25th July 13
It’s August 15th and A Level results are out, but there’s a small problem: you haven’t done as well as you thought you would, and you’ve not got the grades you needed to go your chosen university. Don’t worry; it’s important not to panic. It’s not as bad as it first seems. There are plenty of options left open to you, and you might find just the right course for you through A Level Clearing.
Clearing is essentially a way for universities to fill up any remaining spaces on their degree courses. If you missed out on your first choice university course, you might find your way onto another course at another university through Clearing.
A Level Clearing runs from July until September every year, and UCAS Track will tell you if you are eligible.
If you never got any offers, or didn’t get any that you wanted to accept, then you can start preparing for Clearing now.
If your A Levels exam result weren’t quite up to scratch and you didn’t get the grades required for your chosen university, then yes, Clearing is definitely for you. You might have to choose another course, and maybe another university, but if you are flexible all that hard work and revision will not go to waste.
• It never hurts to be prepared. If you are worried that you haven’t done well enough, then now is the time to do a little research into alternate universities and courses. A Level results day can be very tense at the best of times, and if you don’t do as well as you had hoped, it’s going to be even more stressful. But if you’ve done your homework ahead of time, it’ll be a lot easier and you will have the jump on many other students who are in the same boat as you.
• The morning of results day, buy The Daily Telegraph. They list all the official clearing vacancies available that year. It won’t be 100% accurate, and you should check with UCAS as well, but it will give you a great starting point of where to look.
• Make sure you have all your details to hand, you are going to need them. Keep an ordered list of your UCAS Track Login Details, university phone numbers, your Clearing number, your Results and your own contact details. Having a pad of paper with you will help as you will have a large number of names, contact and course details to write down.
• Speak to the universities yourself. Don’t let your parents or anyone else call on your behalf. They will be a lot more impressed if you do it.
• Make sure you have a fully charged phone, and if you think you’re going to have to go through Clearing, bring a phone charger with you, as you might be on the phone for most of the day.
• Call your first choice university. It is not unheard of for students who didn’t get the grades they needed to be accepted onto their original choice of course.
• You can speak to as many universities as you like. You may receive verbal offers from them. Get written confirmation via letter or email. Not only will this make you feel better and assuage any doubts, but it will avoid any possible confusion later on.
• Do not be afraid to get advice from people. Speak to your teachers or people at the universities. Listen to what they have to say and think carefully about it. This is your future we’re talking about.
Once a university has made you an offer, you usually have between 12 and 48 hours to make a final decision.
Once you’ve decided on a course, you need to enter your Clearing choice in Track.
• Click on Add Clearing Choice and enter your details. Once you’ve done this, you have formally accepted the offer.
• The university should then accept the offer and it will show as an acceptance on Track.
• You will be sent a confirmation letter.
• You can only add one Clearing Choice at a time. If the university doesn’t confirm your place, you will be able to add another choice.
Think hard about your choice. Don’t just accept any old offer because you think you have to. Plenty of people find themselves without a university place after Clearing. Again, this is not the end of the world. There are still lots of options left open to you. You could take a gap year, go travelling or get some work experience and apply again next year. You might also like to look at alternatives to higher education if you think it’s not for you.
You might also like to think about resitting one or two of your A Levels and bumping up your grades to get onto your chosen university course. And if you are, then DLD College London has got the course for you. A number of our students are enrolled on our One Year A Level Programme. It is perfect for students wishing to improve their grades, or wish to take up and complete a new subject within a single school year.