University Tips Blog
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A headshot image of the author, Donna Beardmore

by Donna Beardmore

Marketing Campaigns Manager at the University of Sunderland

posted on 23 Jan '24

Exams done. Tips for preparing for results day and Clearing

There’s no getting away from it, applying to university is complicated. As a prospective student, it can be stressful and overwhelming, particularly on results day and if that is followed by entering Clearing. Results day is a key date for applicants to university and your nerves are likely to be riding high. Here are some practical ideas to help the day go smoothly.

Knowledge is power

If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology and timescales of Clearing, there’s lots of very useful and clearly explained information on the UCAS website. Many applicants secure a place through Clearing and there is lots of help available along the way. I would recommend exploring this in advance.

Make sure to research your options

If you achieve the grades you need, you are unlikely to need Clearing and your university will likely confirm your place early on A-Level results day. When you log into UCAS Track this will show if you have been accepted onto your firm or insurance university choice. However, if you don’t get the grades needed to meet the conditions of an offer, you still have options and can participate in Clearing.

Even if you are confident you will achieve the grades you need, it is worth researching other universities with slightly lower entry criteria just in case. All universities will have their courses, accommodation and scholarships detailed on their websites. You are likely to have already looked at other universities before you made your first application, but it is always worth having another look in case any new courses or incentives are available.

What happens if you don’t quite get the grades you are expecting?

First of all, it is always worth checking with your first-choice or insurance offer university, even if you haven’t achieved the required grades. The university may still be able to make you an unconditional offer. If they can’t, there are always other options. This is what Clearing is all about.

Try to keep calm and focused. You now have some decisions to make, so a cool and rational frame of mind is essential. You should start looking at those fallback options you have researched. Many universities will also have courses specifically designed for those with lower or non-standard entry requirements and you may also be able to consider a Foundation year. Have key information close to hand, such as your UCAS number, qualifications and grades, institutions will ask for these.

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