The ultimate guide to clearing


Clearing guide

With A-Level results day fast approaching, student stress and anxiety is likely to be high. Knowing what to expect is integral to preparing for A Level results day, the Student Room offers some excellent tips right here. Understanding what your options are is another vital step in handling this emotional time the best way you can. This is true whether you end up achieving better results than expected, or not getting the grades you hoped for. Clearing is just one of the options that can be explored after you’ve opened that envelope.

With Clearing now open for applications, there couldn’t be a better time to understand how the process could work to your advantage. Read on to discover our guide to Clearing.

What exactly is Clearing?

We’re going to point you to Which? University for a succinct explanation of what UCAS Clearing is all about:

“If you don’t get the grades you need for the university course you’re applying to, Clearing is an opportunity to grab a spot on a similar course. This could be at the same university or a different one. Clearing allows universities to fill up any vacant spots on their courses – after all, they don’t want to see empty seats in their lectures come September.”

Clearing isn’t just reserved for students who don’t meet the conditions of their university offers. Many more individuals find the Clearing process advantageous, with most gaining access to additional higher education opportunities as a result. Clearing is great for students who didn’t receive any university offers or received offers that they did not want to accept. Students who are applying for university after 30th June can also utilise Clearing.

Although the main aim of Clearing is to connect students looking for a university place with available course spaces, it doesn’t mean that more prestigious choices aren’t available. Many top universities, including Durham, Surrey, Exeter, Leeds, and York offer places through Clearing.

How long do I have to use Clearing?

UCAS is now accepting Clearing applications and will be until 23rd October 2018, so you don’t have to rush into a decision as soon as you receive your A Level results.

Where can I get further advice about Clearing?

Your school, college or careers office will be on hand to provide further advice on the Clearing process. UCAS search function can also be used to find Clearing places, and you are advised to keep checking back for additional vacancies as some universities add courses later than others.

As you can only add one Clearing choice at a time, before you start your application it’s worth approaching the universities that you’re interested in directly. Many students receive informal offers over the phone during this period. You can use Clearing to approach the universities that you previously applied to but didn’t receive an offer from. All you need is your Clearing number to get started (you’ll find this in Track) and your personal ID. After you have permission from the university you can add your Clearing choice in Track, fill in the necessary details and wait for their confirmation in the Choices section. Don’t worry if the university doesn’t confirm, you’ll be able to remove your current choice and add another.

Looking for a distraction from waiting for your A Level results? Spend summer in Cambridge and countdown in style by attending a number of local events.

Where to look next:

  • To find out more about our A Level and GCSE courses, click here
  • We have possibly the best boarding in the UK – have a look at boarding at CCSS
  • Our student profiles give you an insight into what life is like for students at CCSS
  • If you’re interested in seeing which universities our students go to, click here.

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