Going through clearing can seem pretty daunting. Here are just a few tips to help you prepare if you think clearing might be an option for you!
Plan in advance
Whether you learnt it from the scouts, your old teachers’ revision tips, or Scar’s song in the Lion King, at one point in our lives we’ve been told to be prepared. In the case of clearing this couldn’t ring truer.
Here are a few things that you might want to have handy at least a few days before clearing lines open:
The universities and courses you’d like to get into through clearing
Take a while to research places and courses that interest you. Uni should be a fun experience, so making sure you have options that you know will make you happy is vital!
The numbers for the clearing lines
Once you know what you might do and where you might do it, note down the numbers for the clearing lines of each university you want to talk to. Clearing gets busy on results day, so getting in there quickly can be a big help. If you’ve got the numbers ready to go, you’ll be one step ahead on the day.
Your exam results
If you ran a mile for every time someone on a clearing line asked you for your results, you’d probably end up running a marathon or two. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but you will be asked a lot! Having your results in front of you will speed up the process and make it go a lot more smoothly.
Keep an open mind
I was a mathematician before I was a physicist. By that I mean I was utterly convinced that I was going to go to uni to study maths, that I would have a career in maths, and when I got interviewed on the news after discovering all the digits of pi, my subtitle would say Abbie – Mathematician. When I started planning for going through clearing, I had to look at other options. It felt strange to look at other courses when I was so convinced of my plan, but ultimately it was incredibly helpful.
Physics isn’t all that different from maths, but it was not at all what I saw myself studying at university. And yet I love it. I don’t think I could be studying a better degree.
Maybe a course you get offered is a step or two removed from what you originally saw yourself doing. Maybe it’s ten steps removed. But maybe you could still see it being your news interview subtitle.
Of course, if you know you won’t enjoy a course, don’t force yourself to do it for the sake of a place, but keep an open mind in your research and phone calls, and you never know what opportunities might come your way!
Going through clearing is bound to be at least a little bit stressful, and that’s okay! It’s natural to be anxious when you don’t know what the outcome of a situation is going to be. Whilst it’s not always useful to just be told “don’t be scared!”, it does help to remember that you will not be the only one in your situation. The people on the other end of the phone are just people, and they know that it’s a stressful time for everyone who’s ringing up.
If you are feeling particularly anxious about clearing, take a peek at some of these tips to manage stress around clearing. Even just talking it out with someone close to you can make you feel a whole lot more at ease.
If you’ve never been through clearing it can seem overwhelming, but being prepared can really help ease the nerves. Hopefully, these tips make that preparation a little more clear. Cue laugh track.
Read more student stories about clearing