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My Experience with Clearing

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I know exactly how it feels when it comes to Results Day. Having submitted your UCAS application and completed all your exams, knowing there is nothing else you can do is a little bit terrifying. I clearly remember this time two years ago when I was waiting with bated breath for my A Level results.


I woke up really early on my A Level Results Day. It was only after my mum came in to my room and I had a moment to gather my resolve, that I finally logged onto my UCAS account to see whether I’d got good enough grades to go to my first choice University.

As soon as I saw that I hadn’t got the grades I needed, I swear my heart sank and I couldn’t breathe. It’s difficult when you’re in the moment to remember that not getting into your first or second choice universities doesn’t mean the end of the world.

There are still options available and once I had a minute to just breathe and let the fact settle that I hadn’t got into my firm choice, I was able to think about what I needed to do next.

Wondering what happens after you press pay and send? This handy flowchart is just for you! #UCAS #uni #university

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The next step was to have a look at all the other universities that I would be able to call for Clearing. Some Universities don’t have space on their courses so it’s always a good idea to do  research and see which courses are actually in clearing.

My advice would be to collect a list of numbers of maybe 4 or 5 universities that you may want to consider so that when the phone lines open, you know exactly who to call.



As soon as the Clearing phone lines opened, I had both me and my mum calling the phone numbers of different universities in an attempt to get through. The issue was that because the lines had just opened, some of them were busy because there was such an influx of people calling in.

Eventually, I managed to get through to a couple but I could tell that they were unlikely to take me. In fact, in a situation where I felt quite panicky and unclear on where my future was going , I felt like some of the uni’s I got through to were slow to tell me straight as to whether I would have a chance in becoming a student and they really did nothing to calm me down.

This changed when I called Newcastle University.


By half eight, I finally spoke to  Newcastle University. Without a doubt and no word of a lie, the people on the other end of the phone at Newcastle were a million percent the most helpful university.

They were easy to talk to and organised and I distinctly remember feeling calmer once I was on the phone with the Uni. The call didn’t take too long at all and the questions asked were pretty straight forward. Shortly after the call, I was offered a place and felt immensely better.

In fact, looking back, I am better off having gone to Newcastle than any of my other options and am pretty sure that I enjoy spending time in the city way more than I would have in any of the others I had chosen.

It is genuinely such a lovely place and a fantastic university and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone looking for a place to study.

So should Results Day arrive and your grades not be what you wanted them to be, don’t panic. Clearing isn’t as bad as it sounds and staying calm is definitely the best thing you can do. Select a couple of options for uni’s you’ll want to call for and keep your phone nearby for when the lines open.

From experience, getting into Newcastle University through Clearing was probably the best thing to happen to me in terms of my higher education and should it come to it, I guarantee it will be the same for you.

Good luck for Results Day! Whatever happens, it will all work out.

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