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Clearing and Adjustment Tips

Clearing and Adjustment Tips

Clearing and Adjustment Tips

Whether you’re the rip-the-envelope-open type of student or wait-until-you’re-with-your-family-later type, you may experience Clearing or Adjustment this year.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is a process for students who receive lower grades than they were expecting or predicted on results day. Clearing allows students to apply to universities for courses that still has places left, if they find that they have lost their place at their chosen university because they didn’t get the grades needed to go, or for students who haven’t yet applied but wish to go to university this year.

What is Adjustment?

Adjustment is similar process but focuses on the opposing direction. Adjustment gives students who received better grades than expected the opportunity to find another university or course, that had higher entry requirements and reflects their grades, and allows them to apply.

Who can Apply via Clearing or Adjustment?

Students who have lower grades than predicted, students who haven’t yet applied for university, or students who didn’t receive any offers (or not any you wanted to accept) from their universities are able to enter Clearing. Adjustment is for students who receive higher grades than expected and gives students the chance to change their university or their course.


Clearing and Adjustment both open on results day. However, clearing vacancies will be displayed until the end of September, with the last date to add clearing choices being towards the end of October, while adjustment is only open until the end of August. Adjustment is entirely optional – you don’t have to change your university or course choices just because you got better grades, if you’re happy where you are and where you’re going then don’t worry about it! But it is worth to have a look to see if there are any courses available that you might prefer.

Clearing and Adjustment Tips - University Compare website and app on a Macbook and iPhone.

Talk to People

Speak to your teachers, staff and family about your choices through Clearing and Adjustment. Because these people have spent most of their time with you and can talk to you about alternative subjects or other ways to get you studying what you want.

Be Prepared

Before you contact universities, ensure you have everything ready beforehand, your UCAS ID, exam results, UCAS tariff points calculated and any questions you might have for the university. The sooner you contact universities the better chance you have of getting the course that you really want. It’s also handy to have your personal statement in front of you so you can bounce off points or ideas from it if you’re talking to staff at the University.

Don’t Rush Your Decision

Even though Clearing and Adjustment seem like a really fast-paced and stressful time, it is vital that you don’t rush your decision. You don’t have to accept the first offer you receive from a university if, after you hang up, you have changed your mind. Students should call up universities and save time, but if you need time to think about your decision take that time.

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