Thursday morning will be full of dread and excitement for many of those who are waiting for their A-level results, dependant on which on which will be university and, depending on your perception on the importance of university, life. If this is you, a massive congratulations for the effort you put in to get you this far and we hope you get the results you deserve.
Yet getting A-level results need not merely affirm any existing plan you hold, nor is failing to meet the conditions of your offer a disaster. The process of clearing, applying for university places from results day to late August, is increasingly geared towards results holders truly matching their results to the expectations of each university. Increasingly, universities are more geared towards using this process to attract students who receive a higher-than-expected result.
Now this blog is, necessarily, an expertise in Classics. The advice below is personal, but we will provide the links to the relevant external pages, whose expertise on these matters are likely to be greater than ours. You should also see the UCAS official advice for results day.
The first thing to do when you get the envelope is be of equal mind – Don’t Panic! There is a possibility that you might be happy or sad after you opened the envelope – there will be people to support you there either way.
The results that you receive might necessitate action, or open ways to new avenues. Again, our advice is Don’t Panic! Time is indeed the essence – and since any decision concerning university is going to involve three years of your life you should prioritise considerations on that time. And if you are feeling both emotional and compelled to make a decision, it is best to let the mind settle a little and use the support network you have before thinking about the decision. There won’t be ounces of time for you to do that and managing your emotions is key.
A few things that might settle your mind is having those key information (contacts, web addresses) with you for the universities or organisations that you may have to contact. You may also wish to keep the UCAS track web link handy, since it is that account that will show you whether your offer has changed from conditional (CF) to unconditional (UF) – though that may not take place at the same time as the results appearing.
If your result is as you need and you’re happy with your future plan…
Congratulations! Whether your future plan involve a gap year, immediate university, apprenticeships or work, you should give yourself a pat on the back. You might want to thank the people who get you there as well – but they couldn’t do that without you.
If your result is below the conditions of any offer…
It may still be the case that your first-choice university (or your insurance option, if your grades are below the conditions of the insurance offer) will accept you. Contact them and check with UCAS for the status of your application.
In the case of your results meeting the conditions of your insurance choice, then you will be attending university there. Congratulations! Enjoy yourself for now, then start thinking about late application to student accommodations etc.
In some cases your offer will be accepted by your first-choice or insurance option, but with changes attached. You will need to respond to them.
Otherwise, you will need to go through clearing process. The clearing process will only apply if there are no offers currently live on your application.
Keep track of the clearing process using social media. Many universities and their departments have Facebook, Twitter and other social media page that will be advertising vacancies, information that you need to make your choices and steps to take. UCAS’ presence on social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) will also keep you informed. Consider also following hashtags such as #UCASClearing or #Clearing.
Don’t forget the option of taking a year off. With the results now at hand you can make decisions that are more informed for next year’s entry without feeling rushed. The other advantage is that your options are not limited the vacancies there are in each institution at the time of clearing/adjustment.
If your result is far better than expected…
You can always choose to use “adjustment” – but you may be quite happy as it is and ready to celebrate anyway.
Clearing/Adjustment for Classics and Ancient History
Here is UCAS’ Clearing page.
Here are a list of university that offers some form of Classics degree, courtesy of the CUCD. You will need to check with the university for course profiles, clearing procedures and other useful information.
Here is the Guardian Universities Guide’s table for Classics and Ancient History.