Kingston’s top tips for Clearing

With A level results day looming, Kingston University encourages students to be well prepared if they receive unexpected news

To help demystify the Clearing process, Kingston University admissions tutors have prepared some top tips for potential applicants keen to secure one of the final few course places available.

Dr Andy Homer, who oversees Kingston University’s confirmation and Clearing operation, is urging students to research their options carefully ahead of results day. “Being well organised will be crucial when making sure you get the most out of your call to the Clearing hotline if you need to get in touch”, Dr Homer said. “Having the right details, such as your Clearing number, UCAS ID and full details of qualifications to hand, including subjects, grades, dates obtained and exam boards, will be particularly vital.” 

Prospective students should not panic if they needed to enter the Clearing process, Dr Homer added. “Our operators are all handpicked and committed to ensuring that everyone who contacts the hotline has the opportunity to really explore the choices available to them,” he said. “What’s more, many of them are students themselves, so they understand just how stressful A-level results day can be.” 

Before results day

  • Leading up to A-level results, note down some universities and courses you are interested in, in case you miss out on the grades needed for your initial choices.
  • Check that you meet the course requirements.
  • Programme the Clearing hotline numbers of your chosen universities in to your mobile phone so you have them at your fingertips if you need them.

On results day

  • Go to the UCAS website to see whether you have been offered a university place or entered into Clearing. You’ll know you’re in Clearing if your Track status says ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’.
  • If you have contacted your first and insurance choice universities and still do not have a place, check out the full list of University vacancies on the UCAS website. Compare the course places available with the reserve list you put together.
  • Don’t delay – start calling university hotlines straight away. In previous years, places on popular courses at Kingston University have been filled by 11.00am.
  • Make the calls yourself.  Universities aren’t able to offer a place to parents or teachers – only to prospective students.
  • Have your UCAS ID ready when you call university Clearing hotlines – you will have been given this when you made your initial application through UCAS.
  • Make sure you have the full details of your qualifications ready to pass on to the hotline operators including subjects, grades, dates obtained and exam boards.
  • If you don’t get through to the Clearing hotline straight away, don’t panic and keep trying. Remember, the phone lines can be extremely busy.
  • Remember the person at the other end of the phone is trying to help you. Students and staff are specially trained in dealing with Clearing inquiries. Some students on Kingston’s Clearing hotline will have even come through the process themselves, so they will understand what you are going through and can empathise with the big decisions you are making.
  • When you’ve made your calls, consider all your options and think about different subjects – you don’t have to stick with your original ideas.
  • Vacancies are updated continually. You might not find the exact universities or courses you’re looking for straight away but some might get spaces later on, so keep checking back.
  • Make a few notes after each call so you don’t get confused about what is available at which university or accidentally ring the same place twice.

General tips

  • Don’t feel you have to accept the first university you receive an offer from.
  • Above all, keep calm and don’t panic. The right course place for you will still be out there. 


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