Top tips for clearing

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Greg Carter

It’s results day and you didn’t quite get the grades you needed for your chosen University. What now?! One option is to apply for a course through Clearing.

Clearing shouldn’t be scary, so here are a few tips to help you when speaking to the University’s clearing team:

1. First of all, before results are even out, have a look on a selection of universities’ websites to see what courses they are offering in Clearing. Note down the telephone numbers you will need to call if you do have to go through Clearing, and make sure you have them with you on results day. You can even consider other courses, you’re not limited to the one you originally applied for.

2. Ring the university yourself! Universities don’t want to talk to your parents, they will need to talk to you.

3. Make sure you are somewhere (a) with good reception and (b) quiet (the people on the other end of the phone don’t want to hear your classmates cheering or crying over their results in the background when you ring them).

4. Be prepared. You’ll need your UCAS ID, Clearing number, along with details of your qualifications, so make sure you have them with you before you start. (Head over to UCAS to find out more about your Clearing number and how to Track your clearing offers).

5. Stay calm! Just chill – the people on the phone are trying to help you.

6. Be honest about your results. The university will be able to access your UCAS application and check your results, so be truthful about what you have achieved. The University will be able to discuss your options without wasting any one’s time.

7. If you have just missed out on your grades, don’t assume you have lost the place.  Some universities will still offer you a place if you are one grade lower than the entry requirements. Log into your UCAS account to find out.

8. Don’t disregard other universities just because ‘your friends aren’t going there’.  University is all about meeting new people and experiencing new things, so don’t be disheartened if you’re not with your friends as you’ll make new ones.

9. Once your place is confirmed through Clearing (add your verbal offer from the University to your Clearing Track system on UCAS, but not beforehand), contact the University about accommodation options and any other questions you have.

10. Celebrate! Even though you may not have the results you expected, or be going to your first choice university, you will still have a great time wherever you go!

You can now even sign up to receive calls directly from universities and colleges on results day via ucas.com! Don’t forget to consider all of your options before accepting any offers.

Remember, The Apprentice’s own Alan Sugar, Virgin Group’s owner Richard Branson, and Deborah Meadon from Dragons’ Den didn’t complete any A level exams and they’ve done pretty well for themselves, so don’t feel disheartened if you are going through clearing. Just remember to stay calm and positive on results day and don’t worry if you have to go through Clearing as its not the end of the world!

Good luck!

For more information, results day tips, students’ stories and advice for parents have a look on the Loughborough University website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/clearing/top-tips/

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