Having to go through Clearing doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In fact, the UCAS Clearing process could be your ticket to a better, more interesting course! So, how can you make the most of this golden opportunity?
1. Understand the process…
The Clearing process may seem a bit daunting, but it’s actually fairly simple.
Here are the basic steps to the process you need to know before you pick up the phone:
1. You should find a Clearing course that takes your interest
2. If a uni you like the look of is showing vacancies on the course list, give them a call
3. Speak to the university’s Clearing Advisor – give them your results
4. Then you will (hopefully!) get an offer over the phone
All being well, your chosen university will then access UCAS Track to confirm the offer!
If you’re still confused, take a look at Coventry University’s Clearing website for all the answers to all the questions you might not even know you have.
2. Know what you want to study
Before you start looking at universities and courses with Clearing vacancies, you need to think about what it is you want to study! It’s no good simply ringing the first uni that has a place, then ending up counting sheep in a lecture theatre.
Try and shop around a bit, lots of universities have great YouTube pages now which can give you an insight into university life. (Hint, hint!)
3. Do your research…NOW
Okay, so you’ve decided what field you’re interested in, now it’s time to find out which universities offer courses around that subject. Every university will have a list of courses that they offer with detailed information about what you’ll study. But remember, not all courses go into Clearing, so it’s good to have as many back-up options as possible.
4. Lists, lists and more lists
Who doesn’t love a great excuse to hit Paperchase? Grab some fancy stationary and start making lists… of everything! A must is a list of universities, cross-referenced with their contact details and course information.
5. Sell, sell, sell
You’ve already submitted a personal statement to UCAS, but it’s a good idea to refresh it now in case anything has changed
Plus, when you ring a university’s Clearing line, they will ask about you and why you want to join their course. So it is a good idea to have this statement printed out in front of you, to help you sell yourself well – without getting tongue-tied!
6. Know your grades
Universities won’t just want your overall A-level grades; they’ll also need grades for your AS and GCSE exams. In some cases they may even ask for individual module breakdowns. So grab that fancy stationary we mentioned earlier and make a note of all of these.
7. Buy a map
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of being offered a place on your perfect course, but before you click ‘accept’, double check you know where the university is. Otherwise you may be stuck trying to explain to Grandma that you can’t visit every week because you thought Aberdeen was in Wales…
8. Allow time
The Clearing phone lines can get phenomenally busy, so make sure you allow time on Results Day to stay on the phone awhile. Many arts and media courses will ask to interview you before offering a place – this usually happens during the Friday and Saturday following Results Day, so keep these dates clear too.
9. Remember Student Finance
You may well have applied for Student Finance when you made your initial course choice and university application. However, if you decide that you want to change your course choice through Clearing, it is important that you let Student Finance know the new course details. It could actually affect what finance you are entitled to.
Whether you are going to university through Clearing, or simply by getting the grades you expected, everyone deserves to congratulate themselves and celebrate.
You are officially going to big school! Get in!