Application Process, Clearing

Results day- Changed your mind?

At this time of year, when exam results are just around the corner, you might be asking yourself whether you made the right choice deciding which course you want to apply for and in which uni. Most people don’t know what career path they want to follow even when, like me, they’re two or more years into a degree. However, it is important that no matter what happens on results day, you choose a town/city to study in where you will be happy for the next 3-6 years of your life.

Roath Park, Cardiff, June 2018

In 2016, when my results came around, I missed out on my first choice by 2% but still had an insurance so I was getting prepared to start organising my accommodation and move to Scotland. However, at about 9am I got a text from Cardiff University asking if I was still interested in taking a physics course there. I had heard of Clearing before but didn’t know how to approach it, and so didn’t even consider it prior to receiving the text.

And that was the text which changed my university experience and gave way to countless opportunities and fantastic friends and memories I don’t think I’d personally find elsewhere. So, let me tell you how to approach the Clearing process if you’re unsure about your original choices and, why I decided to change and choose Cardiff (in my next blog).

Note: If you met/exceeded your entry requirements for your firm choice you are eligible for Adjustment. If you didn’t meet your requirements you can apply through Clearing but both work quite similarly.

Clearing tips and tactics:

  1. Start making calls as early as possible when you get your results- this way you can be given an offer while there are still many places available. The later you leave it the higher the entry requirements will get so make sure you find out in advance what time the Clearing call lines open on results day.

Note: In Cardiff University, you can start applying for courses by calling 0333 241 2800 from Thursday August 16th at 7am! Here is a link to the website if you’d like to take a look:

  1. Ask about accommodation! While this may seem like a slightly minor thing compared to choosing where and what you want to study, it will save you a lot of worry later if you know you have a place or what your options are.
  2. Don’t presume you won’t be offered a place even if you were previously rejected by a university. This is the time when universities offer all their empty places to Clearing/Adjustment students. So, if you have your heart set on Cardiff (or any other university) it definitely doesn’t hurt to call and see as you may be pleasantly surprised!
  3. If you’re unsure, call more than one university to see what options you have. Only when you have decided input your choice through UCAS. At the end of the day, every university wants their students to be happy so don’t be afraid to quiz them to find out what’s right for you.
  4. If you are given an offer: remember to accept it before the deadline which may be only a few hours away!!! If you cannot do it on time, e.g. because you still have an insurance choice you want to decline and need to wait for the other uni, contact the university to let them know you’re still interested and will accept the offer as soon as possible.
  5. If you do accept an offer, find out whether there is an open day for Clearing applicants. This can help settle any doubts you may have and answer any questions which were left unanswered. Open days are excellent opportunities to quiz current students about their experiences at the uni and general city life.

Note: This takes place on Saturday August 18th in Cardiff:

Hence, if, like me, you decide to go to university through Clearing (and perhaps come to Cardiff), I hope you will enjoy your next learning phase and make many wonderful memories during your student life! Remember, the place you choose to study will be where you’re going to live so make sure you like the city as well as your course!


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