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So the results are in.


You didn’t make it into your firm choice. It’s a horrible feeling, one that seems to eat you up from the inside…


But I promise you, as much as it may feel as if it is the end, it isn’t. As I’m sure you’ve already been told, there are options.


One of the more prominent and well-advertised of which is Clearing.


When you had first decided upon which University to study in, I’m sure you would have considered factors such as the location, accommodation, the quality of teaching, the type of University it is and of course, the course content. Now as your search begins again it may not feel as simple.





However your thought process before having decided upon a University may still be relevant. This is because while deciding what you want from your chosen University, you had also subconsciously acknowledged what you don’t want. So for example, if you wanted a campus close to the main building, that also means you may have decided you didn’t want one that was far away from the official administrative offices and involved a long, arduous trek.


Now it’s time to take this information and use it to guide further research into the University and its courses. Remember to use websites like The Student Room in order to find out more about others opinions on the University – past and current students, representatives for extra-curricular activities available at the University and so on.


UCAS – at the heart of connecting people to higher education…


UCAS is yet another exceptionally significant website in the Clearing process. As a higher education application processor whose aim is to aid as many candidates as possible, this UK-based organisation is equipped with up-to-date Clearing listings that inform students of the opportunities available to them.


Clearing itself opens early in July, with vacancies being constantly updated. It is however useful to know that many courses only appear on Clearing after A Level results day. But hurry! Despite being consistently updated, the results day rush means it’s important to double check vacancies and get into contact with Universities as soon as possible! There is absolutely no time to dawdle: the sooner you have your new place sorted, the better!


The all important phone call…


Make sure to find yourself a nice, calm corner – one where no disruptions can reach you as you make the call to the University. Yes, Clearing spaces go quick – so quick it’s easy to be fearful of being left behind as a result – but it’s important to remain optimistic and composed. Remember: this phone call is the first impression you are providing to your chosen University so try to make it a good one! Before making the call, take a minute to collect yourself; it might even be useful to have a glass of water at hand to help calm your nerves.


Another thing to remember is to have your details at hand: contact information, your Clearing number from UCAS, your grades (GCSE and A-Levell) and maybe a list of questions you wish to ask the admissions officer. Having all these ready will make the process easier and means you are less likely to be left fumbling around the place, as flustered as a lost soul.


While navigating your way through this call, take notes on the information being provided to you. This will help you organise your own thoughts during the call itself while also making it easier when needing to get back into contact with the University.


Timing is everything…


Your clearing choices must be updated within a time period – around 12 to 48 hours after having talked to your chosen University. If you haven’t discussed your application with the University or reply after the time period provided, you can be rejected.


Since you can only have one clearing choice, make sure you’re completely comfortable with the offer beforehand. Take you time with this – just remember you’re on a time limit!