I thought it was about time that I shared some tips on what do in preparation for results day in August for those of you who are wishing to attend university either this year or in the next couple of years. Now you’re probably thinking why am I telling you this so early, but I wish I had had someone offer me some tips well in advanced before the big day.
To say that I was unprepared is an understatement to say the least. I was a mess! I had received a call from my Head of Sixth Form to tell me to “prepare for the worst” because I had apparently not got into any of my choices for university. I obviously took his word as gospel and was convinced that that was it, I had not got into university.
I had received this call on the last day of my holiday in Monaco and was devastated. What made it worse was that I was told (at the last minute) that I needed to research other universities and their courses as well as prepare myself to getting up early and at the phone ready for Clearing. I was stuck at the airport due to my flight being delayed, with nothing on me to research with. I was frustrated, anxious and confused as to what to do next. The entirety of the journey home was horrendous and I was convinced I’d not got into university.
I had around three hours sleep that night as we had got back so late and I had to be up at 5am in order to have any kind of headway in Clearing.
When it was time to look at my UCAS application nothing appeared straight away. It wasn’t until I looked at a text that came through on my phone from Kingston University saying that I had been accepted. I was in utter shock as I had completely convinced myself it was off the cards. I hadn’t got the exact grades I needed to get in, however due to the quality of my personal statement and previous work experiences I was given a place.
So if you get ‘the call’ the day before your grades are released, try not to dwell on the idea of not getting your chosen university. It didn’t just happen to me, it happened to many of my friends who didn’t make the grade, yet they still got their places too.
Now, had I not got in, I know it would have been an entirely different ball game altogether. This is where I think I was least clued up on and had I needed to go through Clearing, I would have been far from prepared.
Below are a list of things I hope will help people in their preparations for Clearing. I recommend that even if you think you’ve got the grades that you still formulate a plan for the worst, because anything can happen.
- Make a document and create a table including: the universities, the course you would do there and any contact information. Write as many down as possible as the spaces fill up extremely quickly during Clearing so it’s important you have choices.
- Don’t go on holiday! I made this stupid mistake and it did not do me any favours. Free the entire 48 hours up to just this process.
- Don’t use your phone for web browsing on results day – It’s fiddly and won’t be helpful when you need to call up a university and speak about the course.
- Keep lots of paper and pens around you – Chances are you will writing down vital information.
- Wake up early – If you haven’t got the grades and you’re still fast asleep in bed, then potential places will be slipping through your fingers. Give yourself plenty of time to get organised.
- You don’t have to collect your grades from your college straight away. Look on UCAS first to see whether you have got into your university or not. If you haven’t got in, start the Clearing process. If you have got your university place then you can collect your grades straight away.
- If you have exceeded your target grades then you have the ability to choose a course with higher grade entries and requirements. This process is called Adjustment. I would only recommend you do this if you are not happy with your first choice.
I have found some further useful websites which offer more information about Clearing: