Students rely on social networks for clearing advice

It was a huge day for A-Level students in the UK as they received the exam results that will determine whether they go to university or not and many turned to social networks for support and advice on what to do next.

Two weeks ago we found that students lacked confidence in their exam results but for those that got the grades they needed results day was a calm affair usually followed by a night of celebration and a weekend long hangover in preparation for uni.

But for those that didn’t the ‘OMG I’m in clearing‘ panic sets in and students want answers immediately.

The primary route for many students was UCAS who this year had a service called UCAS Connect, which helped to spread the demand for their services across other channel such as Facebook, Twitter and The Student Room.

And it was needed as UCAS.com crashed early on in the day due to an unexpected 4x more visitors to the site, which meant more emphasis was placed on the external channels to answer students’ questions.

As some students sat on hold waiting for their calls to be taken or twiddled their thumbs anticipating an email response the social media train was in full flow from UCAS’ digital hub, where at the time of writing the response was:

  • The Student Room Advisors – 952 posts seen by 230,000 students going to uni in September
  • Twitter – 550 tweets seen by 13,144 followers of UCAS
  • Facebook – 181 messages seen by 19,052 people who ‘Like’ UCAS

In addition to this the regular moderators on TSR responded to an additional 1079 queries in our dedicated UCAS, Clearing and A Level forums and another 12,183 posts were been made by users of the site.

This is great news for students as a quick response during clearing could be the difference between a place in September, paying 3 times as much in 2012 or looking for alternatives to uni.