With A level results day fast approaching (Thursday, August 17) experts at the University of Chester have put together their top tips for applying through Clearing.

The university’s admissions manager Robbie Stewart said: “If you don’t get the results you need for your firm or insurance choices, miss the application deadline or just have a change of heart and want to attend a different university, then Clearing is for you!

“Clearing provides you with the opportunity to apply for a place on a similar course or to a whole new university.

“Clearing shouldn’t be seen as the last resort, it’s a chance for you to rethink your choices. In fact, last year almost 65,000 students gained a place at university through Clearing which is the highest number on record.

But first, how do you get in to Clearing?

• If you didn’t apply to university before June 30, you’ll automatically be entered into Clearing once you apply.

• If you applied to university before June 30 but change your mind about either your firm or insurance choices, you can choose to enter Clearing and apply to a different course or university. You’ll need to call your firm or insurance choice university and have them release you into Clearing to get your Clearing number. This process can take time so make sure you’re aware of this and to speed things up, have your UCAS ID ready when phoning.

• Finally, if you missed the grades you needed for your firm or insurance choice university, you can enter into Clearing to find a new institution. Before you panic though, make sure you check the status of your application on UCAS Track. If your offer is still showing as conditional, contact the university concerned to find out why.

If you applied for a place at Chester, but didn’t quite make the grades, contact them. They may be able to reconsider your place, or offer you an alternative place on a different course. You can also register for Clearing updates on their website which will help you to get one step ahead.

Admissions call operators at the University of Chester

Other tips include:

1. Do your research - Clearing happens very quickly and popular courses fill up fast, so it’s a good idea to do some research before results day. Identify some universities and courses you may consider applying to through Clearing and have their contact details to hand.

2. Set your alarm - It may still be the summer holidays, but results day is worth waking up early for. You can check on UCAS track from 8am to see if your place has been confirmed. You should also collect your exam results from your school or college as soon as possible, as you’ll need them for when you start contacting universities.

3. Be prepared - The following is a list of what you’ll need on the day: Clearing number/UCAS Personnel ID; Exam results; Phone; Pen and paper. Make sure you’ve got access to the internet and have phone reception. Most importantly, make any phone calls yourself. The university wants to talk to you, not your parents.

4. Don’t panic - If you’re made an offer or offers through Clearing, take the time you have available to consider your options don’t rush into anything or take the first offer you get. A verbal offer made to you over the phone usually stands for 48 hours. This gives you time to consider other options.

5. Visit the university - Visiting the university will help you in the decision making process. You might even find that you like the university more than either of your firm or insurance choices. At the University of Chester, they hold regular campus tours and you can book your place on one of the tours now.

6. Don’t give up - If you don’t secure a place on results day or there are no vacancies on the course, don’t give up. Once the dust settles on A level results day universities may find they do have the odd space available so it’s worth staying in touch right up until the courses are due to start.

For general enquiries about studying at the University of Chester email enquiries@chester.ac.uk or call 01244 511000.