Students were given a 'triple lock' on their A-level and GCSE grades on 10th August as ministers ripped up the system in the wake of the Scottish exams fiasco.
Just 36 hours before A-level results are released, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said students could now opt for the grades they got in their mock exams.
A-level results day at WASCZ
It means A-level students can choose between the marks they get awarded today – which are based on teacher assessments and a computer-generated 'standardisation' model – or their mock results.
If they are not happy with either of those, they can sit the exam in the autumn, with the Government covering the cost for schools.
From The Daily Mail
Mr Williamson was forced to offer the unprecedented 'triple lock', which will also apply to GCSE pupils, after Nicola Sturgeon performed a U-turn on Scotland's exam results.
But good news is, you still have another chance - UCAS Clearing!
From The UCAS Homepage
What is UCAS Clearing?
UCAS Clearing is how universities fill any places they still have on their courses. From 6 July – 20 October, students can apply for a course that still has places available using Clearing if they are not already holding an offer from a university.
To be eligible for Clearing a student must meet one of these criteria:
Be applying for the first time after 30 June
Not have received any offers (or none they wanted to accept and therefore declined them)
Not have met the conditions of their offers
Have declined their firm place
How do you know what courses are in Clearing?
All Clearing vacancies are listed in the UCAS search tool from July. They are updated regularly by the universities until mid-September.
How do you enter Clearing?
If you haven't already applied, you first need to register and make an application. You will only be able to add a choice after you’ve submitted your application. UCAS will send you a welcome email, with details of how to access Track, and a Clearing number.
If you have already made a UCAS application, then it will show that you are eligible for Clearing in your UCAS Track homepage
When you enter Clearing there are easy steps to follow:
Talk to an adviser at your school or an advisor in the BE Education UK HE Team– they can talk you through alternative courses/subjects.
See what courses are available
This year there are two types of Clearing available: Standard Clearing and Clearing Plus and you can use both.
It is a new service from UCAS that matches students to the available courses that they might be interested in. The UCAS Clearing Plus team will look at the student’s original choices, combined with their qualifications and grades and look at the courses the universities have said they would like to make available in Clearing Plus and the entry requirements for them. They will also analyse what students in Clearing went on to study in previous years. The team will then match the student profile to each course.
This is only available if you have already made a UCAS application.
If you want to look for yourself or want to apply for something different than the suggestion in Clearing Plus you will find courses available in Clearing using the UCAS search tool.
If you can't find the course you're looking for:
Consider different subjects – you don't have to stick with your original idea. You could also look at joint honours' courses, so you can study a mix of subjects
Keep checking – universities update their course information regularly. You might not find the exact unis/colleges/courses you were looking for – some might be full, but some might have vacancies later.
Investigate the courses on offer. Check the course details to see which suit you– what are the entry requirements? how is it structured each year?
Talk to any universities you are interested in.
Before you add a Clearing choice in Track, you need to call the university and give them your Clearing number (you can find this in Track), and Personal ID, so they can look up your application. You will need to talk to the universities yourself.
Ask if they'd accept you – they might reconsider you (maybe for the same course) even if you applied to them earlier in the year.
Get informal offers over the phone – maybe from a variety of universities and colleges – then decide which one you want to accept.
Ask about accommodation options – is there any on-campus?
Take a look around the campus – most will have a virtual tour or a virtual open day.
Add your Clearing choice in Track (you can do this from 15:00 (UK time) on A-Level results day 13 August).
Tips for a calm Clearing experience
Results day can be stressful and emotional, but when you enter Clearing it’s important that you stay calm and positive. One in five students gain their university place through Clearing – there are lots of great options out there and it really does not mean you will end up at a poor university or course.
Have someone to support you
It can be useful and encouraging to have someone that you trust with you when embarking on the Clearing process on the telephone. You will have to speak to the universities yourself but having a supportive family member, friend or BE advisor giving moral support and listening to your thoughts can be very helpful during this time.
Prepare your questions in advance
Carefully consider and write down any questions you may have before your call to the university. Proper preparation can reduce your anxiety, especially if you are nervous about speaking to strangers on the phone. It’s easy to forget what is said, so keep a note of who says what, so you have all the information ready-to-hand for each choice.
Don’t feel rushed into a decision.
Universities may give you a tight deadline but there will still be time to talk through your options with teachers, advisors and friends. If you have remaining questions don’t be afraid to call the university back.
BE Education collectively has over 17 years of experience supporting students on results day. They can help you through the process, calmly consider the Clearing options available with you and guide you with un-biased advice.
Scan the QR code below to contact us!