University Tips Blog
Image of students collecting results on A Levels results day
A headshot image of the author, Madeleine Brown

by Madeleine Brown

Marketing and Communications Content Producer at Wrexham Glyndwr University

posted on 10 Jul '23

A guide to the clearing process

Preparing for clearing and navigating the process of applying to universities through clearing is important to many students planning on going to university.

I have put together some pointers, along with guidance from Wrexham Glyndwr University’s admissions team, on what students can do to make sure their clearing experience is simple and straightforward.

Create a clearing checklist with personally tailored questions

When thinking about places to go to university, students should have a list of questions that are most important to their needs. There are some go-to questions that will determine where they apply, including:

  • Does this university offer the course I’m interested in?
  • What GCSEs do I need to get onto this course?
  • How many A-levels (or other level 3 courses, such as BTECs or T-Levels) do I need, and what subjects should I study in order to enrol?

To make sure that students end up at a university that really suits their needs, they should additionally think about some extra questions relating to what they think is most important:

  • Is this university further away from home than I’m wishing to travel?
  • What is the surrounding area like? What about the city life?
  • Is the campus spread out? Can I access what I need close to campus?
  • Is the university inclusive?
  • What are the support services like?

When students think about the answers to these questions, they can better visualise themselves at a university that meets their needs.

Image of a student researching universities ready for clearing

Students should be prepared to contact universities

The reality is that although teachers and parents want to help out students as much as possible throughout this process, they are fairly limited in what they can do to help applicants as they go through clearing.

The universities students contact will want to speak to students directly and not teachers or parents. This may seem daunting, but rest assured that admissions teams are used to asking for the correct details from students. As long as students have:

  • Their results on hand
  • The details of the course they are interested in
  • Their personal contact details

Then the admissions teams will be able to look into advising them on their options.

Be open to other suggestions

Although universities may not be able to offer students the course they originally applied for, they may suggest another degree which they feel aligns with the results and interests of the applicant.

This may sound strange, but students may find that the suggested course suits them better than the one they originally applied for.

Don’t rush into a decision

With the clearing checklist and course specifications in mind, students should make sure to not rush into a decision. This is especially applicable if they are offered a different course than the one they originally applied for.

Students should go through their clearing checklist and weigh up their options after contacting universities before deciding where to go. This will ensure that they are prepared for the clearing process and that they will make the right decision to start the right course at the right university for them.

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