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Clearing Advice 2013

Prepare for your exam results

Last year 12% of those who secured places at university did so through clearing. The bad news for this year’s A-level students is that there is supposed to be a grade deflation this summer meaning that the number of students who don’t get the UCAS points they need for their chosen course is likely to be higher than ever before. The good news is that more universities will be offering more courses than ever before in the clearing process so you should still be able to find a course that meets your requirements this year. However, demand for places on courses in clearing will, as always, exceed supply and the most attractive opportunities will be snapped up quickly.

Those who spend time preparing just in case they end up going through clearing are more likely to secure a place on a course of their choice. With a university education costing an average of almost £45,000 it is worth investing some time in preparing, so here are our top tips on how to approach it.

The week before

  • Make sure all your information is in order – UCAS information, courses and Uni’s
  • Decide what courses interest you, still a little unsure? Check our course search here.
  • Decide which universities appeal to you, you can see them all by clicking here.
  • Make a long list and select courses that you will realistically get the UCAS points to get onto
  • If there isn’t a good selection, decide whether you want to go through clearing, reapply next year having tried to improve your grades or go straight into work
  • Discuss your thoughts with your family
  • Research your long list. Check: graduate salaries, graduate employment rates, tuition fees, costs of living at the university, Facebook and twitter comments but students, comments on University Compare etc
  • Prioritise your long list  – this all takes time but is a £45,000 decision!
  • Write a strategy for how you are going to approach clearing day itself
  • Familiarise yourself with how TRACK works so that when you log in on the 15th you know what your options are depending on whether the offer is ‘Unconditional’ or ‘Conditional’ and don’t forget to read up and register for the Adjustment Process (in case things went really well), and you never know you might want to try and upgrade to a different course.

The night before

  • Re-familiarise yourself with your research and your strategy
  • Don’t go out the night before the results – you will kick yourself for years to come if you go out and find yourself making a decision with a hangover. Remember it’s a £45,000 decision and will decided the next three years of your life.
  • Make sure your laptop and mobile are fully charged and that you have internet access. Have all the paperwork (your offers, your UCAS number, your personal statement, useful phone numbers etc.) and a pen and paper neatly organised and ready to go.
  • Set your alarm
  • Relax

Last but not least, Good luck & enjoy university! We know you will!