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Clearing 2021: tips from admissions tutors

Facing Clearing? We've asked university admissions tutors for their quick tips on getting your Clearing place.

1. Remain calm

“Speaking as someone who’s been in Clearing himself, I can tell you the best thing to do is to remain calm, not make snap decisions, to not commit yourself to a 3 or 4 year degree course that you don’t wanna be on.” Matthew Leeke (University of Warwick),

2. Seek advice if you can

“If you can at all possibly go and speak to a careers adviser that would be a much advised route.” Charlotte Wheatland (University of Portsmouth),

3. Research, research

"Research is really important all the way through the process.” Paul Hughes (University of Portsmouth),
“You still should be looking for that balance of the course and the subject area that’s gonna stimulate and motivate you, as well as the university and the environment with which you think you can thrive and succeed in.” David Giles (University of East Anglia),

4. Preparation is key

“The biggest point is to try and make sure that you’ve done some preparation.” Matthew Leeke (University of Warwick),
“Take down some of those universities and courses and some contact details for them so that you have a plan and also find out more information about the university itself. If it’s not a university that you previously considered in your research phase or you hadn’t previously had the chance to visit, then I would certainly look to visit that university or find out more information from people that had studied there.” David Giles (University of East Anglia),

5. Make sure it's the right course for you

“When we look at applicants in Clearing there’s no big difference as to what we're looking for as opposed to what we’ve been looking for earlier in the cycle, which is always somebody's capability and motivation to study the course in particular. And then also some indication that they’ve truly understood about us as an institution.” David Giles (University of East Anglia),
“It’s really the students that are able to articulate their love of the subject and that understanding of commitment that will stand out the most.” Matthew Leeke (University of Warwick),

6. You're not alone

“Thousands of students go into university through Clearing every single year. It’s a tried and tested process and there’s always lots and lots of courses available for students, which means you’re gonna have lots of options even if you’ve not done so well.” Paul Hughes (University of Portsmouth),

Want more advice from admissions experts? Check out our video.

What is Clearing? Read our ultimate guide to Clearing and navigate this (sometimes stressful) process

More Clearing dos and don'ts 


  • your research before you pick up the phone – research the uni, course content, teaching and assessment style for starters (our course and university pages can help you do this quickly). 
  • have clear reasons for your choice  why do you want to study that course? Why that particular uni? 
  • look over your personal statement and be ready to talk about it.


  • get your parents to phone the uni for you. While they could help you with a practice interview, it has to be you who makes the call
  • forget to get names, emails and direct phone numbers in case you have to follow up. Write these down.
  • just settle for the first offer you receive  make sure you really are happy with your course and uni choice. Read our guide to making a Clearing decision.

Explore our Clearing and results day section including how results day might play out for you and what to expect from a Clearing call.


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