Follow our five top tips to breeze through Clearing and get onto the right course for you.
Do your research
Start researching universities and courses before you get your results. Look at factors like the course content, the university's location, student satisfaction, work experience opportunities and accommodation policies for Clearing applicants. Make a note of the Clearing phone numbers and opening times so you’re ready to start making calls on results day.
Use the Clearing 2017 listings
You'll want to get a copy of the Clearing listings as early as possible and will need to constantly check the listings as they change rapidly throughout Clearing. These are the best places for viewing Clearing listings:
- The UCAS website - You can view all Clearing vacancies from when Clearing opens on 5 July 2017. From A-level results day onwards, UCAS updates the vacancies constantly, so keep your eyes on the website.
- University websites - From early August universities publish Clearing lists on their websites. If you have an idea which universities you want to apply to, be sure to check their websites regularly for courses you might be interested in. You can find university contact details on the ‘Clearing contacts directory 2017’ on The Student Room.
- The Telegraph - On results day morning, grab a copy of The Telegraph for a list of all the courses in Clearing, but bear in mind that the list will change throughout the day.
Be prepared for phoning universities
A call to a university is like a job interview - it's your chance to make a great impression by showing your suitability and enthusiasm for the course. Prepare yourself by following these steps:
- Call from a quiet and comfortable place where you have phone and internet access.
- Call yourself - don’t ask a parent, teacher or friend to call for you unless you absolutely must.
- Think about what useful questions you could ask to make yourself appear inquisitive and interested, such as what accommodation you’re entitled to, bursaries you could apply for, and open day dates.
- Have an idea of what to say to sell yourself. Re-read your personal statement to remind yourself of your qualities and experience and why you’re perfect for the course.
- Have all your details ready. You’ll need your UCAS Personal ID, details of your qualifications (including A-level, AS-level, GCSE and equivalent results), login details for UCAS Track, your notes on the course/university, prepared responses to possible questions and your pre-prepared questions.
- Have a notepad on hand to record notes from the conversation. You’ll want to record important information such as the person’s name, job title, deadlines and a summary of what you discussed.
- If you receive a verbal offer, ask for written confirmation via email and check how long the offer stands for.
If the first few universities you call reject you, stay positive and keep calling. If your first choice says no, give them another call later in the day as entry requirements can change during Clearing and you may get offered a place.
Enter your Clearing choice on UCAS Track within the specified time
Most universities will give you a window during which their offer is valid, usually 12-48 hours; make sure you enter your Clearing choice before this time is up. You should only enter a Clearing choice on Track if you have spoken to the university or college and they have offered you a provisional place. You can only enter one Clearing choice at a time, so only enter a course you’re sure you want to accept. However, you can talk to as many universities as you want before you decide on a course.
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