How does clearing work? Moya’s story

Moya Hocker, aged 21, studied for a BSc degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Essex and graduated in 2019. She is currently working to save money to fund her Masters Degree, Cancer Sciences MRes, which she hopes to start in September 2020. Here she shares her story about how she got into university through the Clearing process.  

Interview by Jade Archer 

What was your situation when you received your A-level/BTEC results? How did you feel?
Results day is the day some people dread and some look forward to. I knew that I wasn’t likely to get into my first choice of university with my results as the conditions were AAB and I’d struggled with my Chemistry exams. I was therefore one of the people dreading results day.

What were your options?
The course I’d applied to study was BSc (bachelor of science) in Biomedical Science. I chose this because I enjoyed science and knew that studying it would open doors for me. Also, hopefully, through the process of getting the degree I would work out which area I was most interested in to continue my studies. Luckily, there are many universities in the country that offer a biomedical science course and through clearing I had some options.

Moya on Graduation Day, 2019

How did you know what Clearing was?
UCAS were very informative in the clearing process and the college I was studying at talked about the clearing process.

How did you know which university to contact?
Looking back at results day, it seems like a blur, I decided to write a list of universities that offered places to study biomedical science and started to ring them. I cannot explain the relief you feel when you get that clearing offer over the phone. The teams working for clearing helplines are so helpful and kind.

How did you know which subject you wanted to study, and where?
Once I had rang up many universities, I had a lot of options. This in itself was quite stressful, as the decision is massive and will undoubtedly change your life forever. After making a pros and cons list for each university and the course they offered, I decided to study at the University of Essex. This was based on the fact that they offered an accredited course, with campus style living, and were ranked highly for Biomedical Science.

Was the Clearing service helpful?
I’m so grateful that there is a clearing service; not only do they explain which courses you would be able to study with the grades you achieved but they also give a little insight on the university so you have a feel for what it would be like to live and study there.

What was the result 12 months after your A-level/BTEC results day?
Twelve months after results day, I couldn’t have been more happy with my choice and how things turned out. I had the most amazing first year at Essex, which I believe I wouldn’t have had if I had gone to my first choice of university. After completing my degree I’m heartbroken that it’s all over and I can’t do it all again. It’s definitely been the best experience of my life.

What advice would you give to anyone who isn’t sure about going through clearing?
University isn’t just about the grades and the degree; it’s about your self-development as a person, too. Working hard and studying to reach your best potential is as important as meeting new people and doing things out of your comfort zone to develop you into a strong, independent young adult. I would advise anyone who is thinking about going through the clearing process to consider what you want from university. I think the key to doing well in university is balance, socialising and making connections, as well as working hard and getting the results you want.

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"The teams working for clearing helplines are so helpful and kind."