Exploring Options

Clearing and Adjustment gives students the opportunity to explore their university options if results day doesn’t go as expected. CONNECTED speaks to one graduate who has been through the process.

After not getting the results she had hoped for in her A-levels, Olivia Highwood entered Clearing to secure a university place.

She said: “I missed out on my two first university choices due to not getting the A-level results I was hoping for. The careers team at my school helped me to explore different options, including the Clearing process.

“I looked online to see which universities had Clearing places and from there, the Admissions Team at Reading helped me to secure my place.”

Having really enjoyed studying politics at A-level, Olivia had hoped to pursue this subject at university. With Reading having good ratings for the course and interesting module options, she decided to go for it and embarked on a BA Politics and International Relations degree.

Long-term benefits

Olivia shares why she feels the Clearing process was beneficial to her, and how it helped her make the right decision for her future.

She said:

“I felt like going through Clearing actually benefitted me in the long-term, although it felt very disconcerting and scary at the time.

“If I had been accepted into a university which required higher entry grades I think I would have put too much pressure on myself. By going to Reading I was able to achieve good grades and enjoy my studies, while also being able to participate in societies which has helped to boost my confidence massively.”

During her three years at Reading, Olivia participated in several societies including The Politics Show on Junction 11 Radio, and she wrote for The Spark newspaper and The Tab website.

By opting for modules that matched her interests, Olivia was able to study and debate the subjects she was passionate about and wrote her dissertation on young people and voting. At the end of her first year, Olivia was awarded the University of Reading Chancellor’s Award for her hard work and excellent results.

Olivia now works as a lettings manager for an asset management company, and says that her passion for politics and international relations plays a vital role in her job:

“My knowledge of British and EU law – as well as my study of British society – helps my negotiations. It has given me an understanding of the British and international political state, and how it affects the property industry.”

Top tips

Olivia shares her top tips for what can seem a stressful situation should you, or someone you know, find themselves in Clearing:

“My top tip would be to try not to panic. The process is easy to get through and there are really good universities offering places on great courses. Just because you didn’t get into your first choice doesn’t mean that you can’t do just as well, if not better, at another university.

“There are lists available online showing which universities have Clearing places on results day, so look at those to explore what your options are.”

Find out more about Clearing and Adjustment at Reading.