• 2009 Clearing Experiences

TSR Wiki > University > Applying to University > Clearing > 2009 Clearing Experiences


Many people end up getting a place at university through Clearing and it can be a daunting and stressful time. Below TSR users share their experiences from Clearing in 2009 and top tips for Clearing which you may benefit from if you are going through the process this year. Good luck and please feel free to add in your own experiences.

Contents

The Clearing experience of Alexandra1234567

Username: Alexandra1234567

Age: 19

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing, of sorts.

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? I got ABB in my results and subsequently missed both my offers for English (St Andrews and Leicester), mainly because I got the A in Politics rather than English! Woops.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? In all honesty, pretty horrific. I was upset anyway and struggling to think about things clearly. Further to this there was very very very little there that I wanted, all either strange variations of courses related to English (ie English with Contemporary Dance) or that they were at universities where I wouldn't be happy to go to.

As the newspapers had warned, there was so very little going, especially so for my subject as it's so popular.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? I ended up opting out, withdrawing and reapplying. I don't know if that voids me from this exercise, but oh well!

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? I'm glad I didn't. I've resat exams and received far more offers this year by comparison to last, I guess it's a success story for giving things another go, and if it doesn't feel right, don't just grab onto the nearest thing.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? I did previous to results day, but for pathetic reasons I avoided TSR for a while afterwards as I couldn't bear talking to lots of people all celebrating their results.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? It sounds obvious but don't make any rash decisions. I used to think I'd rather go anywhere than take a gap year, but that's changed so much. I'm glad I thought twice about what I really wanted and how I wanted to get it, and I have a feeling I'd have regretted things if I had rushed into going to any university that would accept me.


Alexandra1234567

The Clearing experience of anotheregostar

Username anotheregostar

Age 19

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? I changed my mind about what I wanted to study, I originally applied for fine art, but ended up withdrawing from my choices and waiting for clearing so I could study something I wanted.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? A bit of a nightmare. I was lucky in the respect that I knew I was going through clearing, so I'd written down all the information I needed, and woke up early to get a copy of the paper before my results so I could look through and circle anything I wanted. I found it frustrating as someone who acheived three As to be looking at universities I never even considered. It was also hellish trying to get through to some unis, I was on hold for hours, I must have rung SOAS abou 90 times before I finally got through.( maybe a slight exaggoration, ha)

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? SOAS, chinese and Tibetan, which is something that really interested me, but going through clearing, there was NO accommodation left in London, I put myself down for every waiting list, but heard nothing. I ended up scouring London with a group of people in the same situation as me desperately trying to find somewhere to live that wasn't too far out, but most things were gone by the time we started searching.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? I dropped out before the end of freshers' week. I am so very happy I dropped out, as now I'm having the best gap year, I've never been happier, and I have a place for next year at the university of my dreams, for a course I love. I think I was too wrapped up in the idea of going to uni straight after school, but a gap year has turned out to be the best thing that happened to me!

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? I didn't have an account at the time.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Try and get organised before hand to save some of the strees, and think about whether you really want to be scraping the barrel to get into university, a gap year isn't the end of the world, and with the grades in hand, it seems easier to apply to uni.


anotheregostar


The Clearing experience of AwesomelyPsycho

Username AwesomelyPsycho

Age 19

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing...ish

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? I ended up doing a lot worse in my exams than I was predicted. Although I got into my insurance, I decided against going as I knew I'd be much happier at my firm choice.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? I went through it a little different to everyone else. Instead of knowing I was in clearing, I was left unsure. My Track page didn't really tell me anything. I wasn't told that I'd got an offer, although on the other hand I hadn't been told that I didn't have an offer. In the end I called up my firm choice and spoke with a really nice women on the phone. I was told that the University were waiting on my call, and although I didn't get into the course I wanted they'd been instructed to offer me anything else available. So instead of doing the clearing myself, I was told over the phone which course would be suitable for me after being asked what my interests were, and what I intended to do after University. I accepted a different course and that was it. I was a student. It was much less of a big deal than it was made out to be.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? B.A(Hons.) Education Studies. To be honest, I hadn't really thought about it before hand. I wanted to do Law, however I've never really been too good exams. I realised that course was unrealistic as it contains years of exams. I'd always been good with children, which I mentioned to the woman I'd spoken to on the phone, and she instantly recommended this course. It provides all the basics of what I would need to become a teacher... so it all worked out in the end.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? Things are great at the moment. I'm loving University and am so happy I decided to stick with my firm university, and go into clearing with them. I've made some really great course friends that I know are the long-lasting kind, and my University experience so far has been great! The course I was recommended has been perfect for me.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? I did check TSR, but only after things had been sorted out. Beforehand was too much of a rush, trying to call the Universities and go through courses.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Stay calm. It's the most important thing to do. Don't call up the Universities until you have your results in hand, even if Track shows you've been unsuccessful and are in clearing... you'll need to know exactley what you got. Once you have got your results, don't panic. You need to be able to call up asap. Clearing places go quickly, so you need to call straight away. Although, don't panic if you don't get your results until mid-morning... clearing places will still be there. Just stay calm, and possibly check the guardian for the clearing courses and the Universities... that way you'll know exactley who to call and what to say, and you'll also have in mind a few other courses that you may like.


AwesomelyPsycho

The Clearing experience of baby_emmy

Username baby_emmy

Age 22

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Didn't have the grades (i only had a firm)

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? Stressful but straight forward! I already knew i didn't have a place (like to point out this was many years ago and UCAS had updated just past 12pm which i know doesn't happen now), so was a case of preparing myself before i went and got my results. When calling up the University i had a little bit of 'call this person instead', but in the end they were very helpful in finding a course for me and discussing my options. Actually the most stress came after was when UCAS messed up my application!

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? Ended up having to do Science and Engineering Foundation Year, which providing i'm rubbish at science/maths and not touched them since yr11 when even then i did intermediate or foundation level - i was not looking forward to it! However i was glad to be getting to University and knew i should be thankful for the opportunity.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? Extremely! After passing the foundation year i went onto the course i thought i wanted to do, then after a year of that i changed onto a new course which i am graduating from in 2 weeks.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? This was back in '04 so don't think there was many resources, i just read lots of threads and noted down things that were useful to me.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Try not to get to disheartened :) I was 'lucky' in the sense that i knew i wouldn't get the grades (only got the offer from my PS) and with UCAS updating early i had plenty of time to prepare myself mentally before calling. If you honestly think you won't get the grades then look around at what courses the University has in clearing (usually they are put up before the results day) which you would honestly enjoy doing, then look at other Universities. Before calling, make sure you have all details to hand (grades/points/student numbers etc) and note some points as sometimes Universities may ask you questions (i.e. 'why do you want to do this course?), if you have everything ready in-front of you, it will make things a lot easier and a bit less stressful as you won't have to look around for information.


baby_emmy

The Clearing experience of benjyUK

Username Benjy UK

Age 19

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Not correct grades for firm, insurance course full

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? Ridiculously stressful before I started, but very easy to actually do.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? Psychology, the course I wanted!

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? I'm neither glad nor not glad that I went to Kent instead of Exeter, but certainly that I went to Kent instead of UEA! Kent's a fantastic university

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? I used the university forums to judge where I should apply, and they helped me narrow my selection.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Take it calm, but also make sure you ring quick! Clearing spaces are very limited and you need to move before others do.


benjyUK

The Clearing experience of DiamondsAreForever

Username DiamondsAreForever

Age 19

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Because I missed both my firm and insurance. I expected to, since I had mitigating circumstances, but it was still a shock to see that 2 years of work had seemingly gone down the drain at that point.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? It was all a bit of a whirlwind to be honest. It was a rush home from school, as I knew places would be going really quickly. All the courses were really random, and lots of Uni's had no clearing places.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? I ended up at Liverpool John Moores University for Law. I as happy it was Liverpool because my insurance was Liverpool Uni, and I love Liverpool, but wary that about LJMU, as there is so much hype on here that anything less than redbrick uni's are a no no. I originally wanted to do Law, but when I was applying I changed my mind and applied for international business/management. So when I saw out of the limited choice, law, and Liverpool on the same line I jumped for it.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? I am, it was the most nerve wrecking time of my life, I have never typed, clicked, and dialled so fast in my life. When they finally said I was accepted onto the course, a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Uni has been hard for me, as I am still dealing with problems which affected my A level results, and I'm trying to live with myself for failing so badly, but living away from home has given me new confidence and whatnot.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they?Yeah, theres a mod with lots of information somewhere... it was good to clarify a few points and queries since I knew I would be going through it.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease do not panic. Sit down , give yourself 2 minutes to just regulate your breathing and whatnot so you can get over all the shock and rush. Then just systematically go through the list... expect that everything will be random. You will find the right one for you And don't be scared to pick up the phone, or think you will ring it later, ring it asap, as stuff goes fasttttttttttttttttttttttt!


DiamondsAreForever

The Clearing experience of Gez1990

Username Gez1990

Age 20

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Because I only decided that I wanted to try for university in June, so the normal procedure was close to ending.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? Straight-forward - if not a little depressing

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? I didn't get on to the course I wanted in the end, so decided to take another gap year. It worked out for the best really, because it gave me a year to find out if this really was the course I wanted to apply for instead of rushing into it and possibly regretting it later.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment?In hindsight it was probably a waste of my time - especially because I was naive enough to think I could get it sorted out while in another country.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? Nah, I didn't

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? When people advise that you shouldn't take a holiday during the clearing period - for the love of god heed their words. You need to keep yourself as available as possible on the off chance you need to visit the university and in case you need to send off proof of grades or any other details. Also, it can never hurt to call the uni with sensible questions - just to make a good impression and show that you're as committed to getting on the course as you will be when you get there


Gez1990

The Clearing experience of Hibear

Username Hibear

Age 19

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? I'd been rejected from all my UCAS choices and had second thoughts about doing a gap year so I decided to apply.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? Simple to understand, but the people at the university was confused of the procedure. Apparently it was the first time they did it electronically (or something)

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? Chemical Engineering. I had no real thoughts about it before, wasn't even sure if I was eligible for the degree.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? Yes, definitely.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? No I got my grades before A level results (IB) so I got my clearing spot before they were available.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? I think it's a great opportunity to get a second chance with UCAS. It's quite simple and you go straight through to the uni, and some don't even require a personal statement (!!!!) But think through the decision. Though don't hesitate too much, you can (iirc) 'drop out' any time you want.


Hibear

The Clearing experience of Liliahh

Username Liliahh

Age 18

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? didnt get the grades

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? via ucas

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? Computer Science Another great course other than my original one -Economics

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? Not as passionate about the new course, but I'm absolutely glad I got this opportunity via clearing, and it's a great uni

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? Nope

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Anything is possible, so don't give up~ also, try to call the clearing unis asap, because places are giving out super fast!


Liliahh

The Clearing experience of [anon]

Username Anon

Age 21

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Went to the Royal Vet College and absolutely hated it so searched around for a course that I could get onto that year as I panicked and didn't want to take a year out

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? In all honesty I found it much much more relaxing and clear than the actual UCAS procedure despite having no help at all with it. Everything is clear on the websites and if you are patient and don't panic then you will more than likely find a course to suit you in a place that suits you. When you phone up the universities they are incredibly helpful as well. The admissions tutors cannot do enough for you and if possible (for me anyway) tried to get the head of the department to phone you back.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? I had my reservations as the university is 'ranked' lower than my A-Level grades but after going there I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere is pretty good, the location is good and as the Law department is recieving truly huge sums of investment they cannot do enough to help.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? I am glad I went through it as it was much better for me than the course I started on. I could understand why it would stress some people out though. They just need to remember to relax, there is no better advice I could give for anyone attempting to go through Clearing.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? Nope

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Relax and be patient. Like Guiness, good things come to those who wait! Also, be polite but assertive when you phone the universities. Know what course you want and why you want that course as a lot of the universities will do a mini phone 'interview' to see if you actually want to be on the course or if it is a last minute panic choice.

[Anon]

The Clearing experience of Munkie

Username Munkie

Age 22

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? I was unsuccessful at all 4 of my choices. Late in August I got a call from Warwick saying some places had opened up, but I would have to make a decision either way in 24 hours and there was no opportunity to defer.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? Much easier than it had been in previous years - no clearing passports etc. Received an unconditional offer on Track, accepted it by calling UCAS and sent off degree certificate to Warwick.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? Grad-entry Medicine. I was really apprehensive at having to leave home because I had counted on taking a year out, and all of a sudden I had to pack bags and make new plans!

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? Very.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? No, I had no idea Medicine places could appear in Clearing.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? DON'T PANIC!


Munkie

The Clearing experience of Paperclip

Username Paperclip

Age 22

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Had been at university previously, but dropped out after ucas extra had closed.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? Stressful before and during, but came out of it very happy.

I found the phone lines were all busy, and despite using two phones and redialling a lot of the i was unable to get through to anyone before 12pm. After this some of the places had filled up, but many were still free. At times i was told i'd be phoned or e-mailed back but i was completely ignored, which i found very rude of the staff. Conversely, some of the staff were also very nice.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? BSc Psychology at Portsmouth. I was familiar with the course, and knew it was definitely what i wanted to do, but was unsure about the university. After receiving my offer of a place from them i looked at the specific modules and decided it was definitely what i wanted to do.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? Very glad. Originally i had planned to apply to universities further north, and had not considered Portsmouth university at all. But after this first year i could not be happier with Portsmouth. I've had an excellent year, made some very good friends and enjoyed my course. It has interested me in doing a masters as well, something that my previous course failed to do.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? I was very familiar with all the TSR material. The clearing guide relaxed me a lot more about the situation and the forums ensured i knew everything i needed to about the process. During the time, many of the members were also very supportive.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? • Don't stop looking just because a university says it will phone/e-mail you. Often they'll forget or if you've been rejected will e-mail you the next day. • Don't rely on a small local store to have copies of the independent available. I went to 3 places in total, which took 30 minutes, if i went to the final place (a supermarket) at first i would've saved approximately 15 minutes. • However nervous you are just breathe before picking up the phone, and don't rush. This may be the only impression your university will have of you. • Though it may sound like you're desperate this is a two way interview; you need to know whether you'll like the university, and the university needs to know whether they'll like you. If the staff are rude, think on how it reflects on the university, will you be happy learning from such people? • Have 2 phones minimum. One mobile, give this to universities to phone you on, and another phone to call universities on. If you miss the call from the university they might not leave a message, or you might ring them back too late.


Paperclip

The Clearing experience of PhoenixFortune

Username PhoenixFortune

Age 18

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Not exactly Clearing, but I got a 'Changed Course' offer.

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? My offer was BBC, but on Results Day I got ABD. I thought my firm choice would be lenient as I'd only missed my offer by one grade. They took 2 days to update Track after the results came out to tell me I'd been rejected from my original choice (Speech and Language Therapy) and been offered a place on their almost empty Health Studies course. I had already been rejected from my insurance choice (they asked for BBB, so I already knew that I wouldn't get in), so that was my only offer.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? Once I had received my 'Changed Course' offer, I was terribly disappointed. Because the university had taken so long to get back to me, Clearing had already been open for 2 days, and as a result I missed out on places on any other Speech and Language Therapy course (apart from ones that informed me that they could put me on the reserve list, but I'd be about 10th in line). My dad then persuaded me to take the 'Changed Course' offer, and I was thinking that going to university now was better than not going this year at all, so I agreed. I found the phone lines were all busy, and despite using two phones and redialling a lot of the i was unable to get through to anyone before 12pm. After this some of the places had filled up, but many were still free. At times i was told i'd be phoned or e-mailed back but i was completely ignored, which i found very rude of the staff. Conversely, some of the staff were also very nice.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? Being put on a course that was broad, non-vocational, and hardly a good substitute for my original choice made me really frustrated. I had met other people on TSR hoping to go to the same university and for the same course before the results came out, and they had all gotten in, which didn't help. So many people had exactly met their offer that they had to extend the amount of NHS-funded places on the course, meaning that they had no room for applicants who were one grade away from their offer.

I dropped out 3 days after arriving at university. I know people say that you can't just go on a gut feeling, and you might as well stay for the first semester and see how it goes, but I knew straight away that I had made a mistake. There was still underlying disappointment in me, and I knew the university nor the course would make me happy. My parents weren't happy about having to take all my stuff back home, but I was certain that this was the right thing to do for me.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? When I got back home, I applied through UCAS again, to a different university closer to home but for the same course I wanted to do originally. In early December I got an unconditional offer, and it was probably the best Christmas present I've ever gotten.

If I had known about the 'Changed Course' offer sooner, I would probably have found a place on Speech and Language Therapy at a university that I would've really enjoyed, but as it is, I'm glad I took a gap year. It's helped me psychologically ready myself for the prospect of university, which I really needed.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? A few days before Results Day, I found the Results Day wiki pages and gave them a good read through. I found them very useful at the time, but the stress of the next few days wiped all the information from my mind.


Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Even if you are certain that you will meet your offer, be prepared not to. About a week before your results come out, research a good selection of universities that offer your course and make a note of their Clearing telephone number.

If your firm and insurance choices don't get back to you by midday on Results Day, ring them up (preferably not their Clearing number, as this can get busy) and ask what your application status is. If they are still undecided about whether to accept you, it may be best to ask them to release you, so that you have time to find a good place through Clearing.


pigwigeon

The Clearing experience of Shake 'n Bake

Username Shake 'n Bake

Age 22

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Grades were lower then what I was supposed to get.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? Hectic. I managed to get through to them early because I stayed up all night to check my grades. However, I found the staff to be incompitent and short tempered. They were to eager to fill up unpopular courses rather then listen to my story. What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? After ringing up places, I decided to take the place on the Sociology course. It got me into the university I wanted to be at, and I figured I might be able to swap at some point. Unfortunately, because of my A Level results, I was not able to (despite getting almost full marks over the two year course of the subject I wanted to study).


What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? ? I applied for Psychology at Birmingham and got offered social policy. I decided not to take it because it was completely different from my chosen subject. I ended up repeating my A-levels because of this.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? Not really. It made me feel as if I was just a person they wanted to use to fill up the unwanted spaces on unpopular courses.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? No.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future?Please wake up and check clearing spaces early. They go quickly. A good option is to check extra in March, if there is any doubt you will not meet the grades. This gives you an idea of what unis are popular and which ones have loads of spaces left. Then make a note of the contact details just in case you need to go through clearing. That way you have a better chance of finding a place at an alternative uni you know more about then choosing a place out of desperation.


Shake 'n Bake

The Clearing experience of TheSownRose

Username TheSownRose

Age 18

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? I realised that I really didn't want to do my original course. This happened somewhere between a week before results day and results day - I had an inkling before then, but I really decided on an alternative plan a few days beforehand. Come results day, I'd missed my firm offer anyway (which is just as well, I'd have probably been pressured/persuaded to go it if I'd got in) and then had to set about getting released from my insurance.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? I found it quite easy and not overly stressful.

I was browsing the Clearing listings for the course I was now interested in and noticed that there were spaces for it. I didn't have the right A-levels subjects for it - they weren't wholly irrelevant, but they didn't really fulfil the entry requirements either - but Clearing was an option for me, so I thought I may as well ask to be released from my insurance fairly quickly and just enquire about this course. The worst they could do was say "sorry, no", and if they gave me an offer it saved me having to do more A-levels and reapply. I couldn't really lose anything more than the cost of a phone call.

Luckily, my insurance university was really helpful and released me within a few hours, so I was able to contact the new university the Monday after the results were published. The new Clearing number system made allowing the admissions tutor access to my UCAS application very straightforward; after having read this, he seemed interested in me but was unsure about giving me an offer because of my subjects, so wanted to consider it and said he would phone me back in two or three days, and if he didn't, I should phone him. In the end, he phoned me back twice: once to say no ... but then again, about five minutes later (just as I was telling myself it was a long shot anyway,) to say he had reconsidered and was prepared to make me an offer!

Adding my Clearing choice on UCAS was extremely straightforward and I accepted the offer directly with the university, and all was confirmed before the end of the day (pending delivery of my exam results, which was also easy to do considering I live close by and could personally take them.) What had taken me months to sort out earlier in the year had just been dealt with within a week, which even now amazes me.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? Optometry at Anglia Ruskin University. I was excited after I'd received welcome information from the university and all was definite (before then, it still seemed too good to be true) because I never thought I'd be able to become an optometrist without retaking my A-levels and now, here I was, about to start an optometry degree! I was also a bit anxious as well, because I thought I was maybe building it up so much that it was sure to disappoint, or that I'd just missed too much information at A-level and would find myself in a downward spiral, ending with me dropping out within a few weeks.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? It's been about six months since I secured my place, and five months since I started my course. Even in such a short space of time, I can't imagine being as happy studying maths (my original course.) The decision to go through Clearing and just try for optometry has proven one of the best decisions I've ever made, because such a small decision has forever changed the path of my life and got me onto the first step towards what I want to do.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? At the time, I was vaguely aware of TSR but hadn't spent much time looking through the resources and didn't even have an account until a couple of weeks after I went through Clearing. However, having read them since, I'd recommend them to people as containing some very helpful advice.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? First and foremost, don't panic and don't rush - decisions are made quickly, but you do have time to consider whether it's what you actually want. Secondly, because you're no longer limited to pursuing just five courses, if there's a risky choice you're interested in ... go for it! The worst they can do is refuse you a place, and you could get something good out of it; just make sure you're pursuing some realistic options at the same time. Lastly, I'd recommend to everyone, no matter how unlikely you think Clearing is for you, spend just some time thinking about if you'd go through it, possible courses you could/would look into, and making sure you have things like GCSE results and UCAS number to hand - it could make things a lot easier later.

And if you want to voluntarily go through Clearing, get out of your firm (and insurance, if you have one) before results day, it saves a lot of hassle!


TheSownRose

The Clearing experience of Umbrellahead

Username Umbrellahead

Age 18

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Didn't get the grades I needed to for the course I wanted to study and when I rang up my firm choice to ask if they would consider me, they declined. I couldn't comprehend spending a year at home "doing nothing" so it felt like a necessity to go and find a place elsewhere.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? Really stressful, half the places I wanted to go to were full by about midday, and there was a lot of waiting on the telephone, lots of really stressed unhelpful admissions staff to get past... I remember ringing Nottingham and being 90th in the queue to speak to someone.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? I ended up on a course at Goldsmiths, Politics and Sociology. I was a bit apprehensive as that wasn't exactly what I wanted to study and I'd never been to Goldsmiths so I didn't know what it would be like. There was no accommodation left so I had to go on Facebook and look for people in the same situation to go house-hunting with. I couldn't make it down to London before fresher's week so I had to rely on the thoughts of people I hadn't met before.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? I'm on a gap year now and I've reapplied via UCAS. I went down to New Cross for one day and hated it so I trusted my gut instinct and came home. I'm definitely sure I've made the right decision as I'm in a better position now with better universities considering me.

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? I didn't use any TSR resources, just newspapers.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Get your results as early as possible as places do disappear very quickly. Get lots of telephone numbers and circle places you'd be interested in going to in the newspapers. Sometimes, it's better to wait... if you're going to study a subject you're not happy with, it may be worth your while resitting some exams, getting a job, going travelling and then going to uni next year.


Umbrellahead

The Clearing experience of Wilt

Username Wilt

Age 18

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Missed both my firm and insurance offers by a country mile.

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? A little bit stressful in the morning just after I got my results when I was looking for places to ring up, however once I had made the decisions it wasn't too bad as everybody on the phones were pretty helpful. Luckily I got a few offers quickly so the day wasn't as bad as it could have been. It's worth noting that every university has a different way of dealing with clearing calls. Some will give you a decision straight away while others will just take your details and have somebody from the department you're applying to call you back later. So don't get disheartened and assume you've been rejected if they say they will ring you back.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? Geography BSc at Hull University. It was the same course that I had wanted, but at a different university. So I was a little worried about the quality of the university but the course was pretty much what I wanted to do anyway.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? Great, I love the course and the university - while I sometimes feel that I could possibly be missing out on a few opportunities that my firm would have afforded me, I have made some absolutely awesome friends in Hull and the course has been very good. Hull is also a much cheaper city than where I would have been going (London).

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? I used both the results day and clearing guides extensively plus most of the other articles on here about clearing - started reading through them a few days in advance just incase. They were very useful, I would have been absolutely lost without them.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Just don't panic and make sure you ring all universities that are offering a course that you are interested - you don't need to take their offer straight away (or at all) yet bagging an offer or two from anywhere will calm your nerves a little. You can then take a closer look at the places afterwards to see whether you want to go there, take a gap year or whatever. Also, make sure that you have a few generic 'reasons for doing this course/coming to this university' responses, as you might get asked these and you don't want to get caught off guard if you can't think of anything specific to that university. But most importantly, if you've had an absolute shocker (like I had) don't beat yourself up too much about it - everybody makes mistakes but everything will usually work itself out in the end..


Wilt


The Clearing experience of tknight7

Username tknight7

Age 19

Did you go through clearing or adjustment? Clearing

Why did you end up going through Clearing/Adjustment? Missed my firm, didn't have an insurance

How did you find the Clearing/Adjustment Procedure? I checked Track in the morning, so i knew I had missed my offer. Bought a copy on the Independent on my way into school and had a quick look and saw some possible places i was interested in. My school's stupid policy meant that we couldn't get our results until 2pm, meaning that places were filling, and i couldn't apply without knowing what i had (BCC). Some places i rang were still number-crunching and were not sure if they had any places. The only 2 unis that knew it had places were Manchester met & swansea. Didn't fancy MMU, but Swansea seemed ok and i gave them a call. Drove down there and had an interview. Didn’t fancy it, so i decided then & there to just try my luck next time.

What course did you end up on and what were your thoughts about it before you started? Took a gap year instead - resat my a levels (got AAB) and reapplied. So glad i did - i'm going somewhere that i wanted to go to, not somewhere i would have probably hated being.

How are things working out for you now - are you glad you went through clearing/adjustment? Hit & miss. I wasn’t planning on taking a gap year, so all chances for internships were gone. Studied hardcore for my resits and it paid off. Had trouble getting a job after my exams – got really bored because i had nothing to do. Got a job now though, saved up some money  :):

Did you make use of any of the Clearing/Results Day resources on TSR? If so, which ones and how useful were they? Reading a few articles helped me prepare for the possiblity of have to go into Clearing.

Do you have any tips or advice for people who may have to go through clearing/adjustment in future? Don't feel as though you have to make a choice for this year. No harm in taking a year out if there’s nothing you want. And don’t let anyone try and force you (i.e. parents/friends)


tknight7


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