Adjustment/Clearing – is it for me?
I have previously written about my personal experiencing applying to Warwick via adjustment, which also contains some formal tips that you may want to consider.
What I want to focus on this post though, is knowing whether adjustment/clearing is something you ought to consider, and if so, what you can do to prepare.
Is it for me?
There are three main reasons that you may be considering adjustment/clearing:
1) You don’t like your original firm/insurance choices
2) You decided to apply to university after the UCAS deadline
3) Your exams went better/worse than you expected (or that your firm choice requires).
1) If you don’t like your original firm/insurance choices, think about why you chose them to begin with. Did you really like the course at first, but now decided it isn’t for you? Perhaps, this is simply because you have researched the course in depth since firming, and there are bits that don’t appeal to you — which is perfectly normal and expected of any degree course. There will inevitably be parts that you don’t like.
On the other hand, it may well be that it is the majority of the course that you don’t like. Maybe the course doesn’t specialise in what you would like to do. Maybe it doesn’t have internship/study abroad opportunities which are important for you. Maybe there is too much weighing on coursework, and you prefer exams or vice versa. Or it may just be that you have researched another university that you prefer.
It may not even be the course that you don’t like anymore. Perhaps you realised you would prefer a city/campus university or would prefer to be closer to home. Sometimes, students visit a university again for applicant visit days after making their firm choice and realise that they don’t see themselves studying there for 3/4 years.
Whatever it is, if you decide that you don’t like your original university choices – adjustment and clearing are both perfectly valid options available to you.
2) It is possible to apply to universities after the UCAS deadline via clearing. If you have an idea of which universities you want to consider, it would be worth keeping an eye out on whether they will be available via clearing, although it is likely that this information won’t be available until results day.
3) It was a mixture of this and the first point that led me to consider adjustment. I received better results than my firm choice required which made me eligible for the process, and equally, I didn’t feel completely confident with my initial choice throughout the summer holiday — so adjustment seemed like the best option for me. If you do end up getting different grades to what you expected tough, don’t rush into the decision by taking the first university that offers you a place. It is important that you do your research (if the decision feels too rushed it may be worth considering a gap year instead). Nevertheless, there are things that you can do to prepare for the process before results day, especially if you know it is likely that you will go through it.
Preparing for adjustment/clearing
Create a list of a few universities you may want to consider on results day and research key things such as;
– Is first-year accommodation guaranteed if I use the process?
– What are the key specialisations of the degree/university?
– Is it a campus/city university?
– What societies does it have?
– Where is it? What is the train journey like?
Searching the universities on YouTube is another great way to see what the university looks like and whether you see yourself studying there throughout your degree, along with hearing some student experiences.
Closer to results day, you may start seeing some adjustment/clearing articles online on how many places are expected and more formal advice to ensure you are fully prepared.
On results day itself, you can see a full list of universities available via clearing. Once you collect your results, decide whether you want to consider clearing (talking to teachers whilst you are at school may be a good idea). Check if the universities you considered over summer are available, and if so – call them!
Unfortunately, there is no single list on universities available via adjustment, so you will probably have to call their clearing line to enquire or check the universities website.
Spaces tend to go quickly via clearing/adjustment so it is really important that you do some preparation over the summer so that you don’t rush your decision without being informed.
You may also have a long wait on the phone – if possible, it may be a good idea to contact universities via one phone number (such as the house phone, or another family members/friends phone) and give them a different phone number to contact you back on (such as your mobile, which you can access anytime).
Shanita 🙂 xo