With results looming on the horizon, it is important to consider other options if you do not achieve the grades that you are expecting to get for the university of your choice. If you do some research regarding Clearing, it will give you a head start for the worst-case scenario.
Below is a top tip guide of what to do if you don't receive the results that you are after.
Consider all options
First of all, make sure you sit down with a relative or close friend and consider all options that are now available to you. Make sure you do not rush into any decision and be prepared to accept advice from those around you. Discuss with them your strengths and why you chose that particular course in the first place. In doing this, you will start to figure out a solid plan of what the next steps are and what is right for you.
Revise your course and university choice
With fees now at £9,000 per year, it is important you are sure that this is the university you wish to attend, and it's the course you want to complete. Essentially you will need to make sure you have fully researched the modules and dissertation options, making sure they are suited for you. Other issues to consider are how the course is assessed, is it mostly exam based or is it a split with coursework too? Would you like to study abroad for a year, or embark on a year in industry? Maybe consider a different course altogether? These are all important questions that you might not have considered when you first applied over a year ago.
Students are often pressured into applications and complete them without taking into consideration many of these. However, Clearing offers students a second chance to reconsider their options.
Online research is a great way to find out more about either your course or any university. The Complete University Guide is a great website that will provide you will an abundance of information about every university across the UK. Make sure you utilise their website fully and search through all their categories as it gives multiple perspectives. Cross referencing your research is always important to make sure you are being given a full account of any particular institution. Hence, look at other websites and university league tables online such as the National Student Survey.
If you already have been awarded your results and you can see online that the university still has places open then it is worth ringing up and trying to see if you can get in. In any case, ring up the university in order to discuss your options with an admissions tutor. Make sure you are prepared for the phone call and are aware of the kind of questions that you want to ask and go in knowing what you want to achieve.
Attend open days
Attending a clearing-specific university open day is really the best way to get a feel for it and know whether it is the right place for you. There will likely be several faculty members and current students around for you to talk to. Signing up in advance online will allow you to have structure your day and tour of the university. Make sure you fully explore the campus and all the facilities that are on offer.
However, most universities will also accommodate you if you wish to visit by yourself and not on an official open day. Just ensure that you have called up/emailed beforehand so that they are aware. If you visit make sure to get to grips with the town that you would be living in and ask yourself questions such as, how close are campus and town? What are the transport links like? Do you like the feel of the city; is it too large or too small? These are all important questions that will have a significant impact on your overall university experience. With regards to Clearing, make sure you ask how the university accommodates for last minute acceptance? Would those students still be able to live on campus?
If you are certain of the course, the university that you wish to apply for and you have your results, then act quickly. Check that they still have places online and then call them up immediately and talk to the admissions department. If they will accept your results and have available places then it is possible to enter the course details into UCAS Track. If you do not have your results as of yet then make a note of the university contact numbers so that they are there in front of you when you do receive your results; should you need to go through their Clearing. Make sure you have also downloaded the Telegraph's Clearing 2015 App (available on both iPhone and Android - or online at clearing.telegraph.co.uk). This will allow you constantly check if universities still have spaces or not from 6pm on August 12th. UCAS Track then goes live at 8am on August 13th. Good luck!