Dos and Don’ts of Clearing
With A level results day coming up, many of us will be called upon to provide support to our students on what will no doubt be a nerve wracking and emotional day. So what are the key dos and don’ts of Clearing advice for students that we should also be aware of, in order to best support them?
Do be clear on eligibility. Clearing is automatically available only for those who hold no offers. This could be due to declining offers made, not reaching grade requirements, or making a late application (after 30th June). UCAS Track will automatically give you a Clearing number if you fall into this category.
Do use the time wisely between now and results day. Have a Plan B in place – research other universities or courses that you may be interested in so that you are in a good position to act swiftly when clearing choices become available.
Do still speak to your Firm or Conditional choices even if you don’t make the grades. Things change. Be prepared to sell yourself and your skills to convince them that you are still worthy of a place of study.
Do remember that thousands of people every year get great results from the Clearing process. Last year a whopping 57,000 students were successful this way so try not to be down heartened. Clearing can be the start of great things!
Don’t book your holidays for around this time. UCAS success depends to an extent on on-the-day organisation. A few days after Clearing opens, options will be much more limited as many of the choices will already have been taken.
Don’t get your parents to call universities on your behalf. It may be a difficult phone call to make but the universities will expect a level of maturity and will not be impressed by parents phoning on behalf of their nervous offspring.
Don’t add a Clearing choice on UCAS Track until you have spoken to the university and, preferably, received a verbal offer from them. Failing to do this can slow down the process dramatically and as you can only add one Clearing choice at a time, this can prove problematic.
Don’t forget that, whilst you can only make one choice at a time, you can speak to as many universities as you want about their courses. Ask important questions about the course and about, for example, accommodation availability, in order to make informed choices.
Don’t feel the pressure to accept anything rather than nothing. It can be hard when friends around are off to the universities of their choice but a gap year, or an entire change of plan, will be better than accepting the wrong course choice.
For more detailed information on Clearing the UCAS website provides great information, including a useful video ‘How-To Guide’. The Telegraph is UCAS’s official partner for Clearing this year so they also offer a great range of support tools and advice.