Clearing question

(15 Posts)
camrose Thu 03-Oct-19 17:41:35

Ds is looking at universities for 2020 and currently likes a course where the entry requirements are at the (very) top end of his expected grades.

The course is listed as being in clearing and I wondered if there was any flexibility with grades? I phoned the uni but they wouldn't tell me. They said it would not be helpful to me as the situation could be totally different next summer. I understand this but it would be good to know if there maybe some flexibility.

Is there any other way to find out?

OP’s posts: |
titchy Thu 03-Oct-19 18:08:06

Not for certain no. However most universities will take one dropped grade (can be two or even three!) and a course being in clearing this year is a good indicator they will do so again.

Do you know what their clearing offer was? Which course and university?

LIZS Thu 03-Oct-19 18:13:56

Not a given that they take less. If you go to applicant or offer holder day they may tell you how low they took this year. However increasingly clearing places were targeted at specific funding streams , especially overseas, to balance the budget.

camrose Thu 03-Oct-19 18:34:56

Titchy - I would really like to know what the leading offer was. I know it may just have been listed for adjustment.

The course is Sport and Exercise Science at Portsmouth University. The listed course requirements are 128 UCAS points.

OP’s posts: |
titchy Thu 03-Oct-19 18:48:42

I'd certainly expect that course to accept someone who firmed them
and missed a grade!

As it's a points offer is there an opportunity to get extra UCAS points somewhere - drama exams for example?

nodtik Thu 03-Oct-19 18:52:32

Can your son do an .EPQ to gain extra ucas points if he's a bit short?

My son did one in year 12 to give a bit of a cushion in case his predictions weren't what he wanted!

camrose Thu 03-Oct-19 18:58:00

I Don't seem to be able to find any way for ds to get extra UCAS points. He has a very time consuming sport - water sports and none of the qualifications he has gained count for extra UCAS points. He is a qualified instructor in his sport.

I'll have another look at options for extra points. At his school only the high performing pupils are allowed to do EPQs so he can't do one of those.

OP’s posts: |


FreedaDonkey Fri 04-Oct-19 22:56:43

Do you have Facebook? Lots of people used clearing this year and might be able to give you a rough guide of grades/offers accepted.

(What I wish I knew about university)

Hoghgyni Fri 04-Oct-19 23:08:43

Freeda have you read the post about sending raw chicken by post? I'm also finding it slightly worrying that so many DC are rushing home to mummy after 2 or 3 weeks away. However there do seem to be a few constructive threads which don't feature helicopter parents.

Meanwhile * Camrose* I think your DC's best bet is to write a cracking PS, go to an offer holder day and make sure the admissions team know him.

Ginfordinner Sat 05-Oct-19 10:33:17

He has a very time consuming sport

Is there any way he can temporarily scale back the amount of time he spends on this sport to concentrate on improving his grades?

seasidequayside Sat 05-Oct-19 10:57:14

Ask the courses your dc is interested in how much weight they give to the personal statement and relevant experience? I think sport science (like music and drama) is a course where extra curricular activities can carry more weight because they are very relevant to the course. But with sport there's not the added UCAS points that you'd get for things like music grades or LAMDA exams. It would also be worth discussing with staff at an open day.

I think you can look on Unistats to find the average UCAS points of students on a course, so that might give you an idea of whether they are taking lower grades - though the average will also be affected by those who get higher grades than needed. Your dc could also try asking on the StudentRoom forums to see if anyone is studying on that course and has any info.

camrose Sat 05-Oct-19 11:44:16

Thank you for your helpful comments. Sadly I don't think he would be able to increase his grades (predicted A*BC and he will need all these points to scrape onto the course).

He has already been on an open day and I wasn't able to go with him.

I think he just needs to work very hard to get the grades he needs! It would have been good to know there maybe a little leeway if any of the results slipped.

OP’s posts: |
MouthyHarpy Sat 05-Oct-19 11:49:20

The course is listed as being in clearing and I wondered if there was any flexibility with grades? I phoned the uni but they wouldn't tell me. They said it would not be helpful to me as the situation could be totally different next summer. I understand this but it would be good to know if there maybe some flexibility

They really aren't spinning you a line. You should take their advice.

In my department, we only go into Clearing if we find we have space. We over-recruited this year, so we weren't in Clearing. We might be in Clearing next year - we don't know yet.

And if we were in Clearing, we don't know where we'd set the grade boundary. It's for the same reason that we won't offer a deferred place to someone who doesn't meet our offer for the current year - we can be relatively confident that we'll get enough candidates who do meet our offer.

So don't try to predict or game the system - it just doesn't work that way. Your DC should be working towards the published offer - in niche subjects, it's often an indication of the level of pre-requisite understanding/knowledge/ability/achievement required to thrive in the degree.

Benes Sat 05-Oct-19 11:51:57

It's difficult to tell until they know who else has applied. Universities can absolutely apply some flexibility .....the entry requirements are a guide in many cases but it will dependant on the quality of applications the receive. However, we're in the middle of a demographic dip as 91/92 were low birth years so that may work in his favour as there just aren't as many students around.

He just needs to concentrate on making sure he's the the best candidate he can be.

MouthyHarpy Sat 05-Oct-19 11:53:08

And (reading further) it sounds as though you've got a strategy to support him & urge him on.

I'd second the advice that your DS writes an excellent & authentic PS, and attends Open Days, and just generally being engaged.

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