Clearing and Adjustment – our tips for you on results day

Hi, thanks for taking a look at my Clearing and Adjustment blog post! I was in your shoes not so long ago and I remember feeling unsure about what clearing meant, nor what I could do to prepare myself. Check out my findings below!

You’ve done all of your exams, handed in your coursework, and stored away your masses of revision notes, but what happens now? It can be an anxious pause waiting for results day, but fear not! Here are my tips to prepare yourself for the big day, because you never know what’s going to happen. Fingers crossed!

  1. You’ve done everything you can, so all that’s left to do is prepare yourself for any eventualities. Hopefully, you will make your firm choice offer and you will have nothing to worry about but consider these options:
    • You don’t quite make your offer. Brush yourself down and remember, that’s what your insurance offer is for.
    • If you don’t make that one either or choose to be released from your insurance offer (contact them to ensure this happens!), you will most likely still have alternative options available to you. Don’t panic, and move on to step 2!
    • You make your offer. In fact, you did better than expected- Congratulations! Here’s where you can take advantage of Adjustment! Step 2 is applicable to you too.
    • You’ve changed your mind about your course and/or your firm/insurance universities. Contact them to be released and you’ll be entered into Clearing. Read on…
  2. Prepare early. In July, universities release a list of courses which may be in Clearing for a September start. This is a good way to find alternative universities that may be offering the course you’re interested in or even finding a completely different course if you’ve changed your mind about what you would like to study. Clearing gives you this freedom, and there are some really great courses and universities with places left to fill. Some universities hold spots openĀ on some of their most prestigious courses for students who have done exceptionally well in their exams and have entered Adjustment. So take a look, make a note of the courses and universities which interest you, and jot them down somewhere. Feeling techy? Consider starting a spreadsheet!
  3. Talk to your school, friends, and family for advice and support. They may be able to help you collect information, or simply help you feel more calm and relaxed. What’s more, they could also be a second contact for you if you need an additional voice during results day. UCAS and universities can only speak to the main contact on your UCAS application unless you specify a nominated contact, which could be a teacher, parent, or another responsible person. Fill in their details in advance, and they can make and receive calls on your behalf.
  4. Some universities have specific Clearing and Adjustment hotlines, so check on their websites a few days before results day and make a note of the numbers. This will save you from waiting around on results day for web pages to load when you could be busy on the blower!
  5. Have a look at the university course pages to give you an idea of their entry requirements. Don’t assume that these will drop during Clearing or be the same for those entering Adjustment, but they can provide you with an indication of what the university is expecting from their student intake.

You should now be prepared with a list of courses and universities which sound like good alternatives if you have done better or worse than you expected. You will also have their contact details and their grade requirements. The next step is to list the universities and courses in order of preference, leaving you with a prioritised list for you to work your way down. The good news is, once you have done that, that’s the hard work sorted – well done!


On results day itself…

I remember waking up feeling both super anxious and excited on results day and being keen to rush out of the house and make my way to college to gather my results. Before you do that, have a look at my tips below for results day.

  1. Check the UCAS website before you leave to get your results. It will remove the mystery and help you mentally prepare for your results! I have my fingers crossed for you!
  2. If you need to use Clearing and Adjustment, remember that spaces can fill up quickly so make good use of your time and call the universities you’re most interested in first. Remember: Only do this once you’ve received your results and you have been willingly released from any offers you might currently hold (firm or insurance).
  3. Note that your phone call could be put on hold for quite some time as the Admissions Teams can be exceptionally busy during Clearing and Adjustment. Therefore, ensure you are in a place with good signal and you are near a charger, and also that you have plenty of minutes to use on your phone credit. Ideally, use a landline for a more secure connection. This will give you the advantage of being contactable on a second number if a university calls you back whilst you’re talking to someone else!
  4. And lastly, remember that if you don’t find the best course at the ideal university for you, there’s no harm in taking a gap year and applying again the year after.


Finally, I’d like to say good luck! And trust me, your efforts will be worth it. You have some truly exciting times ahead, and I wish you the very best.

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