Top tips on Clearing for Derbyshire students

It’s A Level results day on Thursday with thousands of students across Derbyshire set to learn whether they’ve achieved the grades they need to get into their chosen university.

Tuesday, 11th August 2015, 4:02 pm

If you’ve not got the results you’ve hoped for, it can be a disappointing and very stressful time but experts from the University of Derby Buxton will be on hand to help and give advice on the Clearing process, which matches university places with students.

Russell Roberts, head of academic services at the university, said: “Don’t wait and don’t worry. Clearing can be stressful but universities will do their best to put you at ease.

“They will want to talk to you though, not to your relatives - not because they want to quiz you but because they want to understand you and make sure you understand what they are saying.

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“And finally, make sure you have everything to hand.”

And we want to see your A Level results selfies. Tweet us using the hashtag #derbyslive and we’ll feature the best on our new 24/7 rolling news feed, Your Derbyshire Live.

The top ten tips on clearing are:

1. Don’t worry

You may be considering clearing because you didn’t quite get the grades you needed for your first choice university but don’t worry. If you’ve only just missed the right grades you need, contact the university which made you the offer and check if it will still accept you. If it won’t then there will still be options available for you to go through clearing. If you are holding an insurance place with the University of Derby and have a question about that, ring the Admissions team on: 01332 591167.

2. Get advice

Don’t hesitate to seek advice. Teachers and careers advisers are often the best people to give advice on making decisions as they’ll have experienced clearing with previous students. Don’t rush into a decision and do your research – you need to make sure the course and university are right for you.

3. Be prepared

Before you pick up the phone check the university’s website to see whether you meet or are close to the minimum entry requirements for the course you’re interested in. It’s best to have a clear idea of the subject area or course you’re interested in and have your exam results in front of you when you call the university. If you’ve applied through UCAS you should also have your UCAS applicant number to hand.

4. Phone the universities yourself

This can be one of the first steps to independence so make sure you take that step and make the call yourself. The admissions tutors for a particular course will want to talk to you to see whether you have a real interest in studying their subject. Prepare your own list of questions to ask about the course to demonstrate your enthusiasm but also to make sure it’s right for you.

5. Be clear

When phoning a university you will initially be asked a few basic questions. Listen carefully and answer them clearly.

6. If you can’t get through to a university, keep trying

Remember there are a lot of people in your position so clearing lines are likely to be busy. Don’t give up if you can’t get through when you call, keep trying.

7. Approach as many universities as you want to during the clearing period

Keep an open mind by looking at different courses and universities which you may not have considered before.

8. Consider your options

You don’t have to accept the first offer you’re given. Most degree courses are three years long, or more, so you need to be sure about the university and course you’re considering. Get a feel for the university and its student life by taking a look at its website and social media. If at all possible, visit through an open day.

9. Make sure you’re available

You may be asked to attend an interview or have the option to attend an open day so make sure you’re available during the clearing period to go along.

10. You’re not alone

Entering clearing doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Some people are there because they have a last minute change of heart on the kind of degree they want to do, some because they do considerably better than they expected and want to ‘trade up’. A lot of people go into clearing with high grades.