University clearing 2019 explained: What time does UCAS track open on A-Level results day? How does the points system work?



Thousands of students up and down the country are eagerly counting down the hours until A-Level results day tomorrow morning.

Teenagers in London and further afield have now got mere hours until they find out whether or not they got a place at their university of choice.

But while many youngsters will be celebrating after securing a place at their preferred institution, others will be disappointed after falling short of their expected grades.

So if you haven’t quite got what you were hoping for, or know someone who didn’t, then don’t worry because UCAS Clearing helps students find courses that still have spaces – and there will be plenty to choose from.

Here is all you need to know about A-Level results day clearing.

Clearing will help you secure a place at universities with places (PA)

What is clearing?

UCAS’ clearing process lets you apply for courses that still have places available as universities look to fill spaces.

Students who miss out on a place at their favoured institutions will find courses that interest them before contacting it directly to see if they can offer a place.

Who can use clearing?

Clearing is for those who have not received any offers, missed the conditions of their offers or rejected all their offers.

How do I register for clearing?

If you haven’t applied yet, you’ll need to register and make an application. In UCAS clearing you need to complete the application as normal, including your personal statement. When you submit your application you’ll receive a welcome email to access the track service where you’ll find your clearing number.

You’ll know you’re in clearing if your track status says ‘You are in clearing’ or ‘clearing has started’.If your track doesn’t say either of these yet, it might just be waiting for your results to update. You can then search for vacancies in our search tool and contact universities and colleges to try to find a place..

Phone operators take calls in the clearing centre at London South Bank University (Myung Jung Kim/PA)

How do I use clearing?

Once you’ve made a shortlist of which courses you’re interested in using the UCAS clearing website, you should then begin to call up the individual universities to enquire about spaces.

It is important that you call up yourself, rather than asking your parents to speak on your behalf, as this is essentially a mini-interview.

Preparation is key, so make sure you have your clearing number handy – which you can find on track – and your personal ID number at the ready. You should also have your A-level and GCSE grades ready, and a note of their corresponding UCAS points value.

Some universities will ask you to send them scanned copies of relevant qualification certificates, so make sure that you can do this on the day. It’s also handy to have a pen and paper at the ready to jot down names and any relevant information you might receive over the phone.

Remember, lines will be very busy – so it’s advisable to call back rather than waiting on hold.

When you do get through on the phone, you’ll first speak to a member of the clearing helpline team who’ll talk to you about the course and your results, and they’ll then pass you on to a course administrator if they feel you meet the requirements of the course.

You’ll then need to sell yourself over the phone to the course administrator and explain why you want to do the course. You should already have a good understanding of the subject you’re planning to study, so this is a good chance for you to demonstrate to the administrator that you’re a good fit for the university.

The course administrator may make you a verbal offer – this offer usually stands for 24 hours, so you will still have time to consider other options afterwards. Although it’s tempting in the rush of the moment, don’t blindly make a decision – make sure you’re happy with the course you choose.

What should I do once I have my offer?

Once you have the offer you want, you should add your clearing choice on track. This is only possible from 5pm today, so you have time to think about it. Once you’ve added the course on UCAS the uni will have to accept it to make it official (and this may take a little while); you’ll receive an email confirmation when it’s been accepted, Track will update to say ‘clearing accepted’, and you should get a letter through in the post.



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