Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

From Clearing to The University of Warwick

Results day can be a difficult time for many students. As part of our Welcome to Warwick series, we are sharing some of the more unconventional ways in which students got accepted to The University of Warwick. Missing your results can be tough, but going through Clearing doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may seem. 

On Results Day 2015, all my friends started checking UCAS to see if they’d been accepted into their first-choice university. I had been incredibly worried in the run-up to receiving my results, but mum gave me some great advice in preparation for the day. “Look at what your results are first and go from there,” she said.

My first choice was English and Creative Writing at Warwick, with an insurance course of English at Bournemouth. My firm choice wanted AAA and, with my predictions set at A*AB, with the A* in Maths and the B in Spanish. I knew it would be a risk to put Warwick as my top choice.

After visiting countless open days, Warwick was the only university I could imagine myself attending

The previous year, I’d been disappointed with an unexpectedly low grade in one of my AS Levels, but instead of resitting the subject, I chose to drop it instead. So, I sat my A2s in English, Spanish and Maths. This feeling of disappointment on Results Day 2014 was a feeling I remembered well, I dreaded feeling the same way when my A2 results arrived.

Unable to resist, I checked my results on UCAS at 7:30, an hour and a half before I was due to receive my results, to find out that I had not been accepted to Warwick. Instead, I had a place at Bournemouth. But my heart was set on Warwick. After visiting countless open days, Warwick was the only university I could imagine myself attending.

After retrieving my results, I knew my first step was to ring the clearing number provided to talk to someone about being entered onto the course

 My results were not as high as I had hoped. Unfortunately, I’d only missed out on my required grades by a few marks in Spanish. I hadn’t got my predicted A* in Maths, but realistically I hadn’t worked hard enough for it. I’d made the choice to focus on English and Spanish, neglecting my Maths exams in the process, so I wasn’t expecting the A* they had generously predicted.

 Before collecting my results, I had spent some time looking into courses available through clearing at Warwick and had looked into what I needed for English and Hispanic Studies. It wasn’t a completely random pick — I had been looking into applying for the course instead of English and Creative Writing. I had even written a personal statement for it. I just never applied.

After retrieving my results, I knew my first step was to ring the clearing number provided to talk to someone about being entered onto the course. However, the first thing they asked for was my clearing number but, of course, because I had a place at Bournemouth, so I didn’t have one. Despite the risk of not having a space, I called Bournemouth and asked to be released from my course, getting a clearing number in the process and allowing me to apply to a new course at Warwick.

Lots of universities open up courses to clearing and many of my friends from school were able to secure a place at great universities

 This was also quite a big risk, because there was no guarantee that Warwick would still have spaces for English and Spanish when I called back.

The whole process of getting my results, calling Bournemouth and securing my place as an English and Hispanic Studies student at Warwick lasted until nine o’clock that evening.

 Not getting into your first-choice university or your insurance is not the end of the world. Lots of universities open up courses to clearing and many of my friends from school were able to secure a place at great universities.

One friend had decided that she didn’t want to do the course she had applied for, so looked at doing the course that she wanted through clearing instead of taking a gap year and applying again in the next academic year.

If you do the research before the day, it saves the further stress of looking after the disappointment of not getting a place

 My advice to any incoming students is to look into clearing courses before results day. It can be useful as it gives you a third option from your firm and insurance choices. If you do the research before the day, it saves the further stress of looking after the disappointment of not getting a place. You can simply do the phone calls.

 You can never have too many back-up options.

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