Follow these tips and find out how to get the best out of Clearing.

Atufa came to Greenwich through Clearing last year and was offered a place on the BSc Mathematics programme. 

"I remember feeling quite confused about what to do when I realised I would have to apply for universities through Clearing. What worked for me was writing down all the information I had. I worked out my UCAS points and double checked them – being a maths student makes you do that! I made a note of my UCAS ID and made a list of the universities I was interested in applying to. It was nerve wracking contacting universities, but the person I got through to was really understanding. After some consideration I was offered a place on the BSc Mathematics programme, that was when the relief hit me."

Be prepared

Even if you expect to get the grades you need, it doesn't hurt to have a Plan B.

Consider other suitable courses for your chosen career path or that you may be good at and enjoy – be open minded. You can even change the course you want to study, as long as you can justify it. Draw up a list of alternative universities that offer courses that could fit your needs.

Check UCAS

Check your status. On results day check the status of your offer using UCAS Track, you'll know you're in Clearing if your Track status says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started'.

Search for courses: The first place to start is with the UCAS search tool. National newspapers including the Telegraph and the Guardian print clearing supplements which contain a lot of useful advice. You can also use online resources such as The Student Room and make use of social media tools, such as Twitter and Facebook, for real-time announcements and information.

Be there

Do your utmost to be available on the day: calling the universities and colleges you're interested in during the day to discuss the course is vital. If you are sufficiently well prepared and demonstrate your suitability and passion for the subject, you may receive a verbal offer which you can confirm later.

Visit the university: if it is at all possible try to have a look around the university offering a clearing place before committing to it. At the University of Greenwich, we will be offering campus tours at all three of our campuses throughout A-Level results week.

Be flexible

There might not be any places on the course you wanted to do, but there may be spaces on joint honours or similar courses that could lead to the same or similar careers. For example, if you originally wanted to study midwifery but can't find a vacancy, you might opt to take up a place on a nursing course.

Make your final decision

Confirmation of Clearing place: If the university confirm that they'll accept you, you can then add the choice in Track in the 'Your Choices' section. Don't forget that you can speak to as many universities and colleges as you like in Clearing, but you can only add one Clearing choice at a time – the one you want to accept. The earliest you can submit your decision through Clearing is 3pm on 'A' Level results day. This allows you to research the course and institutions properly before making any decision.