If you are waiting to receive your exam results and think you might need to go down the Clearing track, there is a fair amount of preparation you can do beforehand.For instance, why not go through your personal statement and think about what made you apply to university in the first place. Motivation is important here and when you speak to universities, you need to have in mind the reasons why you picked this specific course and what you want to get out of it, not least because universities considering you for a Clearing place may want to ask you about your reasons for choosing a particular course. So do ensure you are prepared to answer those sorts of questions.You should also look through the universities that offer the course you are interested in to see what is available. Make sure you look carefully as what might appear to be the same course may actually vary substantially between different universities. Look at the course requirements and see if you are likely to be able to match what they need for grades come A-levels results day.It may also be important to be open-minded and see if there are any other courses that you could apply for that are still within your career/goal plans. Be as flexible as possible. You will be studying this course for at least 3 years so make sure you pick something that will inspire and motivate you.You can also speak to universities before Clearing opens so why not start now. Have a list of the questions you need to ask and make sure you get all the information you need to make an informed decision.
You will know if you are in Clearing as the Ucas Track status will say ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’. If the Track status doesn’t say either of these yet, it may just be waiting for the results to update.If it turns out you are in Clearing, you should always consider getting in touch with your original university or college, because even though you may have missed your grades it may be that they are still willing to consider you even if your results are lower than required.If you do need to go through Clearing, then you will need to identify which universities and which courses you want to apply for. Once you have drawn up a list, you will need to call up the universities and speak to them. You may find that you end up having a mini-interview over the phone, so do be prepared. The universities will want to hear about you and why they should offer you a place so keep calm and answer the questions as best as you can.Once you receive an offer over the phone, get a written confirmation via email. Remember, you can speak to as many universities as you want, but you can only add one choice to Track so make sure you make the right decision.Ucas only allows your choice to be added to Track after 5pm on results day so you have the whole day to speak to universities and make a decision. Once you have made your choice and it has been accepted, you will receive an email to confirm your place, UCAS Track will show “Clearing Accepted” and an AS12 letter will be sent to you in the post.It is important for students remember that this whole process requires you to stay calm and collected. Whatever decision you make should be made by you and you alone and it is important that you pick something that is right for you. Remember that thousands of students have been through Clearing before and ended up having a fantastic, rewarding and inspiring time at university. Good luck!