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Tips and Tricks of Clearing

Tips and Tricks of Clearing

It can be stressful when you don’t get the grades you need for the university you want. But don’t panic!

There is another way into university. Clearing.

This is when universities lower their grade boundaries or find different ways to accept students on to their courses. It may not be your first choice of university or the exact course you wanted but it can all lead to a bright future.

Obviously, last year was a bit horrible in terms of the effect COVID-19 had on grades. But I’ll tell you a little secret, universities will do their best to get you onto a course you like the look of.

When you phone up during clearing, you’ll be asked about the course that you want to study at university. The team member taking the call will see what courses they can offer you and then check your grades, before talking to the team about what can be offered to you.

Once it is confirmed the course can be offered to you, the team member will then help you fill out a form to get your application on the way. As long as you meet the conditions that have been set, you’ll be on the course when the start date comes around.

I know it can be a really stressful time. The team that works clearing understand this and will do whatever they can to put any anxiety at ease. It’s why they try to make the process as easy as possible.

Four female students walking outside Gateway building at High Wycombe campus
Do’s and Don’ts of Clearing


  • Ask all the questions. There is no silly or stupid question. You’ll want to be 100% clear on what’s going on, what’s going to happen etc. The team member you’re speaking to will do everything they can to help and assist you.
  • Be truthful and accurate with your information. When the team is helping with the application, you have the choice to either do it yourself on UCAS or have them fill out a form for you. They will repeat back information to check it is all correct. If it is not correct, it can slow down the process of your application. None of your information will be given out, it is strictly confidential.
  • Send anything that the team asks of you. You have to prove your grades, qualifications etc. To get the application and process going smoothly, you need to send everything when asked.
  • Make sure you are calling the right university. It saves both parties time. It’s ok if you do get it wrong though. Just always double check beforehand!


  • Get frustrated or angry towards the staff. I know results day and the time surrounding it is stressful, but the team is doing its best to help you. Think of this as a first impression. If you make a bad one, it could potentially hinder your application.
  • Continuously phone up for the application process. It takes time for the team to look over it. Once they have, they will contact you with what is needed as and when. If you haven’t heard within 48 hours then go ahead and phone up.
Group of students around kitchen table in Brook Street accommodation


  • You’ll be offered a chance to interact with lecturers from the course you’ve applied for once the form has been sent off. This’ll be either after the call or (if you’re happy with it) your contact details will be passed on to the lecturer so they can contact you when available. Definitely talk to them because it means that you can ask any course related questions and get an informed answer.
  • Go to the workshops/campus tours/open days. These allow you to talk to students and lecturers as well as see the campus and accommodation. There are virtual and in-person options available, and all the information about BNU open days, tours and workshops are on our website.


Best of luck for results day. I know it is a stressful time of year but will hopefully work out well for you.

Best wishes,