Logo

A-level results: Top 5 tips to survive clearing

PUBLISHED: 13:22 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:33 13 August 2018

Last year, a record number of students found university places through clearing.

Last year, a record number of students found university places through clearing.

Archant

When A-level results come out on August 16, more than three quarters of students who want to go to university are likely to get into their first choice.

Dr Lisette Johnston, head of school at ScreenSpace gives us her top tips for those who didn'’t get the grades they were expecting.Dr Lisette Johnston, head of school at ScreenSpace gives us her top tips for those who didn'’t get the grades they were expecting.

But not everyone will get their grades – and it doesn’t mean you won’t get a degree if you still want to.

Last year, a record number of students – nearly 67,000 - found university places through clearing – a system which helps universities match students who don’t have a place to courses which still have space.

A-level results are just a few days a way now and Dr Lisette Johnston, ex-BBC world news editor has given us her top tips for those who didn’t get the grades they were expecting.

“For students who didn’t get the grades they needed to go to their chosen university, it’s important to remember that clearing is not a ‘bottom of barrel’ scraping situation, but the consequence of a system that is focused on everyone ‘bidding’ for those who achieve the highest grades - not the most talented, not the most enthusiastic and not the most passionate… just the highest grades.”

1. Prepare - just in case.

You haven’t got your results yet, so spend a few hours researching a plan B. Consider your chosen course, are there similar courses that don’t have such high entry requirements? For example if you’ve applied to do maths why not look at courses with maths, such as economics and mathematics, or financial mathematics. If you’ve applied to do media studies look at content, media and film production. If you are completely ‘sold’ on a particular university, look at their clearing pages now and register with them to save time if you need to make the clearing call on the day.

2. Don’t panic.

I know it’s difficult when you’re faced with a computer screen or a bit of paper that’s basically telling that you that your long held plans have changed. This is just a blip. Take a few deep breaths, have a drink of water and collect your thoughts - there is always a way forward.

3. Get advice

Speak with your friends and parents and remember there are experienced staff at you your sixth Form or college who can help you, they will want to do their best for you and most universities have a great clearing process - there’s a lot of help out there.

4. Be bold

Get on the phone, ask questions. This can take a bit of courage, but you want to make sure that you’re not just grabbing the first opportunity that comes along, make sure its the right option for you. Before you call a university have a list of questions at hand. If it’s a university you haven’t visited before you might want to ask about facilities, accommodation, student support, careers support etc. Remember this is a two way process, you should be interested in what they can offer you beyond the degree.

5. Consider the options

If you’re really not sure about going to university this year, you could defer a year and go in 2019 instead. You could take the year to resit exams, get a job and earn some money, or look elsewhere completely; there are lots of alternatives, such as apprenticeships that can also be a route to a degree

Dr Lisette Johnston is head of school at screenspace, a content, film and media degree delivered at Ealing Studios in partnership with MetFilm School at the University of West London.

Latest Hampstead Education News

Highgate Newtown’s historic Konstam Nursery has unveiled a commerorative mosoaic celebrating its links to the First World War.

It was a double celebration at Highgate School on Saturday as crowds were treated to two fireworks displays.

Haringey parents will continue to fight for “fairer funding” for schools following the chancellor’s autumn budget.

Camden’s youngsters were in the spotlight at the Shaw Theatre for an evening celebrating the borough’s talent.

Three years after a controversial merger saw Torriano Primary School formed, teachers and governors are celebrating a top-of-the-class Ofsted rating that Camden Council’s education chief said “vindicated” the decision to amalgamate the schools.

A Hampstead school has scrapped a pilot project that saw commercial helicopters landing on its playing fields after neighbours complained it was causing “quite a riot”.

Neighbours are in a spin over UCS Hampstead’s unusual decision to allow a commercial helicopter firm to use its playing fields as a landing pad.

The former headteacher of St Aloysius College has been cleared of wrongdoing nine months after he was arrested as part of a £70,000 fraud investigation at the school.

Primrose Hill schoolchildren are desperate for help uncovering the secrets of their local war memorial.

A Muswell Hill mum has shared her anger at parents temporarily moving into the area to jump the queue for school places, as Haringey Council says it is investigating four cases of school application fraud.

The Heath and Hampstead Society has opposed plans to move a free school into the old Hampstead Police Station – even though the applicants have halved the number of pupils they hope to attract.

A budding journalist and a mentoring champion are two of the students being recognised for their high-flying achievements by the Jack Petchey Foundation.

A pair of Greig City Academy students are among a talented crop of Haringey high-achievers vying for an annual award from the Jack Petchey Foundation.

Seven months to the day after a single winter night saw two young men stabbed to death, Camden’s youth safety task force – led by Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer and Cllr Abdul Hai – last night recommended a series of measures to arrest the alarming upwards trend in youth violence in the borough.

Westminster North MP Karen Buck joined parents and children to protest the sudden closure of Queen’s Park Nursery.

Staff, parents and children at Chaston Nursery in Chalk Farm celebrated as 10 children graduate and move on to primary school.

There were broad smiles and hearty congratulations all round as the Channing pupils received their GCSE results.

Hornsey School for Girls students have excelled once again, despite reforms to GCSE exams this year.

The “resilience and determination” of Parliament Hill School GCSE students has been praised.

North Bridge House Senior Hampstead students have bagged the ‘best GCSE results in the school’s history’, with an impressive 55per cent of all grades at Grade 7 or above.

There were happy faces at Highgate Wood School as students collected their GCSE results.

Students across Camden achieved a strong set of results in the new-style GCSEs, according to the council.

There were some happy faces at Greig City Academy today as 17 students, approximately 10per cent of the year group, achieved a new top Grade 9 GCSE in one or more of their subjects.

Rising to the challenge of tougher new GCSEs, South Hampstead pupils and staff were celebrating another year of “exceptional results” across the board this morning – and the school’s second best ever percentage of top grades (A*/9/8s).

Heartlands High School’s head of school said she is “delighted” with their set of GCSE results.

The phenomenal achievements of Fortismere School students have been championed on GCSE results day.

A 16-year-old Highgate School student who was diagnosed with Leukaemia in April has bagged straight A*s in his GCSE results this morning.

One Henrietta Barnett student nearly 6000 miles to get her GCSE results this morning, and was rewarded with 10 grade 9s.

A set of twins were among the girls celebrating their GCSE results at Henrietta Barnett, as they got the top grades in the majority of their exams.

Didn’t get the exam results you were lookinng in your GCSE results today, or A-levels last week, but want to be a sports journalist? Then don’t despair, Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif says it’s not the end of the world, just look at the example of his intern Toby Miles.

The headteacher of University College School Hampstead has championed his students’ achievements in the creative arts on a record-breaking GCSE results day.

The headteacher of Highgate School has lauded his students’ ability to cope with ‘tougher, fatter GCSEs’ on a record-breaking results day.

No coursework, two years of study, a clutch of Bs and a handful of threes - it’s a tricky time to be a GCSE student.

Paddington Academy students are celebrating achieving the best A-level results in the school’s 11-year history.

Hornsey Sixth Form College A-level results were ‘significantly above national average’, according to the headteacher of the Crouch End school.

The principal of Westminster Kingsway College has champions the achievements of students in their A-level results.

UCL Academy students who received their A-level results yesterday are ‘equipped to be global citizens’, according to the school’s co-principal.

A-level results day at Greig City Academy revealed an array of talent, with Oxbridge bound students in a variety of disciplines.

The headteacher of Channing School has championed the ability of her students to combat tougher exams on A-level results day.

A-level results day started early at Highgate School - some students opened their envelopes at 6AM - as yet another year group smashed records to achieve the best results in the school’s history.

A record-breaking year at Fortismere School has seen students confirm places at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge on A-level results day.

A “fabulous range” of A-level results at LaSWAP Sixth Form Centre has seen students meet offers from universities as diverse as Falmouth and SOAS.

UCS Hampstead bursary students have been singled out for praise on the day the school received its second best A-level results ever.

The headteacher of Henrietta Barnett School has championed her ‘inspirational’ sixth formers on A-level results day.

Westminster Academy has achieved a host of top scores in its International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).

Most Read