The myth of Clearing: Disappointing grades should not mean giving up your university dream

Not achieving the A level grades you were hoping for does not mean you should automatically compromise on the university and course of your choice. Universities are increasingly trying to tempt students with offers in the attempt to meet their fee targets and are seldom giving these places in the best interest of students.

For example, as you may well be aware, there’s been a significant rise in the unconditional places that universities are offering students regardless of their final A level results. UCAS has confirmed that unconditional offers made to 18 year olds has risen dramatically over the past five years – from 2,985 in 2013 to 67,915 in 2018. In addition, it’s also evident that more universities are offering very low entry grades to drive acceptance rates.

Whilst offers through Clearing may be tempting, our advice is not to rush your decision. If you had your heart set on another university course, but didn’t achieve the grades, there are other options. Seek advice from your teachers and review these options together.

An alternative to Clearing for students who received disappointing grades is re-taking your A levels, and we have been helping students bounce back from disappointment to achieve their academic aims for 27 years. Vice Principal Mike Wheeldon says, “It’s sometimes hard for students to see this at first, but there is no need for despair. Our experience clearly shows that re-sitting A levels is better than rushing into a place through Clearing that falls short of what you had set your heart on, even for students aspiring to courses in Medicine, Dentistry and Law.”

We have outstanding success at helping students transform their grades and future prospects. 2017 was yet another remarkable year for retake students. While 41% of students came to Brampton with A*-B grades, 98% left with those grades.

Jim Gibbs improved his grade in Mathematics from a C to A. He explains,

At Marylebone Sixth Form I got BCC in my A levels in Product Design, Maths and Economics. Disappointed with these results, I moved to Brampton where I agreed to retake my Maths and pick up History. This resulted in me achieving an A* in History and an A in Maths (improved from a C grade!). I got a university place at Leeds to study Graphics and Communication Design!”

Tasvee Karania has just completed her second year at Queen Mary, University of London where she studies Medicine. She explains

Having got poor results in my first year of A levels at my old school, I moved to Brampton in order to achieve the grades I needed. I’m so pleased I took this route. As a result of the exceptional teaching, and a programme tailored to my needs, I flourished at Brampton – I achieved AAAa and my dream to read Medicine!”