Be prepared

Nick Strong, admissions tutor at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, explains what he wants to hear during Clearing
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The Independent Online

The better prepared you are, the better impression you'll make with the admissions tutor, so make sure you bring the right information.

The better prepared you are, the better impression you'll make with the admissions tutor, so make sure you bring the right information.

You'll need your date of birth, your UCAS application number, your Clearing Entry Form (CEF) number (if you've got it) and a list of all your qualifications and grades, including GCSEs. Sometimes an institution might be considering two applicants with identical qualifications, and, if one has got better GCSEs, that may end up being the deciding factor.

Remember to have your contact details ready: postal address, email address, phone numbers, and, if possible, a fax number. Going away isn't a good idea at this time of year, but if you are planning to, leave your contact details.

Have your UCAS personal statement in front of you. If you haven't kept a copy, then prepare something as close to it as possible. The admissions tutor wants to know why you think you are a suitable candidate. You addressed this when you wrote your statement, so have it to hand. Don't forget to add any new information.

Have a brief CV ready, which you can either fax or email to the institution. I would advise students to include a photograph, because admissions tutor can then start to put a face to the name.

Emphasise your strengths; don't be modest. Highlight evidence of self-motivation and personal achievement. Universities and colleges want self-motivated people with team skills.

Include any special circumstances that might explain why your performance wasn't as good as you would have hoped. Keep it succinct and don't make a fuss. A faxed or emailed letter of support from your school or college will strengthen your application.

The key is to have it all this information at hand.

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