Keep Calm and Look into Clearing

If you missed the UCAS deadline or didn’t get the grades you needed to get into your firm or insurance choice universities, you can use Clearing to find a place at other universities which have places available. You can also use Clearing if you’ve simply changed your mind about what course you want to study and where.

If you think you may not get the grades you need, it might be worth preparing for Clearing before you even get your results. You may not even need it, but if you’ve done the leg work beforehand, you’ll be less stressed and the whole process will be a breeze:

  • Make a list of possible courses and universities you’d like to apply to and rank them in order of which one you’d prefer.
  • Get the contact details for universities – most universities have a dedicated Clearing helpline and advertise this well in advance. A quick Google search should be sufficient.
  • Make some notes about why you want to study your chosen subject and what previous experience you have in the area – admissions staff will most likely ask you questions around these areas.

Now let’s look at the Results Day timeline so you know what you expect:

1. The morning of Results Day

Check your UCAS account for any status updates and to see if you made the grades for any conditional offers. If you didn’t get the required grades, don’t panic. Contact your chosen universities first as they still may be able to offer you a place.

2. Do some research

If you got this step out of the way before you got your results – nice job! If not, visit the UCAS website to look up potential universities and courses.

3. Contact your new choices

Most universities will have helplines that open from 8am on Results Day. Lots of other people will be calling the helplines, so you may have to wait to get through to someone, but don’t be put off.

4. Have your details to hand

This includes your UCAS number, Clearing number and your results. Having these to hand will allow admissions staff to help you that much quicker. Also, keep a pen and paper nearby.

5. Be prepared to talk about yourself

Some universities may conduct a quick telephone interview to see if you are suitable for the course you are applying for. Have your CV and personal statement to hand.

6. Get an offer

If all goes well, the university will give you a provisional offer. You then need to add the university’s details into your Clearing choices on your UCAS account. Wait for official confirmation of your new place by letter or online alert.

In 2021 Clearing opens from 5th July to 19th October – find out more about the Clearing process in our video from on Clearing from UCAS.

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