The lead up to results and results day can be stressful. Here we share what you need to know, what to expect and tips for supporting someone through the process.
UCAS for parents – Clearing
UCAS adviser Helen explains how Clearing can help if your child doesn't get their results they need to get into their chosen uni.

Need to knows

  • UCAS doesn’t send results to students – they come from the exam board, either via their school, by post, or online.
  • SQA results for Scottish students will be published on 10 August 2021. A level results will also be published on 10 August 2021.
  • When universities have students' results they will check the offer details and confirm if the conditions have been met.
  • If the university confirms a place, this will be shown clearly in Track for applicants.
  • Students who find themselves without a place will be eligible to use Clearing.

Supporting someone in Clearing

From 5 July, Clearing is a chance for students to look for a place if they don’t have one after they've received their exam results.

It’s also the final chance for universities to fill any places they still have available.

There’s lots of information on how Clearing works – but as a parent supporting a student, here are our top tips when supporting someone using Clearing.

Before results…
  • Use trusted sources – official Clearing vacancies are only available on ucas.com. These are updated throughout Clearing, based on the places universities and colleges have available. 
  • Do plenty of research – read our information on exam results – including key timings, what to expect, and how to prepare. Clearing courses are available in the UCAS search tool from 6 July, so there’s no harm in looking to see what's available before results day.
  • Regularly check Track – this is where students can find the latest updates on their application, and can reply to their offers. 
  • Make sure we have the correct contact details – otherwise they could miss important updates.
  • Go through offer conditions before results are released – so they’re able to make the right decisions when their exam results are published.
  • Check how they’ll receive results – exam results are not shown in Track. It onlys show if an application has been successful or not. Students will receive their results from their exam centre, and depending on social distancing guidelines there may be specific rules in places at schools and colleges – make sure you’re clear on the process.  
When results are released...
  • Stay positive – if your child doesn’t get their place, there's no need to panic. There will be plenty of places available in Clearing, so encourage them to look at the options available.
  • Review their matches in Track – students in Clearing can click the ‘My matches’ button in Track, to see a list of courses they’ve been personally matched to based on their application. They’re able to tell universities and courses if they’re ‘interested’ and their details will be passed to the provider to consider. If the provider has places they’ll be in touch.
  • Use our search tool to browse courses – it's the only official vacancy list, so it’s the most up-to-date on results day. Here they can view the entire range of courses on offer, if they want consider different subjects or course types.
  • Talk to current students – they can chat to current students through Unibuddy, to find out more about their experiences and get the inside view.
  • Take a virtual tour – perfect if they’re looking at different campuses they’ve not been able to visit.
  • Add their Clearing choice in Track – if they’ve been in touch with a uni and secured a place, make sure they add it as their Clearing choice in Track. Once it’s confirmed they can get ready to study!

What happens if they change their mind?

It’s not a problem – if they no longer want to go to their firm choice, they can use the ‘decline your place’ button in Track from 5 July. This will mean they’ll be entered into Clearing and can look for another place.

If their results are better than expected and they want to see if they can get a place on an alternative course, they can use Adjustment – which allows them to look for alternatives while still holding their place.


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