After results day, your offer is finalised - if you get the grades.
If not, well - Plan B.
Some university courses will still have places left as not enough people met the grade requirements.
These universities will go into Clearing, which is another opportunity for unsuccessful students to apply.
Clearing usually runs between July and September each year and works on a first-come-first-served basis, i.e. no time to waste!
Over 70,000 students got into university via Clearing in 2020. This means that Clearing is a popular choice and can also be competitive, especially for courses like Medicine.
If you have a firm offer for a course you can decline that place and release yourself into Clearing.
Only do this if you have verbal confirmation of a place at another university.
This is useful if you didn't get any offers for medicine but you do have an offer from your fifth choice.
Once you click on it, you’ll be given a list of 50 courses matched to you. You then choose the ones you’re interested in and then the universities you’ve shown interest in will ring you to either discuss your application or offer you a place.
If medicine or a medicine-related course doesn't come up, you can still try Clearing the normal way.
Before you apply for Clearing, you must reject any offer(s).
You can ring as many places as you like, but you can only add one Clearing choice on Track. So make sure you’re happy with the university and the course before making your choice.
If you’re not happy with the course, then you can ring up other universities in Clearing. There’s no limit to the number of verbal offers that you can receive so keep ringing until you’re happy.
Although they won’t advise you on specific courses, if you’re having any technical difficulties with using UCAS, they’ll be able to provide you with support. It’s likely the staff will be extremely busy during Clearing.
The Department of Education works with UCAS and the BBC to run an impartial and insightful helpline. The ERH can advise you if you’re stuck on what to do regarding your exam results and the course options available to you.
Keep an eye on the UCAS Twitter page for the latest updates and to see how other students in your position are feeling. You can also head to the UCAS Facebook page and either post or private message UCAS.
Even though UCAS do have some extra people to help on the social media pages, you may still not get an answer as quickly as you’d like. Read other people’s comments and posts as well as they may have already got the answer to your question.
Your teachers and careers advisors are also on hand to help. If you’re feeling stressed or unsure of what to do with the options available, ask them for advice. They’ve seen a lot more results days than you have and probably have some great tips.
Universities offering Clearing differ from year to year. Here is a list of some of the universities which offered places for medicine through Clearing in 2020:
Olivia, who currently studies at the University of Leicester, got into medical school through Clearing.
Imagine getting four medical offers and one biomedical science offer, and then losing it all on results day.
Olivia wasn’t fully prepared and didn’t know exactly what to do – this wasted valuable time. People were quickly filling up the limited number of places available through Clearing.
Later in the day, she started to call different universities, but kept hearing that it was too late and all the places had gone.
Fortunately, the last university that she called, Leicester, was able to offer her an interview. She immediately rushed to revise her medical application and prepare.
She couldn’t believe it when she got her place to study medicine at Leicester.
The lesson is that you should not waste any time, and try to call the universities which offer Clearing, as soon as possible, to improve your chances of getting a place.
If you haven't got any offers or you don't think you’ll get the grades, start your interview preparation before results day. Knowing that you’ve got a couple days of interview prep behind you can make all the difference.
It’s likely your interview will be over the phone.
It’s very likely that you’ll be asked ‘why medicine?’ and ‘why this university?’. Be prepared. Universities want to see that this is a carefully considered and informed decision and not just a last ditch attempt to get into medical school.
If you don't get the grades for required by the medical school, you may be asked to explain what went wrong. Be reflective and thoughtful in your approach. Don’t try to blame anyone. If you’ve had any genuine personal circumstances that could have affected your grade, explain them.
Brush up on any notes you have from your interview preparation, and read our interviews guide as a quick refresher.
Clearing is stressful. It’s normal to panic. Being prepared will help to ease your nerves.
Stress can affect your interview performance, so it’s important to keep yourself calm and composed so that you sound professional during your interview.
Congratulations! You’ve done it!
The next step is to sort out your accommodation. You might not be going to the university you originally intended. Contact the university to see what options are available for accommodation, or read Finding accommodation in Clearing.
If you don’t get an offer through Clearing, you can explore different routes into medicine, such as:
Consider alternative careers in healthcare including nursing, physiotherapy, psychology, midwifery and public health.
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