10 tips to securing your uni place through clearing
Don’t panic ….. It could be so much worse!
Just follow our guide and you’ll be well on your way to securing your uni place – remember where there’s a will there’s a way.
1. Download The Telegraph clearing app (or buy the newspaper)
The Telegraph clearing app is normally available a couple of weeks before the results come out, so if you have a smartphone or tablet, get it in advance (if not, order the paper to be delivered to your home – the listings obviously won’t update like the app, but at least you’ll see all of the clearing places available at the start of the day).
As soon as the clearing process starts the vacancies will be listed and updated every hour. Results can then be filtered by course, university or location to suit what you are looking for. Once you find a course just click on the number and you’ll go straight through to the universities clearing office.
2. Be prepared
Getting your results is probably the singularly most stressful thing you’ll do, especially if things don’t work out as planned. There is no way of knowing what courses will come up in clearing until it happens, but if you know what courses or uni’s you fancy then you can gather up all the information you need and be first on the phone if they are listed. Take a look at our list of accredited courses to stay one step ahead of the game
3. Find a quiet place to make your phone calls
Stay as calm as you possibly can and find a quiet pace to make your calls. It may only be the admin staff at the clearing office that you initially get through to but if they pass you over to the Head of Department or a course tutor, you need to be able to hear what their saying and give as good an impression of yourself as you can. If they ask you for a number to call back on, give them your mobile number. That way, you won’t miss them when they call back!
4. Have all the information you need to hand
Before you call make sure you have the following information available:
- Your UCAS Clearing number and log-in details;
- Your A-level, AS-level and GCSE results and possibly your module marks;
- Your UCAS personal statement – if it’s relevant to an RICS accredited course or your reason for a change of heart if you have changed from your original course choice;
- Any questions you want to ask; and
- A pen and paper to write down the name and details of anyone you have spoken. The chances are that you will forget who you were actually talking to and if you’re calling a few universities it’s very likely that you will muddle everyone up. Note names, job titles, dates and times, what was said and the deadline for accepting the offer. This will make it easier to make your decision and call them back if needs be.
5. Make the call yourself
Treat it like a job application; you wouldn’t ask your mum, dad or teacher to attend your interview for you, so don’t ask them to call clearing. When you get through try and get across how much you want to get on the course. This isn’t the time to beat yourself up for not doing well. Remember A’levels are just part of the process not the end, so give yourself a chance and stay positive.
6. Think up some constructive questions to ask
This is a big decision so make sure you have all of the facts. Clearing interviews are for tutors to see if you are right for their course and university and you to see if they are right for you (if you didn’t want to be out in the sticks or in a City a long way from home when you first applied then the chances are that they are probably still not for you now). Don’t ask questions that you could find answers to on their website, but equally if you have things worrying you, make sure you ask them. Check out whether you would have guaranteed accommodation and if necessary, whether you can still access bursaries as a clearing applicant. You might also want to ask if there is any opportunity for you to look around the university. Remember tutors are looking for keen and motivated students. Asking questions is a good thing.
7. Ask for email confirmation
If the university gives you an offer, they will probably ask for your email address to confirm it and tell you how long the offer is open for. If they don’t – ask, that way there is no room for misunderstanding.
8. Don’t give up and be flexible
Don’t panic if you initially get rejected … just make sure you keep trying – clearing can go on for weeks, in fact in the UCAS Clearing vacancy search often doesn’t close until the end of September. Remember that even if you already have an offer you can still carry on calling universities to get more offers. Once they’re in the bag you can then decide which one to accept. The situation is ever evolving and even if a university wasn’t interested in you initially, if it still has places a few days later it is worth giving them another go.
Finally, you are more likely to find a place if you’re flexible. Look at similar courses to the one you originally applied for. A lot of courses have similar content and you may be just as interested in building surveying or investment as you are in real estate and most courses are interchangeable in year one.
9. Add a Clearing Choice within the allotted time
You can only enter one Clearing choice on UCAS and only after 5pm on the day of your results. Only do so if you have been offered a place. You also need to note that most offers will only be valid for a certain length of time; if you enter your choice after this time then you risk being rejected.
If you are not totally sure then maybe you consider taking a gap year and then re-applying. It is better than signing up for thousands of pounds worth of debt for a course you are not sure about.
10. Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not yet the end
You will survive, it’s not about whether you screw up but whether you pick yourself up and sometimes what happens instead is better than what you had planned.