It may be a scary thing to think about – you got an offer from a university, and after working towards it for months you open that envelope on results day and find out you didn’t quite get the grades needed. While this can be disappointing at first, Clearing can give you the chance to get a place with a different course, university, or both.
I went through Clearing on my A-Level results day and have spent the last three years doing a course I love at the University of York. From this, I have learned some top tips about what you should do to ensure you get the best possible Clearing offer for you!
I made the mistake of not particularly considering Clearing as an option before results day. As such, I did not prepare too much for it (just by reading this blog you’ve already done more preparation than me!) While I did end up getting the Clearing place I wanted, I could have saved myself a lot of stress and frantic Googling by taking some time beforehand. So set a day aside between now and results day and thoroughly prepare for it. Some of these preparations include…
Brush Up On The Process
While the process of Clearing is relatively straightforward, it is still a legal process involving a number of steps. So, to make the Clearing process easier make sure you understand the process and what is required of you before results day. UCAS offer a very clear explanation of how Clearing works. Essentially you will need to decline any offer you have already received through UCAS before you can switch to a Clearing course. However, if any part of the process does not make sense to you make sure to speak to an advisor from your school or contact UCAS directly.
Expand Your Shortlist
A huge number of universities offer Clearing places. So there is a good chance that if you have a university in mind they will have a Clearing course related to your interests. However, the exact courses available change yearly. So it is good to expand your shortlist to include courses and universities you may not have considered before.
I personally did not consider York initially as I thought it was too far away from my home. However, they offered a really good course so I was willing to take the longer journey (now it doesn’t seem long at all!).
You may also want to think about the different courses you can do similar to the one you want. There are lots of courses available, so make sure to speak to an advisor to find out what’s right for you. If you find a university you like, make sure to sign up to their Clearing updates to find courses as soon as they’re released.
Visit The University
Once you have got that Clearing place confirmed, there are chances for you to get familiar with your university of choice. Universities typically hold Open Days for Clearing students. I recommend you try to get to or at the very least visit the city before you move. While I was confident I was right in picking York before, visiting the city and seeing the university made me feel so much more comfortable and eased some nerves.
So, whether you end up going through Clearing or not, I hope you end up with the right place for you and that these top tips helped!
Read more student stories about Clearing