10 Steps You Should Take If You Want an Easy Clearing Process
Results day is a very daunting prospect, with the culmination of two years of hard work presented on a single piece of paper. These grades then determine whereabouts in the country you will move to, which degree you will study, which friends you will have and which bars you will drink in.
Its understandable then that you want everything to run smoothly and have your first choice of university granted. Unfortunately, there are those who miss out on their first conditional offer and their insurance choice, forcing a very difficult decision onto students all over the country.
Clearing is competitive, but with the right preparation you can land yourself a place at an amazing university.
What you should do before results day:
1. Save the date.
Not that you’re likely to forget, but Scottish A level results day is the 5th August whereas the rest of the UK will get theirs on 14th August.
2. Have your UCAS Track log in details handy.
If you don’t get the grades you need, quick access to these details are vital to your future.
3. Don’t make plans.
For most students the day is a cause for celebration, but just in case your results aren’t quite as good as you expected, make sure you are free. The Clearing vacancy search opens on the UCAS website at 00:01 and you can begin finding the course that is right for you.
4. Get ahead of the game.
Have a look at some of the university courses with slightly lower conditional offers, so you can narrow your options down and get a step ahead of everyone else looking for a place through Clearing.
5. Don’t leave it too late.
The deadline for the Clearing vacancy search is 30th September and from that point you will only be able to contact universities directly to try to secure a place.
What you should do on results day:
6. Check Track.
Track is the system UCAS uses to update university offers. If you don’t quite get the grades you need, make sure you check your first choice and your insurance choice as they may still offer you a place based on the standard of other student’s grades around the country. Track becomes available at 09:00 on the 5th August and 08:00 on the 14th August.
7. Begin the Clearing search.
Use the UCAS website to sift through the many universities still able to offer places. Make a list of all the institutions you want to contact to discuss their courses. Prioritise them to help make your decision a little easier.
8. Contact the universities.
Telephone around to find out about the courses that most appeal to you. As a rule, ensure it is you that makes the phone call rather than a member of your family. It helps to show your keen interest in the university and creates a better first impression, allowing you to discuss the finer details of the course with your prospective tutors.
9. Go the extra mile.
Many of the best universities don’t like to advertise that they are lacking students, so don’t rule them out through pure laziness. If there is a university that isn’t on the Clearing list that you really like the sound of, then research for yourself. Check their website, email or call them up and see if there are any vacancies.
10. Think through your decision.
With the stress of finding a university place it is easy to make snap decisions. You will be desperate to secure a place and fearful of more places being taken up by frantic students dotted around the country. Remember that most universities offer a late open day, where you can visit the campus and make sure it is right for you before you make a firm decision. It is in the interest of all parties involved to ensure that you find the university where you will be most happy.
Congratulations and good luck!