Clearing: What you Need to Do

With A Level results day not far away you might be feeling a bit worried that you won’t get the results you need and what will happen if you go into Clearing. It might sound like a scary prospect, but it really isn’t so we are here to dispel the myths and give you all the info you need in time for August 17th!

How will I know I have gone into Clearing?

Clearing is a way for you to find a place at a University if:

a) You applied through UCAS before 30 June but didn’t get any offers.

b) You applied through UCAS before 30 June, got the offers but didn’t meet the conditions with your actual results on the Results Day (but remember: not meeting your offer conditions DOES NOT necessarily mean losing your place, give us a call!)

c) You applied through UCAS before 30 June, got the offers but then changed your mind about your firm/insurance choices and decided to change the course/university.

For all the above you must have made more than one choice on UCAS. If you only made one, then you’ll have to pay the full fee before you can continue.

d)You applied through UCAS after 30 June.

If any of those apply to you, then follow these steps:

  1. Research the universities and courses you want.

This is crucial, put one university and course in UCAS at a time, though you can call several places to get offers. The last thing you’d want to do under the pressure of clearing is pick the first course/uni that came up on your Google search without really knowing much about the subject or the University itself, therefore committing yourself to something that you highly likely won’t enjoy. Make sure to have a few shortlisted options in your pocket before proceeding to the next stage.

2. Call your choices on Results Day.

Those of you who get to this stage most likely belong to group b) (see above). Check UCAS as early as you can on Results Day to check the status of your offers, and if there are no updates CALL YOUR UNIVERSITY TO CHECK IT WITH THEM ASAP!

Remember: even if your grades are lower than your conditions, they might still be able to accept you for your chosen course, offer you a Foundation Year for the same programme or a similar course with lower grading criteria.

If you follow these steps and still do not have a place then don’t panic; here is what you need to do:

Get your list of shortlisted unis out and get on the phone. Most unis generally have a dedicated clearing hotline, to make everything happen as quickly as possible make sure you have the below to hand:

  • your UCAS Clearing ID
  • your qualifications and exact grades you’ve achieved
  • your personal statement
  • list of questions you want to ask the university
  • pen and paper to note down any important information, instructions or outcomes of the call

After this phone call, you should have various options in place to you can then carry on to step 3!

3. Get your offer!

Hopefully at this stage you will receive your verbal offer from one of the universities you have contacted which is usually officially confirmed by a follow up email. You will be asked to log into UCAS Track and make your choice officially. Remember, do not rush into anything!

Since you won’t be able to add the choice until the afternoon of the Results Day anyway, you might as well spend a bit longer gathering info and comparing the unis before making a final decision and accepting an offer.

4. Accept your offer

Once you’ve decided, it is time to make it official: choose the course through UCAS and wait for the uni who will have to accept it from their side of UCAS. You will be notified as soon as that happens, i.e your Track will update to “Clearing Accepted”. And then that’s it, you’re into university and onto a great course so all that is left for you to do is celebrate!

If you have any questions you can contact us on or on Social Media @UniNorthants #UoN