It’s now coming up to that time of year again where exam results are looming and students everywhere are panicking about weather they’ve got into their firm choice or if they should be looking into what Clearing is all about.
As I’ve been there, done that and got through the tearful over-emotional phone calls, I thought it might be useful to share my experiences of Clearing, the dos and don’ts and what comes after it.
Two years ago when I was preparing to get my results, I knew that it was more likely that I wouldn’t get into my firm and insurance choices than getting into them. So I decided to try to be prepared for the worst for once in my life, and set about finding available Clearing spaces online.
I used the Guardian’s app, and the website at the time because it seemed the most up to date, and offered links directly to the universities. This year The Telegraph have a University Course Finder, which along with showing what clearing places are available shows statistics for each university and what they are best for e.g Campus, Students Union etc.
The most important thing is DO NOT PANIC. Clearing is not as scary or as complicated as it seems. Nor does it give you a different university experience to those who didn’t get in through Clearing.
As difficult as it can be, especially if you’re in an emotional state, preparation is really helpful when it comes to Clearing. By writing down your GCSE results, which they will ask you, along with your A Level results, it’s much easier to have these to hand rather than committing them to memory.
If you also know what makes the university you are calling up unique or what their facilities are like be sure to mention it, if you seem to know about the university and have done your research then you will leave a better impression on the person on the other end of the phone.
My second piece of advice is to try to make sure that you get through to someone in charge of the course, like the head lecturer or someone who will be able to help you for sure. You will have to make your way through different people to get to the ones in charge, but ultimately it will help your case, as they can tell you in depth about the requirements of the course and what it entails.
From personal experience, most of the lecturers I spoke to on the phone were very helpful, bar one which was very rude (Bournemouth University if anyone is thinking of contacting them!) When I called Staffs I struck lucky, in the fact that I got to speak to the person who had interviewed me previously; he remembered who I was and was very sympathetic and friendly, which differs depending on what university you contact.
Finally, try to keep calm and keep in mind what the best thing for you is. Talk to teachers, parents and other students to figure out which university is best suited to you. Think about location, the amount of students there will be, accommodation and (obviously) the course itself. If you can get in contact with current students, The Student Room is useful for this, then that will give you a good idea of what the university is like and they should be able to answer any burning questions that you have that you might not want to ask an official university representative!
Along with this blog I have done a video with Staffordshire University called ‘The Clearing Experts’. This is a video which includes the student (myself), an academic at Staffordshire, and a recruiter, Staffordshire’s Clearing Experts who are there to help all students, not just those who have applied to Staffs.
We are offering advice to anyone who wants to know more about Clearing or Staffordshire University. You can book a call back online or a tour, which will be made personal to you and we aim to help in any way we can!
One final thing is that just because the Clearing places come out a month or so before the actual results do doesn’t mean that you can figure out if you will definitely get on your course or vice versa. Universities don’t know precisely how many students will be on their courses, because they don’t know the results yet, and they can decide to offer more places at any point through the UCAS process, which means that more courses can be added to clearing later on.
Hopefully everyone will get the results they hope for, but if not don’t be afraid to get in contact. I’m more than happy to try to help!