View guides

Top Tips for Clearing 2016

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Last year more than 64,000 students found a place through clearing, so there still remains plenty of opportunity to grab a place at university even if you were unable to secure a place first time.

With results day fast approaching it pays dividends to prepare yourself for Clearing just in case the worst does happens.

Here are some of our top tips for those entering the Clearing process.

1. Make sure you're available.

It sounds obvious but make sure you're not planning to go away on holiday or are committed to some other engagement that will prevent you from being available on the day.

2. Consider your options.

Ask for advice from friends and family and consider all options open to you should you not achieve your desired results. Try not to rush into a decision by discussing your strengths and why you chose a particular course in the first instance.

3. Do your research in advance.

Take a look at alternative universities and courses and save them to your bookmarks for future reference. You can then refer to see whether the course is available come Clearing by checking out what's available on the Ucas website, which provides an official list of vacancy's. Note down the open times of Clearing lines and the numbers themselves so you can act quickly on the day.

4. Have all your details at the ready.

Prior to calling make sure you have all your details to hand including your Clearing number, Ucas number and A-level/GCSE result grades. Your Clearing number can be found by logging into Ucas-Track as well as your personal ID, both of which you will need when speaking to universities. Some universities may also ask for scanned copies of your qualification certificates so have a back plan to ensure you can provide copies.

5. Print off your personal statement.

Make sure you have your personal statement to hand so you can easily refer to it if need be.

6. Prepare some constructive questions.

Although it may turn out to be a simple process prepare yourself for the worst case scenario. Treat the phone call like a mini interview and think of answers to possible questions they could through your way such as - Why do you want to study a particular course? Remember, interviews work best when they are a two-way conversation.

7. Have a pen and paper to hand.

It's useful to have a pen and paper to hand so that you can make notes during the call and take down the names and direct numbers of those you speak to just in case you need to ring back later in the day,

8. Become an early bird for the day.

Once you're ready and have all the necessary information available get on the phone as early as possible once you know you're in Clearing. Places can go quickly so be prepared to move fast on the day.

9. Confirm as much as you can.

Try and confirm as much as you can there and then. If possible try and get an email confirmation of your university offer and remember to ask how long the offer is valid for.

Best of luck!