to get into for example if you are applying for medicine , also apply for something like physiotherapy or anything else in the health sciences, or biomedical engineering or biology even if you don’t want to be any of those other things. If you don’t get into medicine then you could do a year of a related degree and focus and do well there getting marks above 60% for all your courses just to be safe and apply to transfer into medicine, you may even get credits for some courses so you don’t take a full course load the following year when you are accepted to your first choice degree. I know of many people who have done this in various faculties.

2. Say you did not apply for related fields then the most likely reason you did not make it into your first choice course is because other applicants in your category (based on race and background) had better marks than you, so you would need to go and upgrade your results if you did poorly in a few subjects and then apply for the following year for your first choice course or you can do a bridging course.

3. Sometimes you do not need to even do a related course in your first year of university in order to transfer to your first choice course, you just need to do well in which ever course you end up getting accepted in, if your first choice course is available at your current institution then you could speak with your advisor to link you up or you can go yourself to the faculty you want to transfer to in June after your first semester results are out to explain that you want to transfer to that course, they may allow you to start doing related courses so that next year when you make the transfer you have credits for some of the courses already.

4. You can study something else that you like and get an under graduate degree and then apply to your first choice course after, they are more likely to accept someone who has experience and successfully managed to graduate in a university environment. For example in medicine you can apply for the GEMP program at wits were graduates who have done degrees with physics, biology and chemistry at least at a first year level can go directly into 3rd year of medicine. Another example is if you don’t make it for degree study in engineering but you make it for a diploma in engineering after you graduate from the university of technology after 3 years you can transfer to a major university and enter second year of degree study with credit given for first year courses if you did well in your diploma. People usually do this as someone with a diploma does not usually get paid as well a someone with a degree so a few years of extra studying may be worth it long term.

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