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Grace smiling in the physiotherapy suite

Clearing is about YOU not just your grades! I DID IT! My story [video]

Do grades matter in Clearing?

Yes, exam grades matter in Clearing, but they are only one element that universities consider. Your vocational achievements are also important and universities use the UCAS tariff to assess this and like to hear about your aspirations not just exam results.

Here’s what recent graduate Grace said about her grades and Clearing.

Hi everyone!

Hi everyone, my name is Grace I am a final year physiotherapy student and I actually finished university a few weeks ago which is super exciting.

I wanted to talk a bit about my experience going through Clearing and using UCAS extra to get onto my course – and I love that I’m able to show you that it’s possible because I’ve graduated now and you can equally have an amazing experience and get onto the course that you want to study. This is proved because I’ve finished now and I didn’t go in through a typical entry like other students.

I kind of knew I didn’t meet the grades…

Okay so first of all I wouldn’t call myself the most academic person by any means. I did A levels I did sixth form and I studied biology, sociology, PE and media.

Although they were hard and tough and I did all right, I didn’t get the grades that I needed to study physiotherapy. So the first time when we were applying on UCAS I kind of knew that I didn’t meet the requirements for university and that was something that made me quite nervous.

I just wasn’t sure if I would get on so after getting one rejection from a university I like freaked out and thought “oh my goodness I need to cancel all of them!”

Please don’t make that same mistake that I did, because you can only apply for five universities once and through UCAS so it meant that I was going back to square one: I could only apply for another university one time through extra, so the uni that I obviously applied for is Brighton.

So, I applied again

So I applied for physiotherapy again knowing that I didn’t have the grades, just trying my luck that I would get on by some miracle. Unfortunately again they rejected me based on my grades, but I was offered the chance to study a degree in Sport and Exercise Science which i accepted through extra and got onto the course.

“So they take this whole like ‘holistic’ approach rather than just focusing on ‘you need to get this grade’ – which I love because that really benefited me.”

I did a year of Sport and Exercise at Brighton so I had an enjoyable year studying Sport and Exercise Science but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do long term. I obviously wanted to go on studying physiotherapy so ended up applying to study physiotherapy after a year on the sports science course, and that was a really straightforward process.

So already being a student at the university I was able to put in a internal application so that meant that I still applied through UCAS but I just made my one choice with Brighton. And I paid I think it was reduced for me like so I had the same processes as any other student.

What else matters in Clearing if it’s not just about grades?

They look at your application, they look at your personal statement and they invite you to a Clearing interview. I was invited for a interview and then made an offer: get this grade and I would be accepted, and I think the grade was 65%.

So the beauty of the course that I’m studying and writing, in general I’d say is that although they might expect you to reach this grade to study the course, they take this whole approach looking at you.

Grades do matter in Clearing but they aren’t everything

So, like I said at the beginning of the video, I’m not that academic so it was a struggle for me to think I need to reach this grade to get onto the course, but they take everything into account: they took into account the fact that I did work experience (I was able to talk about how it impacted me and why it made me want to study my course), they took into account my interview and how I did on that, they probably took into account references and the fact that I’m already studying at uni.

“I remember like freaking out on results day not knowing what was gonna happen and I found out I got onto the course!”

Will a university accept me with lower grades?

Yes, so I didn’t get the grade that they said you need to get onto the course, so it meant that I waited till results day 2018 for Clearing to find out if I got into my course.

I remember like freaking out on results day not knowing what was gonna happen and I found out I got onto the course! I’m so grateful for that moment: I still remember vividly just being in shock and running to my mum and my younger brother and giving them a hug, but it was all okay.

There’s always gonna be a way whether it’s through Extra like it was for my sport science course or through Clearing like it was for physiotherapy course: there will always be a way!

So, I hope that’s reassuring for you

So I hope that’s reassuring for you hearing my little journey onto my course: It’s got me where I am now finishing my physiotherapy degree. Let that be an encouragement not to give up either. It took a couple of attempts from me but persevere if it’s what you want to do, there’s definitely a way and I hope that encourages you.

So if you are interested in studying at the University of Brighton, I would absolutely say go for it! Sign up to an open day, get to know the university, speak to unibuddies on the website. You’ll have the best time. I’ve had the best three / four years here and I wish you the best.

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Grace Ogunlola • 9th August 2021

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