Results day: the journey through clearing

18 August 2017 | University Advice | Thomas Peacock

A-level results are out on 18 August. Congratulations if you have successfully secured a university place. If you have exceeded the conditions of your conditional firm offer you are, until 31 August, eligible to use Adjustment to find an alternative course at the same or different university.

For some, this will be the start of a potentially daunting and mysterious journey through “Clearing.” We know that knowing what to expect reduces stress and aids good decision making. To help you navigate the coming days, this is our guide to UCAS Clearing.


Did you miss the June 30th application deadline, decide to withdraw your applications, didn’t receive or rejected all the offers you received? If your Track Status says “you are in clearing” or “clearing has started” then Clearing is your route into university this year.


UCAS’s Clearing process allows you to apply for courses at universities that still have spaces available. If you haven’t been able to nail down the course or the university that you want, this is an excellent opportunity to pursue your goals through a slightly altered process. However, once universities have achieved their target number of students they will no longer be available through Clearing.


How does this work? After searching available courses, make a short list of those universities that interest you, then call them. Be sure to have your Clearing number, personal ID number and A-level results at the ready. Have proof of your qualifications, or certificates, scanned and ready to be electronically submitted to any potential University administrator.

You will first talk to a member of the university Clearing Helpline who will first screen you to see if you meet their minimum academic course requirements. If you do, then you will be passed on to an administrator. This is a phone interview so sell yourself. TAKE NOTES; you don’t want to forget instructions or important names and contact details.

If you receive a verbal offer it stands for 24 hours. You don’t have to say yes or no on the spot. Take your time to weigh up your options, but be mindful of deadlines. Note that during this next 24 hours you are allowed to approach other universities. Once you decide, add your Clearing choice to Track, after 5pm. You can only add one course at one university. Your decision is final.


Clearing vacancies will be displayed on the UCAS search tool at 6pm on 17 August. At 7:30am on Results Day, the UCAS contact Centre will go live, and the updated status will be available online from 8am. The “Add Clearing choice” option on Track will be available from 5pm. The social media hub and Contact Centre will close at 8pm on 18th August. Finally, the deadline for all applications directly through clearing is 6pm (GMT) on 30th September.

Remember, the more preparation you do in advance, the smoother the process.

This piece was written by Juliana Storeyl of Alexander Partners. For more information you can view their website here.

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