Confirmation & Clearing – top tips for students on Results Day
Results Day is fast approaching, with students up and down the country finishing college and sixth form after an extremely turbulent year and a half. It can be a time of celebration – you may have just confirmed your place at your dream university! – but it can also be a difficult time to navigate if things don’t go the way that you planned. In this blog post, we’ll talk you through the Confirmation & Clearing process and give you some top tips from our UoM Confirmation & Clearing expert, Heidi Page, to make sure you’re as prepared as can be in the run up to Results Day.
Although Results Day is the 10th August, Clearing actually opens on the 5th July 2021. This gives you some additional time to get yourself prepared, do your research and be ready for Results Day. Vacancies will be listed from the 5th July and then updated regularly until mid-September, but some universities will not publish available courses until the evening before/day you receive your results. Even so, a preliminary look at your options will be useful regardless – if the worst happens and you don’t get the grades you expected, you’ll have one less thing to stress about if you’ve already spent a bit of time researching other universities and courses.
The next dates to keep in your diary are the 4th – 10th August 2021, as this is the embargo period. These few days, referred to as the embargo, are in place to give universities and colleges time to process students’ results and prepare and make decisions by the time Results Day comes around. During this time, universities and colleges can’t discuss your application with you and your UCAS Track will not be updated. This period shouldn’t affect you too much, but it’s worth bearing in mind as you approach Results Day.
Your results will be available from 8.30am on Tuesday 10th August 2021 – the day you’ve been waiting for! Heidi Page – an Admissions and Qualifications expert here at The University of Manchester and our resident Confirmation & Clearing expert – has identified a couple of things that you should get set in the days and hours before your results are released, just in case.
- Make sure you have made a note of your Firm Choice and Insurance Choice university telephone numbers in case you need to call them on the day.
- Make sure you have a fully charged phone with credit, and try and ensure that you have a quiet place to call from.
- Have your UCAS number to hand, and, if you enter into Clearing, make sure you have a note of your grades and your Clearing number from UCAS Track to (more on this in the next section).
- Universities want to speak with you – the student – not your mum, dad, brother, uncle etc. so make sure you are around on the day!
- Have a pen, paper ready to make notes – record important information, like phone numbers, actions etc.
Hopefully you will have achieved the grades to your chosen university, but if the worst happens and you’re grades aren’t quite what you hoped for, don’t panic. It can be easier said than done, but try to stay calm. Not getting the results you wanted isn’t the end of the world, even if it may seem like it at the time. Heidi provided some more tips on how to handle Results Day itself, and what to do if you have to go through the Clearing process.
- Check UCAS Track and look at the status of your application. Even if you don’t have the correct grades, your First/Insurance universities may have been able to accept you. It’s not uncommon for universities to drop a grade and accept students. If it states you are Unconditional Firm then you have secured your place – congratulations – go and celebrate!
- If it says that you have been unsuccessful, you will be entered into Clearing to find a place on a different course and/or at a different university. You’ll need to make a note of your Clearing number, which you can find on your UCAS Track account, as the universities you’re in contact with will need this information.
- Stay calm – the university will be able to help you faster and more accurately, if you are relaxed and calm when speaking over the phone.
- Clearing places do go quickly, but you will have time to consider your position and make an informed choice on where you want to accept an offer for. Don’t panic, and don’t rush into anything.
- Students cannot add a Clearing choice onto UCAS Track until 2pm on Results Day. You’re likely to have been offered a place, or several places in the morning, so use the time before UCAS Track opens to review the university, city, Students Union, accommodation options etc. to make sure that you think you will be happy there, especially if it’s a university that’s new to you.
- Most universities will give you a time period that their offer will be valid for, typically around 12 hours. If you enter a Clearing choice after this period has passed then the university may reject you.
- Do not refer yourself to a university for a Clearing place if you have not spoken to them, you’re application will be rejected and it may hold up the process of you finding a place elsewhere
- Don’t accept a place you are not happy with. You have other options such as repeating qualifications or taking a gap year. Speak to teachers and advisors about what your best options are. Try and think what will make you happy and achieve your long term goals rather than getting a quick fix just so you can go somewhere to study this year.
If you’ve accepted a place at university through Clearing, congratulations! There are a number of things you should consider after you confirm your spot to ensure you’re as clued up as possible. See if there’s an opportunity to visit the university on a Clearing Open Day – these will potentially be online for 2022 entry. How do you apply for accommodation? When does term start? What do you need to do next? Make sure you make a note of all important dates, so you’re clued up on your next steps.
Now you’re clued up on Confirmation & Clearing, best of luck with Results Day. Stay calm, and if your grades aren’t what you were expecting – don’t panic! Follow the guidance outlined here and on the UCAS website and the Clearing process should feel a lot smoother. If you’re a student on one of our access schemes who has missed their grades, remember that there’s a dedicated phone line for you to call. You will be able to find the details on our website nearer the 10th August. We hope to see you here at Manchester soon!