Posted Thursday 11 August 2022
When it comes to Clearing, Kingston University hotline supervisor Zoe Cheverton has plenty of advice for hopeful applicants gearing up to receive their A-level results on 18 August. As the big day draws nearer, she is urging students going through the process to stay calm and be prepared.
With Kingston University gearing up for hundreds of calls from Clearing applicants eager to snap up one of the final places on its degree programmes, Zoe knows only too well the mixture of emotions that hopeful students are likely to be experiencing when they pick up the phone to make that all-important call.
Zoe signed up to be a Clearing hotline operator when she was in the first year of her own degree studies. Now a graduate with an MSc in Biomedical Science, she will be one of the staff at the forefront of Kingston university's Clearing and confirmation operation this year.
She has been a supervisor for the busy hotline since 2018 during which time she has spoken to hundreds of prospective students and helped them to navigate their path into higher education. "It's a real emotional rollercoaster at times," she said. "You have the highs of helping people who are the first in their family to attend University and you really feel the joy they are experiencing. But, of course, you also have people who are disappointed with their results and are looking for some reassurance," she said.
Seeing Clearing students succeed was one of the most rewarding parts of her job, Zoe said. "I actually spoke to one of the hotline operators I've trained this year on the phone two years ago when they were applying through Clearing," she said. "Now she's finished her second year studying pharmaceutical science, and it's great to see the students you've helped get a place go on to thrive at the University."
Zoe has a number of tips for prospective students going through Clearing based on her experience over the past five years. "After you get your exam results, the most important thing is to take a deep breath and remain calm," she said. "I know there can be a lot of emotions, but Clearing can be a really straightforward process if you're properly prepared. In some cases, it can only take a five to ten minute conversation to secure a place."
In terms of preparation Zoe recommends that students research which courses they might be interested in and to have their grades and UCAS number to hand to help speed up the process. "Having these key bits of information when making the call is crucial," she said. "It's also helpful if callers have a clear idea of what courses they want to study, as we can then help advise them much more quickly."
One of the more enjoyable aspects of the role for Zoe has been the chance to make higher education more accessible. "I've learned a lot about how universities work. What I think makes the Clearing and confirmation period so exciting is that it gives opportunities to people who might have missed out on going to university," she said.
While Clearing peaks on A-level results day on August 18, Zoe is busy in her role year-round, with international students receiving their exam results at various times during the year.