How to survive Clearing

Take a look at our 7 top tips on how to prepare for A level results day

Clearing is a way for students who don’t have a place at university to find somewhere that has vacancies. It runs every year throughout June and September and is open to anyone registered on UCAS.

There are lots of reasons why students go through Clearing. You might not get the results you were expecting, you may have got better grades than you thought or maybe you changed your mind about the course or university you picked.

Whatever the reason, if you’re thinking about Clearing, take a look at our top tips to help you survive the process.

1. Do your homework

We don’t mean to sound like your mum/teacher/scout leader but our first piece of advice is to be prepared.

Before the confusion of results day descends, do some research. Have a look for universities you might be interested in, then check what courses they have available through Clearing.

Did we mention City has some spaces left in Clearing? Have a look at the full list here.

2. Have a game plan

Put all your research to good use and put together a results day game plan. Have a printed list of universities in priority order, along with the courses, course codes, and relevant telephone numbers.

Make sure you have your Track sign in details handy too so you can log in to UCAS. That way, as soon as the results are published you can crack on straight away without delay.

3. Check your results early

If you’re a Scottish student — you’ll already have your SQA results, they were announced on 8th August. BTEC students should have their results already too. A level results day is on Thursday 17th August and the results will be available from 8am.

Clearing places are awarded on a first come first served basis and the phone lines get busier as the day goes on. Save your stress and start early.

4. Try not to dwell

If you didn’t get the results you expected, it’s obviously very natural to feel disappointed. But all is not lost! More than ten per cent of students went through Clearing in 2015 so you’re not alone.

Don’t waste time being glum. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on the phone. There are plenty of great options out there for you.

5. Sell yourself

When you call the university — remember to mention anything that might help your application. Yes, including that subject you dropped after AS level. Even if the grade was bad and you’d rather pretend it didn’t happen, those extra UCAS points might just make a difference.

Clearing Advisors are a friendly bunch and understand the position you’re in. Make sure you give them all the information you can to help them find you a place.

6. Don’t impulse buy

In the panic, it can be tempting to grab whatever you’re given. But please, sensible student friends, don’t just sign yourself up at the last minute for something completely random. Remember you’ll have to spend at least the next THREE YEARS studying this course.

If you’ve never been remotely interested in archaeology, take a step back and ask yourself whether it’s really what you want, before committing the best years of your life to it.

7. Take a look at these handy websites

The City,University of London website and the UCAS Clearing pages have all the information you could need about results day, Clearing and how it all works. Head over there for more information!

Good luck!

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