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UCAS Clearing 20126th August 2010, 15:30
UCAS Clearing is a service available between July and September, but for most people it is used after the A level exam results are published in August. We have put together a UCAS Clearing 2012 guide with just 10 simple steps.
1. Confirm you're eligible for clearing vacancies – check Track on the UCAS site and on the "Choices" screen it should have the option to "Add Clearing Choice". Make a note of the clearing number.
2. Although it can be tempting to look for a quick fix, don't jump for the nearest clearing vacancy listed. UCAS clearing officially goes on until October. This is the last date to add a clearing choice – use that time wisely.
3. Remember - you don't have to apply for the same course as before. You can pick an entirely new university and subject if you wish.
4. You can find clearing vacancies on the UCAS website or in the Daily Telegraph and The Belfast Telegraph. UCAS only supply official vacancy listings to these newspapers - please only use these newspapers and the UCAS website to find the correct clearing vacancies
5. Do your research. Pick a longlist of courses and whittle them down to a shortlist that you'd like to apply for.
6. Research the course and the uni and come up with some reasons why they should take you. Also check out the foundation degree or the sponsored degree vacancies on the notgoingtouni website, you never know might even get a company to pay for your tuition fees! Make sure you put a positive spin on your results (did you get one particularly good grade? Do you have some relevant experience in this area?) Speak to the uni or the sponsoring company and tell them why you're interested. This may be done over the phone or over the web for some courses. Often if you meet their criteria they will make you an informal offer of a place. You may be informally offered several places, but ultimately you will need to decide on which one course you want to accept.
7. You want to make sure you'll enjoy the uni as well as the course, so a visit might be in order. Many departments will help arrange a visit so you can talk to tutors and see the facilities.
8. Make your choice. Enter the details for the course you've chosen on your Track page. Don't forget the university need to have offered you a provisional place, don't just enter the number of a course you like the sound of. If you enter a clearing choice without discussing it with the university or college, this may delay the progress of your application.
9. Wait for confirmation. If the university accepts you, the acceptance will show in Track and UCAS will write to you to let you know that you have been accepted onto the course. If the university does not accept you, your "Add clearing choice" button will be reactivated so you can apply for another vacancy through UCAS clearing list.
10. Confirm with your new university that you'll have access to accommodation.
And with all that done - you now have time to relax or celebrate! Applying for UCAS clearing courses needn't be a stressful time for you if you follow the steps above and make use of the tools available. Be methodical, discuss with your friends or parents, check out all the options: you are sure to find something. Good luck.