A-Level results day is just around the corner, and this means a stressful time for some and a celebratory time for others. On top of this, a number of students will also be embarking on the Clearing process. Here, we take a look at what clearing is and what it means for you.
What is clearing?
The Clearing process is often portrayed in a negative way and seen as a process for people who did not reach the entry requirements. For many, however, it’s a chance to reconsider options and rethink the direction they want to head in. The process is now seen more as a chance to broaden university options once results have been received. More than 73,000 people were accepted into a university through Clearing in 2019.
Over the years, the way prospective students are perceiving Clearing has changed, with more students being happy to apply through Clearing and a higher acceptance of Clearing as an entry route to where prospective students want to go.
The focus of understanding Clearing from both prospective students and their teachers is significant into changing the perception of Clearing. Students need to understand what they need to go through Clearing, what to say when calling university hotlines, and how they can get support throughout the whole application process.
Why you should consider Clearing?
You should consider Clearing if you missed out on the grades needed, if you are having a change of heart about your course or university, or if you have done better than expected. All these reasons give you the chance to go through the Clearing process.
More students are realising they are not restricted to their firm and insurance choices, and if you have changed your mind about the course or the university you have picked, then Clearing can provide you with the opportunity to secure the university experience you want.
Current students tell you all about their Clearing experiences
After not quite meeting the requirements for his course, student Kieran Wood came through Clearing to study Computer Science at Northumbria University in Newcastle.
Discussing his Clearing experience, he said: “I found the Clearing process really positive and simple. All I had to do was call the hotline and I was accepted on to my course. The member of staff I spoke to was incredibly supportive and friendly throughout the entire process.”
Reflecting on his Clearing experience, Kieran said: “My advice to future students considering going through Clearing would be to just do it! Clearing isn’t a bad thing. It’s much simpler and less complicated than people may think. I love my course and I’m so happy Clearing gave me the opportunity to pursue the industry I’m interested in”.
For results day, you need to be prepared for all outcomes. If you do need to enter Clearing for whatever reason, it can get a bit chaotic, so it is best to get everything sorted before then.
If you don’t get the grades you need, have a back-up plan. Research other courses and universities and have something to fall back on if this unfortunately happens.
Find out which courses you can get onto through Clearing if you don’t make your firm and insurance choices. Put together all the numbers you may need to call, and the conditions needed to get onto the course.
Make sure you have all the information you need around the course, the university, the city, and more. Look into things like accommodation, what opportunities your course offers, and what there is to do in the city.
Doing all this will allow you to make an informed decision if you don’t meet the entry requirements for your firm and insurance choices on 13th August 2020.
Ensure you have to hand whatever documents you need when calling university hotlines. The things you will need will be:
This will make it a lot easier and less stressful when going through the Clearing process. It wouldn’t harm to print off your personal statement again and have that handy in case you get asked any questions by the hotline operator.
When making calls to Clearing hotlines, you will need to know exactly what to say. First off, you will need to outline your issue. Are you changing courses because you did better than expected? Did you not meet your entry requirements? After that, have your details ready to tell the operator so they can understand your situation and find you on their system. The operator will guide you through the process and ask for everything they need, but it is best to have everything ready to go to avoid unnecessary stress.
What if I did better than expected?
If you did better than expected, you can ‘trade up’ your course to a different one or a different university. This is for courses that you might not have put as your firm or insurance choice due to the entry requirements being higher than you thought you’d achieve.
I’ve got my place, what now?
If you secured your place through Clearing or you achieved your required grades for your choices, then the next step is to secure your accommodation. All universities will look to house first year students in university halls, so research into each hall and have a first, second, and third choice of where you’d like to live.