Clearing Advice and Tips - Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys

Sixth Form

Clearing Advice and Tips

For advice online look at:

For a list of Clearing FAQs try:

Read some clearing success stories and stay positive:

What to do if you are not offered a place at your firm or insurance choices:

Do not panic – keep calm and remember that thousands of students are in exactly the same position as you. You are not alone and help is available from school and from the university help lines.

Step 1: Call your university of choice:

Have your UCAS personal ID to hand. Call both your firm and insurance choice universities and ask whether there is any possibility that they could offer you a place – be ready to tell them your UMS, EPQ or anything extra that you have done.  If that doesn’t work, perhaps go back to other universities that offered you a place which you had to decline. You could call these universities and see if they would still consider you for a place.

Step 2: Time to look further?

Make sure that you have your Clearing Number (this will be displayed on UCAS Track) also have your UCAS number and your results to hand.

If you have not already done so, sign up to the Direct Contact Service on the UCAS website. If you sign up, universities and colleges can contact you if they have places on courses that might be suitable for you.

Start looking at the course lists which will be published in the newspapers and on the UCAS website, they should also be emailed to you by UCAS. Consider whether you still want to study the same subject. Is there something else that you want to think about now? You could consider a joint honours course or a different subject that takes you in the same direction as your eventual ambitions.

Step 3: Make the call

If you see courses which you want to study are open in Clearing now it is time to phone the university – keep calm and sell yourself. Stay positive and be enthusiastic, the staff are there to help you make the right choice. You will need make the call not your parents!

You will need to tell them which course you are interested in and give them all of your details – particularly your results. Quite often you will speak to an advisor first who may then pass you on to talk to an admissions tutor who will be an expert in the subject. Remember keep calm, stay positive and do not make a panic decision, ask questions about the course and demonstrate to the admissions tutor that you have done some homework – check the contents of modules and how they are assessed and impress them! If you are offered a place over the phone you will usually be given a deadline by which time you need to apply for the course. Tip: have a copy of your personal statement ready along with details of the course you are interested in and be prepared to sell yourself.

Step 4: Try again

If you didn’t get an offer the first time, don’t worry – keep looking and try again. Some universities will be very busy and you should keep trying and do remember things change quickly so don’t give up. There are lots of options and you should try to be open minded. Do make sure that you chose a place where you will be happy. Tip: If you were unsuccessful with a university once, it may be worth trying again as things change very fast and students sometimes change their minds.

Step 5: Accepting a course offer

If you choose to accept a clearing offer you will need to visit the UCAS Track website.

Click on the 'Add Clearing Choice' button and enter the institution and course details. You can only enter details for one choice, but don’t forget you do not need to make the decision immediately. Universities will normally give you a deadline by which you must enter these details to formally take up the offer.

Make sure you only enter a Clearing choice if the university has offered you a place on the course and you want to accept it. If you enter a Clearing choice without discussing it with the university, this may delay the progress of your application. Tip: take a moment, discuss with your family and friends before you decide to accept any offer.

Step 6: The University

Try to visit your new choice of university if you did not attend an open day, you need to make sure you have made the right choice and if at all possible arrange a meeting with your tutors. Double check accommodation and make sure you have the most suitable option for your needs.

You will very likely find a course and university that suits your needs and will go on to be extremely happy there. If, however, you do not feel that applying through clearing is the right thing for you, we will gladly help you to submit a new application for next year. 

Mrs R LeSeelleur, UCAS Lead