Survival strategies for Clearing and Adjustment

Clearing and Adjustment image

Students apply to university through Clearing and Adjustment for a wide variety of reasons.  For some it will be because their A Level grades have either exceeded or fallen short of their expectations; for others it will be because they have decided to apply for university at the last minute.

Whatever your reasons for applying to university through Clearing and Adjustment, there are a few basic strategies, which will prove useful.

1 Plan ahead

Do a bit of pre-planning.  Research different universities and their courses.  Make a list of Clearing hotline numbers.  Have ready your UCAS number; your exam certificates and transcripts; perhaps a short personal statement.  Decide what questions you might want to ask, and be prepared for any questions that you might be asked.  

2 Get a good night’s sleep

Anticipate that you might have a long and tiring day ahead.  Try to remain calm and get an early night.

3 But get up early

Many universities have Clearing hotlines open from 7AM on Thu 15 August.  There is much truth in the old adage that ‘the early bird catches the worm’.

4 Bookmark UCAS Track

Here, let us do it for you:

5 Seek advice

Once you know your results, seek advice about your next steps.  A good first point of call is your old school, or the place where you took your exams.  Most schools will have staff available on A Level Results’ Day to talk students through their next courses of action. 

6 Remember your original choices

Don’t veer too far away from your original choice of degree course.  Don’t jump to do any course just because it is available.  Your choice of university course is a commitment of at least three years and you want it to be the right choice for you.

7 Don’t make a hasty decision

Don’t necessarily take the first place you are offered.  Find out how long you can keep the offer open; check alternatives.  Make sure the course is going to be right for you.

8 Arrange a visit

Many universities arrange special Clearing Open Days; others provide campus and accommodation tours.  Take time to visit the university before committing to a course of study to make sure that it is the place for you.

9 Consider alternatives

Think laterally.  University is not the only path to a bright future.  You could take a Gap Year; do exam retakes; undertake additional training.  Decide on the path that is right for you.

10 Stay positive

Above all stay positive.  Be pro-active and there will be a course out there to suit you.


Clearing and Adjustment at SOAS

SOAS has a number of vacancies available during Clearing and Adjustment for well qualified students hoping to study in a cosmopolitan academic environment on its central London campus.

Undergraduates discover a fascinatingly diverse, lively and close-knit community, and friendly fellow students who share an intellectual interest in the contemporary issues in which SOAS specialises.

Degree combinations in law, politics, economics, finance, business, management, the arts, humanities and languages provide many options for study, in either single-subject or two-subject (combined) degrees.  Additionally, more than 40% of undergraduate programmes offer the opportunity to spend a year studying in another country.


Visit us

Pay us a visit before making your final choice by joining one of our campus tours.  During Clearing, campus tours will be running from Friday 16 August to Friday 23 August at 11AM, 1PM and 3PM.  Turn up at the reception desk of our Russell Square building to attend.

Find out more



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