A place at your preferred university isn’t guaranteed which is why there are processes in places for all those who still haven’t found a university to attend come A level results day. You may have heard of the clearing process in the past but aren’t quite sure what it involves.

If this sounds like you, read on and we’ll tell you all you need to know about the clearing process and how it works.

What Is UCAS Clearing?

As you should already know, UCAS are the independent body responsible for overseeing the university application and admissions process. All university applications must go through UCAS rather than directly to universities themselves.

To assist all those who didn’t quite make it into their university of choice, UCAS will facilitate a process where you’re able to interact with other higher education establishments which may not have filled all of their places.

University Research

The advertisement of clearing places usually begins at the beginning of July, a good month before you receive your results. This is a great opportunity to research other universities you might like to apply for if your primary choice falls through.

You will need to be open minded here as you will likely see universities you never considered attending which might even be in the wrong part of the country. With that in mind, a university place rather than none at all is still better for most people.

What Do I Need to Do?

You must first wait for your exam results as these grades are the key to any university offer you may receive. If you’re successful in obtaining the grades you expected, you should have no trouble in receiving an offer to the university of your choice. If your grades fell short of the mark, your offer may be withdrawn.

On results day, log into the UCAS website and see whether your conditional offer is still valid. If it is, great, if not, you’ll have to go through UCAS Clearing. There will be a set of detailed instructions available on the site telling you exactly what you need to do next.

  • We would suggest that you make yourself available for at least a two week period after results day. You will need access to a phone and computer to communicate with universities who are offering clearing places. The faster you respond to their communication, the better.
  • Bear in mind that you’re up against thousands of other students and that the number of places available are limited.
  • Always make verbal communication a priority. This shows universities that you’re serious about finding a place.
  • It will be an emotional time but one you will get through so most importantly, don’t panic or get too worked up over the process.

Before you know it, you will have been made and accepted an offer. This is a great opportunity for you to head over to the university campus if possible and acquaint yourself with the surroundings before term officially starts in September or October.