Clearing: What to say on the phone when you call us

An old style telephone

The big day has finally arrived. You have got your results, you’ve logged into UCAS Hub, and it’s been confirmed that you are now in Clearing. Now is the time to call your chosen universities and find your Clearing place. 

Picking up the phone can be daunting, but don’t worry. Our friendly team has lots of experience in helping potential Clearing candidates. Remember – we really want you to succeed and offer you a place. All you need is the relevant information and a positive attitude. 

Start early 

We offer Clearing places on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s important to call as early as possible to maximise your chances of being accepted. You can call our Clearing hotline (01786 466 166) after 9.00am on SQA results day, and 8.00am on A-level results day.  

Do some research ahead of time. Our Clearing places have already been published on our website, so you can browse and save courses that appeal to you. You should also sign up for our Clearing updates for more hints and tips as results day approaches. 

We want to speak to you 

As tempting as it is to get your parent, guardian, teacher or friend to call us on your behalf, we want to speak to you. We want to know more about you and your motivations for applying for your chosen course. And the only way we can do that is to speak to you directly (unless, in certain circumstances, you have given someone nominated access).  

Calmly prepare for success 

Make sure you are as calm as possible before you pick up the phone. It’s a nerve-wracking and emotional day, so a few butterflies in your stomach are totally normal. But you should be able to have a rational conversation and think clearly. Here are a few things you can do:  

  • Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before to make sure you are well-rested. 
  • Fully charge your phone. 
  • Have a glass of water to hand to keep hydrated and fend off any “frogs” in your throat. 
  • Eat small snacks, like nuts or fresh fruit, to keep hunger pangs at bay. 
  • Avoid drinking too many caffeinated drinks. 
  • Try some breathing exercises to help with any feelings of stress or anxiety. 

You may also want to take some notes during the call, so have a pen and notepad to hand. 

Get all your information ready 

Get all the information you’ll need before you start the call. It may be helpful to sit at a table with all your documentation laid out. 

You should have the following to hand:  

  • Your UCAS personal ID number; 
  • Clearing number (you can get this in your UCAS Hub); and 
  • your results, including your National 5 or GCSE results, because these can sometimes come up. 

But if our team ask for something and you can’t find it right away, don’t panic. Stay calm, and tell us you need a minute to find what you’re looking for. We’re happy to wait for a moment while you find the right information. 

Pick up the phone 

Once you have gathered all your information and got yourself in the right frame of mind, there is nothing left to do except pick up the phone and call our Clearing hotline.  

Our phone lines might be busy, so don’t worry if you are on hold for a while. We are really keen to speak to you, so you will definitely get through. Just use it as an opportunity to take a moment and gather your thoughts.  

When you get through to our Clearing team, remember to be polite and speak clearly. Saying “My name is [your name] and I am interested in applying for [your chosen course] though Clearing” is a great place to start. 

Our team are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have. This is not only an opportunity to find out whether you are a good candidate for the course – you also need to know if the course is a good fit for you! Good questions to ask include:  

  • What jobs do graduates go into once they complete this course?  
  • Are there any study abroad opportunities? 
  • What are the campus facilities like?  
  • What student support is available?  
  • What accommodation options are there?  

If our team are able to give you verbal offer, congratulations! All you need to do is log into UCAS Hub and formally accept. 

Calling universities for Clearing is a crucial moment in your academic career, so it is completely normal to feel a little nervous. But our team are on your side, and will do everything they can to help you find your Clearing place. As long as you pick up the phone with all the information you need and a can-do attitude, you can’t go wrong. Best of luck! 

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