The idea of Clearing was something that had always been imposed upon me by my sixth form leaders as some sort of stressful labyrinth that was to be avoided at all costs. Although this mentality may have encouraged me to adopt a strict revision schedule, it definitely didn’t do anything to calm my nerves for results day. In reality, however, Clearing felt to be rather calm. Quite frankly, the complete opposite of what I had expected. It definitely served as an opportunity to explore what universities had to offer and to discover where my passion truly was.
In the few weeks prior to results day, I had prepared relentlessly for any scenario that my results might present.
It was important to me to identify a number of factors that might influence my decisions. So, I would advise creating some sort of a list of universities that you might wish to go to. This means you won’t waste time in Clearing. For example, I identified universities that were within a reasonable reach from my home, as being able to return whenever I needed to was important to me. Many other factors were included, but having a clear idea of where was good for me, what kind of course I might be open to and just forming an idea of what I might want to do was something that definitely made my handling of results day far calmer than I had been trained to expect by my sixth form.
The Clearing process itself was surprisingly pain-free
I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I think those answering the phones anticipated this. They were incredibly sensitive and helpful.
- Each university that has Clearing spaces available will have a ‘Clearing line’. This will be displayed quite clearly on their website.
- Upon answering the phone I would introduce myself and enquire into the availability of vacancies for a particular course, or something within that discipline.
- The first thing they would do would be to ask for my UCAS ID. It’s important that you have this to hand.
- Here, you should often expect to be put on hold while whoever you are speaking to will speak with your department of interest.
It is important not to have any clear-cut expectations. Although I did gather a high number of offers from varying universities, I also had to handle a fair number of rejections. I would advise you to take this in your stride and simply move on.
Receiving an offer
It is important to know that there is no limit on the number of offers you can receive. Also, you do not have to notify a university if you do not take their offer. Therefore, I would encourage you to collect as many offers as you can.
When you receive an offer, you will be given an ‘institution code’ and a ‘UCAS code’. Enter this into UCAS Track once you have made your decision. You will not be able to input your offer of choice until 3pm on results day so that gives you a lot of time to collect offers. Although I would encourage you not to rush into anything, it is important not to hang around too long. The later you leave entering of your offer, the less likely you will be to get your first choice of things like accommodation and college, for example. Once you have made your decision, enter it onto UCAS Track as soon as you can.
That’s all there is to it. Universities often tend to take a while to accept offers, but this is only because they’re so busy reviewing everything. So, don’t worry if it doesn’t get accepted straight away – or even on the same night. If they made you an offer and you’ve entered the correct codes, then there is nothing to worry about.
Just remember not to panic!
If you go into results day prepared and open-minded, then you’re bound to come across some great opportunities and come out with something that you’re passionate and excited to start in September.