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The UCAS Adjustment and Clearing services

Posted by: Jo Carter - 12 July 2016 - MPW Group - Read time: 4 mintues

Adjustment and Clearing are two services provided by UCAS to assist candidates whose A level results either exceed or fall short of predictions.


Students who exceed the entry requirements for their first-choice university on results day can register for a service called Adjustment.

Adjustment allows students to apply other universities if they would like to try to ‘upgrade’ their existing choice. When a student applies through Adjustment, their original offer remains confirmed unless they decide to accept an offer from a new institution so there is no risk of losing your place if you choose to go through this process.

Students need to register for Adjustment in Track which allows universities to view their application. Unlike Clearing, no vacancy lists will be published by UCAS, meaning that students will need to contact each potential new university directly to discuss their application and should be prepared for a short ‘mini-interview’ on the telephone with an admissions tutor. If you and the university decide to proceed with the new place, the relevant updates will take place on your online UCAS portal.

Schools and colleges will assist with this process for students, which is not compulsory.


Students who do not meet the entry requirements for either their first or insurance choices will find on Results Day that their Track page will automatically reflect this. Those students can choose to enter Clearing at that point.

UCAS will publish a list of course vacancies on Results Day and this will be updated frequently over the following days and weeks. Students can choose institutions and courses that interest them from this list and must then telephone the relevant admissions tutors directly to discuss this further. It is not usually possible for someone to do this on behalf of a student.

Prior to the phone call, students are advised to prepare in order to be able to demonstrate interest and enthusiasm for the course and the institution. Admissions tutors will usually perform a short interview and then confirm on the telephone whether they are willing to offer a place to a student. This can then be accepted through the UCAS online portal.

Students in Clearing are not obliged to apply for the same courses as their original application. Some students have a change of heart on their preferred degree course after they have sent their application. To avoid a year’s delay while they submit a re-application, those students may decline any offers and then enter Clearing in August to find an alternative course.

Schools and colleges are experienced in the UCAS processes and will supervise the Adjustment and Clearing processes for their students on Results Day.