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Top tips

We've pulled together our top tips for Clearing to help you get the most out of the process.

When you become eligible to apply for a University place in Clearing, you might have to contact lots of universities on the same day and make decisions quickly. It's normal for this to be daunting, but going into the process equipped with knowledge will help make it as stress free as possible.

You might have to wait until you get your results to be eligible for Clearing, but you can gather all the information you'll need on the day in advance.

  • When you've identified some universities and colleges you are interested in, keep checking their websites for Clearing information. Vacancies may be listed from July onwards.
  • Write down a list of course options (including UCAS codes) and find out the Clearing hotline numbers for these places - you don’t want to be panicking to find information on the day.
  • Get all the correct documentation together including your UCAS Personal ID.
  • Prepare copies of academic results and any other tests such as English Language so that you have these ready to send.
  • Check who will be available to help you at your school or college and at home; universities will only be able to give general information to teachers, advisers and parents unless they are your nominated UCAS contact so check who this is.

If you're applying to university through Clearing, you might be worried that you've missed out on the chance to check out a prospective university at an open day. Don't worry - most universities will be happy to show you around, and at the University of Exeter we are hosting special visit days during the busy Clearing period. We highly recommend a visit if you have never been to our campuses before. 

If you can't attend one of these visit days in person, you can send someone to go on your behalf, or have a look at our virtual campus tours.

  • Keep your results day free (plus the following weekend) - it will be hard to make important phone calls and decisions if you are busy celebrating.
  • Make sure you've got a working phone, pen and paper and access to the internet.
  • If you're phoning from overseas, think about the time zone you will be in and when you will be able to contact staff in the UK. Bear in mind the phone connection quality can vary and you might find it quicker to complete our online form and we will call you back.
  • It is important to ensure that you consider all your options and don’t rush. Take your time to make the right decision for you.
  • If you go through Clearing and find that your grades are not high enough to secure the place you want, we would advise you to consider your options. You might decide that retaking your exams and applying again the following year is the best option for you.