Advice for a (relatively) stress free clearing process
Results day is a day that will strike fear into students up and down the country. Two years of attending class, submitting coursework and taking exams now seemingly comes down to one day. Receiving your A-Level results is a momentous occasion and it is important that you are clued up about what to do if you find yourself going through clearing.
So here is a little guide to help ease you through the Clearing process in the least stressful way possible!
1. Make a list of courses and universities
As you will have seen in our step-by-step guide to clearing, vacancies are published on the UCAS website during clearing. It will save you precious time if you have researched courses and universities you want to apply to prior to clearing so that when the time comes you can just check they are on the clearing vacancies list – remember, the early bird catches the worm (or in this case, the place at university!)
2.Save your holiday for September!
I’m sorry about this one, but it’s for your own good. August is not the time to be going away on holiday if you are waiting on results and applying to university. It is always better to talk to the universities yourself and you may even be asked to go to the university for an informal interview after Clearing – not something that can easily be done from Magaluf!
3. Check your original choices first
It might sound obvious, but in the mayhem of receiving exam results that are lower than you might have been hoping for it is easy to forget. Even if your results are lower than your offer from a university, it is always worth contacting them to explain the situation and see if they are still willing to accept you on the course.
4. Flexibility might increase your chances
It might be that you need to be flexible about your course choices. Despite doing tip number 1, it could be that all your first choices of courses are full. In this case, being flexible really will help you get an offer for another course perhaps at a different university.
5. Call in person and ASAP!
As we mentioned under tip 2, it is best you keep yourself available during the Clearing period and make all the phone calls yourself. We know that receiving disappointing results might not put you in the mood for telephone conversations but after all, it is you that will be going to university and not your parents! Also remember to get ringing as soon as possible because the courses can fill up quickly.
6. Don’t give up
We know it’s tough but if you’re not successful at first, don’t lock yourself away and wallow in self pity (and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream). Get back on the phone making more phone calls – it’s the only way you’ll get an offer to a course you want to study. Sending an email or two may also be helpful, but this shouldn’t be instead of the phone calls.
Before you even make the journey to your school or college make sure you have the following things handy:
– Pen and paper
– AS results
– UCAS letter (with UCAS number and conditional offer grades)
– UCAS Track details
– Firm and insurance offers’ contact details
– Personal statement and reference copy
– Referee contact details
– The Daily Telegraph (The only newspaper with a full list of Clearing places available)
– Clearing number
– A list of possibly alternatives in priority order.
While this may seem like a long and unnecessary list, with it, you will be fully prepared for any situation.