Five Top Tips for Surviving Clearing and Adjustment

Jenny Sheffield

Clearing and Adjustment can be a nerve-wracking prospect. Here are five top tips from University of Sheffield student Jenny, who went through Clearing, to help you prepare in case things don’t go quite as planned on Results Day.

1. Be Prepared

Although you'll have specified your first and second choice of university through UCAS, make sure you talk to other universities before getting your results in case things don't turn out as expected – for better or worse – on Results Day. Give them a ring or contact them on social media and talk through any questions or concerns you might have about the course, finance, accommodation or anything else.

Make sure you also have names and numbers of clearing call centres ready on the day. Some universities, like the University of Sheffield, offer an advance register option, which takes a lot of the stress away by allowing students to register their interest in a course. This is something I did and it means your application gets fast tracked once your grades are confirmed, meaning you beat the results day rush.

2. Keep calm

Don't panic if you don't get the grades you wanted! Lots of people don't get into their first-choice universities but there will always be somewhere suitable for you. I've loved my time at Sheffield so far and couldn't imagine being anywhere else now.

Results Day can also be an opportunity if you do better than expected. Adjustment, which is the other side to Clearing, allows you to trade up to a better university if you'd like to, so plan for all possibilities.

3. Find a quiet place and a helping hand

Make sure you base yourself somewhere quiet to phone universities and have access to a pen, paper and the internet. It might be helpful to use a landline to make outward calls so you can keep your mobile free for any university call backs to make sure you don't miss anyone.

I also had someone else there to help me tick off who I'd rung, make notes and just generally keep me calm and organised. Another pair of hands really helps ensure things aren't too chaotic.

4. Don't be pressured

Make sure you aren't pressured into taking the first offer you receive from a university. Some universities can give you a deadline by which to respond but remember you're making a big decision so it's reasonable to need to really consider it.

Do some research first, see if you like the course, ask friends and family about the area and see if you can visit the university. At Sheffield, they held a special open day for Clearing and Adjustment applicants and gave me time to consider the offer, which was brilliant.

5. Accommodation

Once you're offered a place, check whether accommodation is sorted, or if not, be clear about what you need to do. The University of Sheffield guarantees accommodation for anyone coming through Clearing or Adjustment and the chance to visit the halls, but that isn't always the case so make sure you ask all the right questions and know what's up to you to sort out.

Above all, go with the flow. I never thought I would end up where I am today, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!