Don't panic! 5 tips to help you through Clearing

Student in cafe

If you received your results and they aren’t what you expected or you’ve changed your mind about your choice of course, or maybe you’ve just left things late – whatever reason you’re applying to university through Clearing, you’re not alone. Tens of thousands of UK students land their places through the Clearing process each year. It’s not anything to be worried about. In fact, according to a survey last year by Which? University, 83% of students who went to university through Clearing said they were satisfied with their choice.

Finding a Clearing place is a straight-forward process as long as you prepare a little in advance. You can search the latest vacancies on the UCAS website or you can check the Clearing courses listed on university websites. Once you’ve carried out some research on what is available and where you’d like to study, you’ll be ready to start calling university hotlines to find out if you’ll be accepted.

Take note of these tips to help prepare you for Clearing:

1. Keep calm

Although there are limited places during Clearing, you don’t need to rush and scramble for the first course that you find. Spend some time looking carefully at the types of courses on offer and which ones best match your particular interests and career goals. Try to think calmly and clearly about how you want to spend the next three years. 

2. Do your research

In addition to finding out about courses, you’ll also want to make sure the university is a good match for you. Check uni websites to find out about the student experience, the type of accommodation on offer, the campus layout and facilities, opportunities to study abroad, etc. You’ll also want to make sure the city you’ll be based in suits your needs as well. Find out if the university is holding a Clearing Open Day so you can get a better idea of the campus and the area.

3. Be prepared for making your calls

Find a quiet and relaxed setting to make your calls. Be prepared for any questions staff might ask such as why you want to study the subject and if you have any related work experience. Be ready to sell yourself.

Before you make your calls ensure you have:

  • your Clearing number from UCAS Track
  • your A level results/qualifications
  • questions you want to ask
  • your login for UCAS Track
  • notes about the course you want to study

4. Ask questions

Choosing the right course and university is a big decision so ensure you’re making an informed one. While you’ve got staff on the phone ask them anything you’re not clear on. Don’t be worried about asking questions, it shows that you’re thorough and enthusiastic – the kind of qualities universities are looking for.

5. Take notes

If you’re making calls to a number of universities make sure to keep track of what was said by each, as every university has different ways of doing things. Be sure to record the names of the people you spoke with, important deadlines, what happens after you accept an offer, etc.

Don’t give up! Don’t despair if you’re rejected for Clearing by a university. There’s no harm in waiting a few days and trying again. In those few days circumstances might have changed and there might be places needing to be filled.

Looking for a Clearing place at Liverpool John Moores University? Take a look at our Clearing pages.


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