With A-level results day just around the corner, you'll be heady in anticipation about finding out if you're going to land that university place. August 15th could be an easy day – you'll get the results you wanted and hey ho, it's off to uni we go. For many students however, it's not as straightforward as that. But don't panic. If you don't secure a university place by results day, you can apply for other courses through clearing. What is clearing? Clearing, which runs from mid-July until September each year and is operated by Ucas, is a way for applicants without a confirmed university place to find one. Through the clearing process, universities and colleges fill any remaining spaces for courses they have starting in September. If you're flexible about the type of course you'd like to do (and where you'd like to do it) and you've got reasonable exam results, chances are you'll find a course through the clearing process and head off on your university journey.When can you use clearing? You don't get any offers You have conditional offers, but you don't get the exam results you expected You don't want to go through with any of the offers you received You apply late for your course OK – I'm going to go through clearing. What's the next step? First, check your Ucas track status. If it says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started' – then you've been place in clearing. Next, search for courses you're interested in and contact the university direct. Speak to them and see if they'll offer you a place. Remember that some universities, such as GSM London, give you the chance to scope out the courses that will have spaces available before clearing day. This is a great idea as it allows you to speak direct course advisors who can talk to you about your options. Where can I find more information? Here's a handy Infographic explaining more GSM London Take a look at the Ucas website. Remember that in no way is clearing the end of the world, even though it might seem like it on results day. It's the pathway to something new, the start of your university life.
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