If your results aren’t what you expected on results day, you’ll usually go through either Clearing or Adjustment. This can be a stressful time – but don’t worry, a little bit of research will go a long way. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever happens come results day.
If you’ve not got the results you need to get into university, don’t panic. You won’t be alone. According to UCAS, over a tenth of all university acceptances were found through Clearing in 2017, so you’ll have lots of company.
On results day, remember to check on UCAS Track even if your results aren’t what you needed for your offers, as some universities will still accept lower grades. It’s also worth contacting the universities to be sure, as things can change.
If you definitely haven’t met the conditions for your offer, you’ll need to enter Clearing. If your grades are higher than expected, think about entering Adjustment, which is a system that may allow you to “trade up” to a university with higher entry grades.
Prepare for Clearing
It’s important to be ready for Clearing, especially if you’re worried about not getting the grades you need. The best way to prepare is to make sure you have a plan before results day.
To do this, think about which other universities you might like to study at. This could include universities that you considered when you were applying, or other universities with completely different entry requirements. You’ll usually want to focus on universities that offer the same or similar courses to the ones you’ve already applied for, although you can explore related courses.
Using Centigrade, it’s really easy to carry out this kind of research. You can display all the universities which offer specific courses, and filter by the entry grades that they require. You can also shortlist the courses which you’d like to consider, and keep this list handy for results day.
Remember that you’re still making a decision about the next 3 or more years of your life. It’s important to be confident that you’re choosing a course that you’ll enjoy at a university that’s right for you. Don’t include dozens of universities and different courses on your shortlist if they’re not suited to you.
It’s a good idea to rank the universities on criteria which are important to you. In Centigrade, you can assign each course and uni a star rating based on a number of different criteria. You can also add your own specific options for other things that you think are important. Using this system, you’ll end up with a ranked shortlist that can form the basis of your Clearing contact list.
It’s also important to make sure you’ve got all the important documents handy for results day. Most of Clearing occurs over the phone, so you’ll need to be prepared to ring round a number of universities. Most offer dedicated Clearing lines that are set up to handle these calls.
On the day
The important thing to bear in mind on Clearing day is to stay calm. It’s a stressful time, but if you work methodically through the list that you’ve prepared earlier, you’ll know you won’t be wasting your time with courses that aren’t right for you.
You can find a list of all the courses that are available through Clearing on UCAS. Check through this list and cross-reference it against the courses and universities that you’ve already shortlisted. This gives you a list of universities you can contact.
The important thing to bear in mind on Clearing day is to stay calm.
When you’re ringing universities, bear in mind that every university will ask different questions. Some might simply ask for your grades, while other universities will ask further questions about why you’re interested in that course, much like an interview. You’ll need to be ready to answer these questions.
Once you’ve been verbally offered a place that you’re happy with, you can confirm it on UCAS Track. Bear in mind that you can verbally accept a number of different offers. Don’t rush into the first offer you receive, make sure you’re confident that it’s the right course for you.
Being prepared is the easiest way to make sure that you’re ready for Clearing. MyUniChoices can help you do this research into your Higher Education options. To get started, visit MyUniChoices.