A Level students: Don’t panic about clearing ahead of Thursday’s results

By Steven Oldham

Waiting for your A Level results? Is the thought of having to go through clearing making your blood run cold? Here at MM we want to put your minds at rest.

Places available on courses nationwide are published on the UCAS website and also in The Telegraph.

Rebecca Milne is Salford University’s Head of Access and Recruitment.  She and her team will be manning the phones on Thursday, when this year’s A Level results are announced.

“Here at Salford University we will have some places available.  Since Sunday we’ve been working through all the offers and checking them against the results, which we get a few days before the announcement,” she said.

She added: “We know exam result time is a pressure point for students – they may not get the right grades, want to change courses or haven’t applied before.”

Rebecca has advice for those students who need to go through clearing.

“Think carefully about the course you’re applying for and what career you could get from it,” she said, before adding:  “Persevere on Thursday – most calls we receive are on results day – it can feel like a rush for places but we will answer your call.

She added that Salford have student ambassadors, and academic staff on hand to advise people who use the walk in facility offered there.

“We find our ambassadors give really good advice – they might have gone through clearing themselves and they can relate to them easier due to their age,” she concluded.

Clearing should not be seen as the dark recesses of higher education, where only the lowest of all students go – last year, 46,925 students secured a university place through the scheme.

Also, using clearing does not always mean you’ve failed to achieve grades – popular courses fill quickly and only the very top scoring students can secure a place.

James Briscoe, Arts and Culture Correspondent here at MM, went through the clearing process in 2006.  He wanted to study English at Manchester Metropolitan University, but didn’t get the necessary grades.

He said: “When I found out I did not get the grades I needed I was devastated.  I had to go through clearing and Man Met offered me a combined course, I ended up taking English and Cultural Studies.”

James eventually got onto an English course in the second year of his course before he completed his NCTJ diploma in journalism this year.

“Clearing was pretty easy to get through – everyone involved was very helpful,” he said.

He added: “My advice to people is to keep calm.  It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the grades.  Don’t take it to heart – you can still get where you want to go, think about it and look into the best way of getting there.”

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