Missing your grades can often come as a shock. Even if you suspect you didn’t do great, getting confirmation and breaking the news to your family can be very emotional.

At this point, proactivity is key. While you do have a bit of time to consider your options, there’s nothing stopping you from starting your Clearing research early. Where to begin, you ask?


1. Sit down and analyse your options 

If you can, speak to a relative or teacher. Talk about your results, and how you would like to progress. You may find that they have some wisdom to share. With tuition fees at £9,000 per year, you need to make sure you’re really doing something you’re passionate about; will you be able to pursue your area of interest not only in first year, but into third year?


2. Do some leg work online, or in person 

Once you’ve decided on the type of course you want to do, take a look at the Complete University Guide to see what universities are best for your subject.

After narrowing down your options, give the universities a call. Ask if you can chat with the admissions tutor and get your questions answered.


3. If you can, go to an open day 

Consider going on an open day. All this extra time provides a fantastic opportunity for prospective students to have a look around universities.

Once you’re there, explore the area; how long does it take to walk from the university to the nearest town centre? Is there even a ‘nearest town centre’, or will your only social hub be the campus? How far is the nearest supermarket? Will you be able to live on campus, or will you have to find somewhere yourself?


4. Make your application 

Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to act. If you already have your results and have checked the listings online, you should call the university, talk through your decision to apply and see if they will accept your application.