10 things to ask at open evenings

Open evenings are an excellent way of finding out if a university is right for you, but it's important to ask the right questions. Here is our list of questions you should ask at open evenings to ensure you pick the right place to study.

What do students who study here do when they have finished

What you are looking for: that students go on study at the sort of universities, or on to careers that are similar to those that you expect to go on to.

What sports/recreation facilities do you have, and where are they

What you are looking for: Find out what opportunities there are to take part in the sports/activities that you are interested in. Sometimes facilities are not on site, or have limited access, so make sure you know what is available and when.

What qualifications /combinations do you offer

What you are looking for: Sometimes courses are ‘grouped’, and sometimes you are free to choose any combination. You’ll want to check that you can study the qualifications, and more importantly the combination of qualifications you want.

How much access will I have to my teachers

What you are looking for: Class sizes are a sometimes a good way of working out how much attention you’ll receive in lessons. Smaller is usually better, but this isn’t everything. It is important to know if there is time to talk to teachers about your specific needs/learning alongside or within your lessons.

What if I have a problem/need assistance

What you are looking for: You will want to make sure that you’ll get the support you need, whether it is for something like dyslexia, or if you have a one-off worry, getting access to help easily and quickly is important.

Are sixth form students treated different to students in other years

What you are looking for: When sixth forms are part of larger schools it is worth finding out if you’ll have privileges that younger students do not. Sometimes this can mean not having to wear uniform, increased access to facilities or even access to specific areas just for your year group.

What is the equipment like in classrooms

What are you looking for: make sure the equipment you’ll be using is up to date – more importantly though, make sure you have access to it all of the time. It’s not unusual for you to be shown the best spaces at an open evening, but these spaces are not always available all of the time.

How long is the day/can I see an example of a timetable

What are you looking for: teaching often doesn’t run for the whole day in further education, so it is a good idea to see what your timetable might look like, and what spaces are available for students to study and socialise in when they are between lessons.

What extra-curricular activities are available

What you are looking for: Further education isn’t all about studying, extra-curricular activities like volunteering, clubs and societies are not just great fun, they also look good on university and job applications.

What are the entry requirements

What are you looking for: Though there are not usually entry requirements in the same way that there are for university, some courses will require that you have completed a GCSE in the subject you are choosing, make sure you are aware of these as early as possible.

Who to ask

You will usually meet lots of teachers, and sometimes even principals at open days and evenings, but it is often a current student that actually shows you around. Ask them as many questions as possible, as they are more likely to be honest with you about their experiences.