Our friends at Milkround School Leavers have put together a guide with everything you need to know about clearing.

Results day falls on the 18th of August this year, and it is important to know exactly what Clearing is and how it might help you in your path to attending university and the course you want. Read on for a quick guide to Clearing and how you can be as prepared as possible.

What exactly is Clearing?

Clearing is a way for students to match with universities and vice versa, specially designed to allow you to use your A-level results to the fullest and make sure that you will be attending the best university you can.

If you already have offers before you receive your results your final results might change things, either by causing you to not be eligible for an existing offer or by suddenly making you eligible for a ‘better’ course or university.

How does it work?

Basically, Clearing is universities’ way of filling up any spaces they have left available after the initial application acceptance process. It is also a chance for applicants who do not have any offers from universities to get a place.

It is available every year from July to September and can be used when you have received your results.

How do I use it?

On results day, be prepared to trawl through the UCAS Clearing listings which will be on the UCAS website, in the Daily Telegraph (although this can be out-of-date by results day), and the universities’ own websites.

Once you have found out what your results are and figured out what courses you are eligible for, it is time to contact universities. You will have to call the university’s Clearing contact number and confirm what your grades are and what course you are looking to join. You may also be asked things like why you are in Clearing, what your motivation for studying your chosen subject is, and anything regarding your exam results. Have your answers for as many questions as possible ready before making any calls.

Make sure everything you are told is confirmed in writing and on UCAS Track, and take note of everyone you talk to at the university and when. It is important that you only add a choice to Track if the relevant university has given you at least a verbal offer.

reading guide to clearing

Top tips for results day

This is a huge day and you will want to be as prepared as possible. Here is how to make sure your day is a success.

  • Keep an eye on universities’ websites in advance. It’s becoming more and more popular for unis to post their vacant Clearing places on their own sites before they appear on the lists on results day.
  • Have a contingency plan. Make sure that you are prepared for every eventuality on the day, especially for worse or better results than you were expecting.
  • Make sure you’re present. Let’s just say that this is a really bad time to go on holiday.
  • Have the UCAS site or your potential universities sites at the ready so you are the first to see available spaces.
  • Make sure you’re the one making the call. Universities will not be impressed by your mum ringing up asking if there’s space for you on one of their courses.
  • Be flexible. The truth is that before you use Clearing there is no way of telling what university or course you will end up with - so keep an open mind and look to the positives of each alternative.

Good luck!

For more advice, please visit Milkround

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