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Clearing made simple

With August 14th on the horizon, many of you may be faced with the prospect of having to go through Clearing. Of course, there is a degree of rigmarole that comes with it, but it is nowhere near the stressful, disconcerting prospect many think it is.

To add a sense of assurance, here is a handy guide to get you through it.

What is it?

Clearing is a method in which prospective undergraduates apply for university places that have not been filled yet.

As such, it's important that you know whether you are permitted to apply via Clearing. This is pretty simple. You can participate in Clearing if: you haven't been offered any of your first-time choices, you didn't meet the academic requirements set by the university or you rejected an offer.

It's good to be prepared before going through clearing

It's good to be prepared before going through clearing

How do I undergo clearing?

All you have to do is log on to UCAS and look for their Tracking page. You should be aware of this already as you should be pretty familiar with the website from regular use over the past few months.

Next, it is important you note down your tracking number as you may have to cite it a few times during your attempts to get into a university.

You will then need to get in touch with some universities. UCAS publish a list of available courses as soon as they start coming in, but you will have to act quickly if you find a course that you think will be hotly contested. 

Remember, there will be many people scrambling for a course, too.

Read up on courses you like the look of thoroughly

Read up on courses you like the look of thoroughly 

How should I prepare when getting in contact with universities?

You may have thought the interview process was over, but the high number of students who will be clawing at your course means you may have to impress your potential lecturer.

Be sure to have some good responses planned by researching the course, the university and an explanation as to why you'd be a good fit.

Your personal statement may help with this, so keep it close by to reference.

Also, remember to ask someone questions to help you decide whether the university is for you, such as whether accommodation or other services are available.

Be sure to know a few things about the university you're applying for

Be sure to know a few things about the university you're applying for

What next?

After you've conversed with the university, they will decide if they want to take your application further. If so, you will have to apply formally on the tracking website so they can access your UCAS profile.

You will then have to wait for confirmation via post. Good luck!