About to Enter Further Education? Clearing Advice for 2018

If you have just finished your A-Levels, you’ll no doubt be focused on university entrance, and unless you have the required grades and have already been accepted by your chosen university, you will have to negotiate this year’s clearing process. Clearing gives universities the opportunity to fill the empty classroom seats and students who have yet to find a suitable placement can source the right learning institution through the clearing process.

The Power of UCAS

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK based organisation that facilitates the university entrance process and this non profit NGO service can be accessed at where you will find useful information on the service. In order to use their service, you must first register, and with clearing in 2018 beginning on August 16th (which is A-Level results day) there isn’t much time if you haven’t already registered. The registration process includes some essential private information and selecting up to 5 courses that you would like to enrol in, and after the fee is paid, the information is added to the network and you will be given a reference number. Technically, clearing begins in July, but you are advised to wait until results day, when there will be more places available.

Time is of the Essence

As you can imagine, there are many students looking for suitable courses in UK universities, so you should be prompt in your applications, and if you have a feeling that you won’t get high enough grades, it might be an idea to prepare early for clearing, just in case you are not accepted by the university of your choosing. Using the UCAS website, you can search for similar courses to the ones you have selected, and perhaps they have lower grade requirements, which might make all the difference.

Make Good Use of the Telephone

When looking for a suitable university, the telephone is an important form of communication and before you start calling universities, make sure you have the following at hand:

  • UCAS Number
  • Clearing Number
  • A-Level/GCSE Grades

You will likely be given lots of information over the phone, so it is a good idea to have a pen and a notebook handy.

Brush Up on your Telephone Skills

It is often the case where a student is judged for suitability from a telephone call, so make sure you always put your best foot forward. You should do some online research prior to calling, and at least you will have some background information about the university and the courses they offer. It is very common for a student to be asked the question, “Why do you want to study at our university?”, so be prepared.

Results Day

This can be more than a little hectic,  so you will need to start early and check the UNCAS track site to see the status of your applications. Providing you are eligible for clearing, you will be given a clearing number, which you must use as a reference when calling universities.

With something so important as your future study, it makes sense to be prepared for clearing, and hopefully, you will be offered a place in the university of your choice.