It’s nearly that time of the year again and the tension is undoubtedly extremely high.

Whether you’re going to university this year or in the years to come, these top tips will help you keep a cool head if you have to face the process of university clearing. However your result’s day ends up, it’s always important to remember that you will be just fine, there are plenty of steps to take and options in place in order to get you through the day, hopefully with your dream university in the bag!

Keep calm and carry on.

Tip #1


Anything can happen on results day and it’s always best to have a clear plan to deal with all the potential obstacles. It may be useful to have a list of the universities that you are going to ring up and enquire about, all of which you have previously researched.

Knowing all the information about the university offered to you will help you make an efficient and mindful decision as in many cases, it can be a ‘first come first served’ system.

Tip #2

Get started!

As soon as you are aware that clearing is the option available to you, then you have to get your place sorted as soon as you can. It’s always handy to have a laptop on you at all times to be constantly researching yet this has the potential to freeze whilst sending emails might result in some pretty slow replies. Your best bet to to simply bite the bullet and ring up your chosen universities to simply ask them if they have any places.

Asking for help from family and friends can also be a great idea as they can wait on phones whilst you continue to research!

Tip #3

Ask questions!

Clearing can be a rather stressful experience, but don’t let that mean that you agree to everything that is told to you in an attempt to secure a place.

Ask questions and find out all the information you need, make a note of any important factors, treat the experience as if you are interviewing the adviser, get all the information you need from them. Also, ask for advice! They are there to calm you and to help you, listen to them- they’ll know their stuff!

Tip #4

Sell your potential

If a space is available, you will be asked in a few words to tell the university why you deserve the placement. You need to really sell your potential here! It may be handy to write down a small personal statement to have at the ready when you are asked. You can alter it slightly depending on the university you are calling. Having a well-planned and thorough biography of yourself that you can recount as soon as you are asked will paint you as organised and determined. Having something to hold and look at might also calm the nerves.

Tip #5

Hang in there!

The wait after clearing can be up to two weeks long and it’s important to remember that you have ensured all the best options for yourself, in order to make this wait less stressful.

Try not to worry, if you’ve followed all of these steps that you can be confident in the knowledge that there’s a university out there for you.

Tip #6

Don’t make a reckless decision

It can be tempting on the day to take the first thing that is offered to you to fill the uneasiness that surrounds the lack of a university place.

However, try to resist the urge to take whatever is placed in front of you. Make sure the university is right for you, way up all the options and only commit when you are certain. Some universities can be quite relaxed in terms of a time limit to an agreement so it might be a good idea to tour the campus and facilities first before saying yes to your offer.

Tip #7

Get help from family and friends

The final decision is ultimately up to you, but seeking guidance and advice from family and friends can be a comforting experience. Also, even if you are calm, your parents may not be (they’ll probably be worrying about you!), so keep them busy googling options and universities, they will feel better to know that they are helping you to ultimately find your place.

Tip #8

Keep options open

It’s always handy to keep an open mind concerning clearing.

Even if you have not researched the university on offer to you, you can always ask for 24 hours to make your judgement during which time you can research and come to your final decision.

Consider the different variations that your chosen course can come in. For example, medical students after receiving a rejection can sometimes opt for biomedical sciences, whilst a BA in Geography can be in a BSC form at another university, so keep an open mind!

Good luck!

Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a history graduate currently working in content and communications.