Clearing 2013 essentials
Clearing is a frantic time, but try and stay calm.
You’ll find the practical stuff you need online and in the press, but what might be less obvious is where to look for advice and guidance to make the right choice. Help is at hand if you know where to find it
First things first – here’s where you need to go to find out what places are available through Clearing.
UCAS – most of the information you need is all here, from details of available places through to how to accept your place on Track (your online Ucas application).
The Telegraph – if you’re not having any luck on the Ucas website, head to the Telegraph’s live Clearing place finder tool, or download the app, to search for available places (searchable by university or subject preference). You’ll still need to finish the admin stuff off on Ucas, though.
The Telegraph was Ucas’s official partner for Clearing 2012, but most other newspapers will have a lot of coverage and information that might come in handy.
Who else can help with Clearing?
Your school or college: this should be one of your first ports of call, and many schools put all hands on deck to help their students navigate this tricky process. Others may leave you to your own devices. If this is your situation, don’t drift aimlessly; look elsewhere for aid and advice.
Local careers services: not always easy to find due to recent cutbacks, so if you have one in the vicinity, make the most of it. They’re geared up for the results period, so will be expecting you!
Connect with a careers advisor: head to the National Careers Service website for other ways you can seek the advice of a careers expert – including phone and callback and webchat services.
Nearest and dearest: they might not be as objective or as clued-up as a professional will be, but your friends and family are a prime source of support and encouragement. But whatever you do, don’t ask your mum or dad to ring up a university about a Clearing place on your behalf unless you genuinely can’t do it yourself. Admissions tutors want to speak to you, not your parents!
Helplines: there are a couple of key ones to note.
UCAS, 0871 468 0468: at this time of year, Ucas goes into overdrive. Staff will not advise on course choice, but are great at sorting out queries on the technicalities of Clearing.
Exam Results helpine, 0808 100 8000: each year the Department for Education collaborates with Ucas and the BBC to run a free telephone exam results helpline. It’s neutral, knowledgeable and non-judgmental.
‘The Exam Results helpline (ERH) has some very knowledgeable and committed staff on the phones who can offer advice. Many of the advisers have been coming for years and years so have got the knowledge and skills to really make a difference.
‘We also get calls from people who got considerably better results than expected. The advisers can offer advice and options to any student who may be considering their future.
‘If someone has already applied to UCAS and has a query about their application, they should contact the UCAS helpline. But if someone is reconsidering their options based on results they have, or have not, achieved, they should apply to ERH first.’
Andrea Robertson | Director Of Customer Operations - Ucas
Social media: head to Twitter and use the #ucasclearing hashtag to find the latest updates from Ucas and read the rants, raves and success stories of other students in the same boat as you – all delivered in bite-sized 140 character chunks. Similar info will also be around on Facebook and The Student Room.
Uni helplines: often run by students who are trained, willing and able. They can provide useful pointers and insights, but obviously they are there to promote that specific institution, so do dig under the marketing gloss