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Everything you need to know about: Clearing

RESULTS DAY: UCAS outline the main facts and de mystifies the ‘clearing’ process

TODAY IS the day when students find out if their scholastic efforts throughout the academic year have paid off.

For some this day brings relief and they look forward to claiming their chosen place at University, but for others it’s a time of uncertainty and the term ‘Clearing’ becomes a much used and sometimes misunderstood part of their lives.

In this article the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) outlines the main facts and de mystifies the ‘clearing’ process.

How to use Clearing: Five steps to follow on A-Level results day

How does Clearing work?

Clearing is how unis and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. It's an ideal way for you to find another course. You find courses (with vacancies) that interest you, and contact universities or colleges directly, to see if they will offer you a place.

If you haven't already applied, you need to register and make an application, but you’ll only be able to add a choice after you’ve submitted it. They will send you a welcome email, with details of how to access Track, and your Clearing number. They will also tell you the steps you need to follow – ask for advice, search for vacancies in our search tool, then contact unis and colleges to try to find a place – see below for more details. Once you have permission from a uni you want to go to, you can add the course in Track.

You'll know you're in Clearing if your Track status says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started'.

If Track doesn't say either of these yet, it might just be waiting for your results to update. Get in touch with the universities/colleges if it's taking a while – they might still be considering you, even if your results are a bit lower than required.

When does Clearing open and close?

Clearing opened on July 5 and closes on October 23.

Ask for Clearing advice

- Talk to an adviser at your school, college, centre, or careers office – they can talk you through alternative courses/subjects.

- See what courses are available

- Use UCAS search tool to find courses – it's the only official vacancy list.

Talk to any unis or colleges you're interested in

Before you add a Clearing choice in Track, call the uni and give them your Clearing number (you can find this in Track), and Personal ID, so they can look up your application.

Ask if they'd accept you – they might reconsider you (maybe for the same course) even if you applied to them earlier in the year.

Add your Clearing choice in Track

- Only add a Clearing choice once you have permission from the university or college. Click 'Add Clearing choice', and fill in the course details by the date the university/college gave you on the phone.

This counts as you definitely accepting the offer, so if they confirm, it'll show as an acceptance on your 'Choices' page in Track.

You can only add one choice at a time, but if the university/college doesn't confirm your place, you'll be able to add another.

Find out more on UCAS website

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