You may have tried your best in your exams, but you may feel that you have to get prepared for Clearing, just in case. You are not a failure if you go through Clearing. In fact, you are giving yourself a well-deserved second chance. Take it from me, a student that has been through it. But how do you prepare to go to a university you hadn’t planned on going to? Here are my tips on how to prepare for university if you go through Clearing.
1. Do your research
Going to university is not only about securing a degree. At the end of the day, this will be where you spend most of your time for 3 years or more. So, you want to make sure that the university and city will be a good fit for you. Here’s a list of criteria I used to ensure that I was picking the right place for me:
- Types of modules
- Course structure
- The department website
- Position in the league tables (particularly student satisfaction and employability)
- Student nightlife and societies
- Things to do in the city centre
- How far or close it is from home
These factors vary person to person. For example, if sport is something you like , you could check if the university has good sporting facilities. If career development is a priority, you may want to check the university’s careers service. To get the most out of your degree, choose what is important to you.
2. Write down your best and worst case scenarios
You may think you’ll go through clearing, but you don’t know what your grades are. If so, it may be useful to plan your best and worst-case scenarios. For me, this meant searching which universities offered clearing for my specific course and the grades required. After I had written down the universities, I checked them against my desired criteria detailed. By doing this, I could rank the universities based on where I would be happiest to go to. Here’s an example:
- A*AA (grades I need to get): Secured my place at X University.
- ABB: Secured my place at my insurance university.
- BBB: University A, B and C offer Clearing which is great. If I have to choose, my preference would definitely be University C, their modules look great.
- If I get lower grades: Universities D, E and F will still accept me or I’ll consider doing a gap year
By doing this, I prepared myself for when Results Day came, and I knew I could make an informed decision. These were my notes, so you could tailor this example to your grades and requirements.
3. Talk to people who already go there
Although easier said than done, one of the best ways to know more about a university is by hearing from current or former students. Sometimes an internet search or a YouTube video could give you a rough idea if you cannot talk to actual people. Remember that these are individual perspectives, so don’t reflect everyone’s experience! You can check the relevant university or department website to see if they do student perspectives. Checking social media can also be useful.
I had a relative who had gone to the University of York, which encouraged me to apply when I had to go through Clearing. But, this was still my own decision after doing my own research.
4. Visit the place
If you are able to, once you have accepted a place in Clearing, it may be useful for you to go to the place and have a look around. One of the best ways for me to decide which university I wanted to go to was by visiting the campus. Sometimes I could just tell when the place wasn’t right for me.
In conclusion, I hope my tips will help you prepare for Clearing, and give you the opportunity to find the right university for you!.
Read more student stories about clearing
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