UCAS Clearing
Good exam results will help cement your place in your first-choice university. Source: Andy Buchanan/ Pool/ AFP

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) Clearing 2021 is underway until October. Every year, UCAS Clearing helps students get into the right course and university in the UK after school-leaving exams. As much as this is an exciting time for incoming first-years, it is also a critical period that will determine how you spend your undergraduate years. Luckily, UCAS provides detailed guidelines on applying for clearing, including tips and recommendations to suit your situation.

A Level results are due in August, along with other exams of the same level. These results will help determine whether or not you get into your first-choice university and course. When that time comes, you want to be prepared. This quick summary will tell you how to proceed with UCAS Clearing after receiving your results.

UCAS Clearing

Every year, UCAS Clearing helps students get into the right course and university in the UK after school-leaving exams. Source: Richard Bouhet/AFP

I’ve received my results. Why don’t I have any offers?

Your chosen institutions have not updated their decision yet. Each admissions department has many applications to go through and will need to follow up on results for all their applicants. Be patient and keep checking your Track on the UCAS Clearing portal.

Can I still land a spot via UCAS Clearing?

If you haven’t got an offer yet, don’t worry. Students who have received their results may still check UCAS Clearing vacancies on the UCAS search tool. Here’s where you’ll find courses that may suit you and get in touch with potential universities.

What if my grades exceeded expectations?

If you get better grades than your offer requires — first off, well done! This means you’ll likely get into your course of choice. Getting good grades increases your desirability as a candidate; you may even become eligible for other courses that are tough to get into. You can check your alternatives with the UCAS Adjustment service, without losing your original offer. The Adjustment period closes on August 18 this year.

Once one of your chosen institutions confirms your acceptance, you should move on to the next step of your admissions process: submitting proof of your qualifications.

What if my grades don’t make the cut?

You can still request a review or appeal of your exam grades — the earlier, the better. If you get a higher grade, you should submit it to your chosen unis for review by September 7.

If you miss the mark by a thin margin, you could try appealing to your chosen institution instead. They may be flexible with the entrance terms or offer you an alternative. No matter your results, students who are registered for UCAS Clearing may still see the options under “View matches” in Track.

UCAS states that students who received all university or college decisions by July 6 must have replied by July 14 — otherwise, they will automatically be declined. Check out other tips to navigate your UCAS Clearing here.