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How to Prepare for University Clearing

22 July 2022

So you’ve applied for university but aren’t sure you’ll get the results that you were hoping for?

Don’t worry, it happens to thousands of students every year!

What’s more, there is a solution in the form of Clearing, which has helped many students gain their place at university and go on to have successful careers.

 Here’s how you can best prepare for Clearing should the need arise…


Have a plan

Our advice is to treat the Clearing process as though it were a job application.

Do your research and be prepared for every eventuality.

Think about your interests, your goals and your best attributes.

When you do the interview, come prepared with answers to the questions ready. Show enthusiasm and try to keep a cool head.

To prepare for university Clearing, you should also ensure that you have all the ​important info and documents which you will need to make calls (e.g. UCAS number, Clearing number, A-level/GCSE grades), close at hand.


Research universities, colleges and courses

It goes without saying that you should apply for courses that interest you and that will serve you on your career path.

If you haven’t managed to get onto the course that you wanted originally, try to be flexible and look for similar courses that meet your needs.

Your teachers and guardians should be able to help you through the process. 

Remember that during Clearing university requirements often change. So even if you don’t get the grade at first, don’t despair – there’s still hope!


Make a shortlist

If you make a shortlist of preferred course options and universities, you’ll be prepared for action on results day.


Keep checking what courses are available

Courses are listed and updated regularly on the UCAS website from early July onwards.

Clearing closes in late October, but to prepare for university Clearing well, make sure you get onto the Clearing website regularly so you don’t miss any opportunities.

Double-check vacancies as things change swiftly during the process. If you see a vacancy, phone the university quickly and make sure you’re prepared for the call.


Revisit your personal statement

Before the call, make sure you revisit your UCAS personal statement and have it all straight in your head.

You need to be able to talk about your strengths, achievements and reasons for applying – all things that are mentioned in your personal statement.


Think of questions to ask universities

The university staff won’t be the only ones asking questions. You’ll also be expected to ask intelligent questions. To prepare for university Clearing make sure you prepare well.

The interviews are a chance for you to decide if the university is right for you too, and also a demonstration of your interest.

Here are examples of some appropriate questions to ask during the interview:

  • Do you have any open days, or opportunities to visit the university?
  • Do you help with work placements, internships or career support? 
  • Where could I find out about typical living costs? 
  • Could I apply for a bursary?


Prepare answers to common Clearing questions

If you have to go through Clearing, you will be asked a series of questions in the interview.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions to help you to prepare for university Clearing:

  • What qualifications do you have?
  • Why do you think you didn’t get the grades you were hoping for?
  • Why are you interested in this university?
  • Why are you keen on this particular course?
  • Why are you now applying for a different course? 
  • What are your plans if you don’t get an offer?

Follow your preferred unis on social media

If you need help deciding on your preferred universities, follow them on social media and student forums.

Doing so will give you an insight into what life is like there.


Sort your finances

You don’t need to wait until you have a confirmed offer before applying for a student loan or other student finance (if you need it). You can always cancel or amend the application if something changes.


Consider your alternatives

Remember that you don’t have to follow the crowd. If university doesn’t work out this year, there’s always next year.

You could take a gap year or go travelling, and add some extra strings to your bow on your CV.

You can always reapply to university next year.

Once you’ve gone through Clearing and you’ve got your place at uni sorted out, you can start looking for student accommodation and planning ahead for the adventure of your life!

Here at Novel we offer cool, modern accommodation as well as study spaces, recreational facilities and a friendly team that’s on hand 24/7 for every need. If that sounds good to you, get in touch today!

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