Hi, my name is Saz and I am an Access Project alumna, currently on a gap year. My experience with The Access Project began after a particularly difficult first year in sixth-form and disappointing AS results. My teachers advised me to retake the year to achieve higher grades in my subjects which were Maths, English Literature and French, but I was determined to continue onto Year 13. I had a meeting with my school’s University Access Officer after applying to be tutored on The Access Project. We discussed my plan and goals for the academic year and found a tutor to help me with my Maths.

Every week I would take a tube into the City to meet my tutor at his workplace. He would go above and beyond to aid me in boosting my Maths grade, particularly by extending our tutor sessions as I got closer to my exams. Having this extra push from my tutor allowed me to balance my time between studying for my Maths exams and my other subjects.

Not only did my tutor support me during the year but my University Access Officer would book a mentoring session with me at least once a month and was often around at school to talk to about anything I was struggling with. Having somebody to talk to that was there for the sole purpose of supporting your journey to university was something that took a massive weight off my shoulders, especially for somebody like me who didn’t always feel comfortable speaking to my teachers about things other than school work.

By the end of the Year 13 I was able to boost my grades significantly in all three of my subjects going from grades CEE in English Literature, French and Maths respectively to ABC. I was overjoyed when I opened that envelope on results day! The support I received from The Access Project gave me everything that I needed to get the results that would allow me to study at a top UK University.

Despite being out of school, I am still in touch with my University Access Officer who has been incredibly helpful with University advice and proof reading my personal statement for my UCAS application. With both my University Access Officer and Tutor being Oxbridge educated I was able to use their advice when applying for Russell Group Universities and ended up receiving offers from all five to study Philosophy and French (including one unconditional one from York!). At the moment I am enjoying my gap year exploring life outside of school through work and travel whilst studying to further improve my grades through resits. I am aiming to study at my firm choice university, University College London.

Saz, Access Project Alumna

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