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How Long Does Clearing Take?

How Long Does Clearing Take?

by Newcastle University

The wait until Results Day is long enough, without having to wait even longer to know if you’ve secured a place through Clearing. 

First things first, remember to stay calm. Not getting the results you need to secure your firm or insurance choice can feel scary, especially since things suddenly feel so up in the air.

But unfortunate results are by no means the end of your journey, just the start of a different one. 

So, take a deep breath and, if you haven’t already, make a start on researching universities with Clearing spaces available. 

 

How long does Clearing take?

This year, Clearing opens on Tuesday 5 July and runs until Tuesday 18 October.

The majority of the Clearing process happens over the course of a short phone conversation. It's only the last stage in the process - when you're required to formalise the offer in your application - that can take longer. 

 

How long does it take to get a Clearing decision? 

1. Connecting to a Clearing Adviser

It can take up to 20 minutes to connect to a Clearing Adviser.

Once you have chosen which universities to reach out to, you should get in touch via online chat or the phone. An adviser will usually be in touch within 20 minutes. Clearing lines are often busy, particularly on A Level Results Day, so it’s normal to have to wait a short while.

However, universities are well equipped to manage a high volume of students getting in touch - so, this step should take no longer than 20 minutes at most, and a couple of minutes at least. 

 

2. Speaking to a Clearing Adviser

A conversation with a Clearing Adviser can last 5-30 minutes.

Once you’re connected to an adviser they will need your UCAS details, and they will aks you a few questions about the course you are interested in and the grades you have achieved.

At this point, you will be informed if there are spaces available on the course you’re interested in and whether your grades meet the requirements. 

During this conversation, you may receive a verbal offer. However, if you have mixed qualifications you should expect this conversation to take a little longer. Another reason a phone conversation may take longer is if you have more questions about the course or the university. 

 

3. Formalising your verbal Clearing offer

Formalising your Clearing offer can take from a few minutes to five days. 

Once you have received a verbal offer over the phone, you will receive an email confirming what you need to do next. The email should arrive within the hour, and will advise you to add your Clearing choice through your UCAS application within five days. 

You can add your choice after 3pm on Results Day – just click on 'Add Clearing choice' and fill in the course details before the offer expires.

This counts as you accepting the offer, and once it’s confirmed, it'll show as an acceptance on your 'Choices' page in your application.

For more information on the Clearing process, read our latest blog on what to do if you want to change your Clearing choice. Alternatively, read our guide to UCAS Clearing in 2022.