A-level results 2018: How to survive going through Clearing
There's little more than a week to go until thousands of students find out what their next step will be.
A-level results day is taking place on Thursday, on August 16. While more than three quarters of students who want to go to university are likely to get their first choice, not everyone will get their grades.
But don't worry - you may not have got your grades, but you can still get a degree if you want to.
In 2017, more than 66,000 students found university places through the Clearing system, which helps students match up with universities where places are still available on courses.
You may be unlikely to find Oxbridge places or space on some of the most popular courses at elite universities, but with institutions across the board now using Clearing there will be plenty to choose from.
Helen Thorne, Ucas director of external relations, said: "This summer we expect most universities and colleges to be offering Clearing places and there will be opportunities across the full range of subject choices."
Last year’s most popular choices in Clearing were business studies, nursing, sciences, creative arts, engineering and law. Many joint subjects still have vacancies when results day comes around.
It's important to remember that results day is hectic and that courses get snapped up quickly. Swift decisions are sometimes necessary.
But don't be pressured into making a panicked decision. You can always defer and reapply for a place the following year.
You can only enter Clearing once you've got your results and don't have a confirmed place - but some universities do advertise course vacancies on their websites from July when Clearing opens.
If you like, you can do some legwork before results day arrives if you think you've missed your grades to register your interest with a university for a particular course.
This could save some stress and time on results day. That way, you will already be on their radar.
Some students are also using Clearing to apply to university for the first time, submitting a full Ucas application after they've completed their exams.
When you check Ucas on results day you will be able to find if you have been accepted, or if you will be going through Clearing.
If you are, it's fine to feel emotional - admission staff are friendly and used to calming students down.
Dr Lisette Johnston, head of school at ScreenSpace, which is part of the Met Film School, added: “All universities will have a minimum grade threshold. But even if your grades aren’t as good as you’d hoped, you can still get a place if you’re able to express why your grades weren’t as you’d expected, and your enthusiasm for the subject shines through.”
Thanks to Future Mag for sharing some Clearing tips.