I have had a bit of insomnia. This morning I am constructively doing laundry at 3:30 a.m. Twitter tweets drew me into a fascination with UK university admussions. The idea of needing x scires on a single set of exams to achieve one's firm choice, and y scores to achieve admission to one's insurance choice, fascinates me. The process of "clearing", a computer-tabulated database to match unsuccessful test-takers with available open slots, seems very high-tech. The notion that something like A level exams could mean so much is a bit foreign. In my day, the SAT and ACT mattered a bit for elite school admissions but were of marginal importance for routine admissions. Ither than things like bar exams, only the med school admissions test mattered so much. MCAT scores determined whether A students got coveted entry into med school or instead had to settle for the less remunerative life of a well-paid, less-stressed and more prestigious Ph.D. My LSAT was good though not great, so I could have gone to a somewhat more prestigious law school than the one I chose. I would not change a thing. It is hard to imagine a world where exams like GCSE, A-levels and BTECs matter so much, but I think it might be exciting to go from school A and fallback school B into clearing and a surprise admission into complete darkhorse school Z. But my school days are done, and eBay bids are the closest I come to unexpected wins and losses.