• clearing and adjustment

Guide to Confirmation, Clearing and Adjustment

A long post-exam break is underway for thousands of students, but at the back of many minds is results day in August, when the next few years of your life are decided. I went through the UCAS system a few years ago so I know how complicated it can be. This guide will hopefully make it easier when you come to make those decisions in August.

Key UCAS dates for 2013

  • 6 August SQA results day and the start of the Scottish Clearing vacancy system
  • 15 August GCE and Advanced Diploma results day and the start of the full Clearing vacancy system. Adjustment opens for registration
  • 31 August Adjustment closes
  • 20 September The final deadline for 2013 courses
  • 30 September The Clearing vacancy system for 2013 closes. You can still add Clearing choices in Track but you must contact the university or college directly
  • 22 October Final deadline for adding Clearing choices to Track, and the final deadline for universities and colleges to accept applications through Clearing


If you have met the conditions of your FIRM university choice then you will be placed there. However, if you have not met the conditions of your FIRM choice, but have met the conditions of your INSURANCE choice, you will be placed at this university. The confirmation letter (AS12) will be sent to you in both cases with instructions on the next steps.

In some instances your results might have exceeded your tariff conditions of your FIRM choice; you now have the option of going through Adjustment (trying to apply for an alternative university, whilst holding your original FIRM offer). This will be confirmed on your Track account with the code UF. More on the Adjustment process below.

If you have not met the tariff conditions of your FIRM choice you may have been offered a different course or year and this will be indicated on Track by the code UCC. You are under no obligation to accept this offer, but you have five days to either accept or decline it. If the offer does not suit you then you are eligible for Clearing and UCAS will automatically enter you into this system.

One thing I should mention, you are expected to honour your commitments at confirmation of a place at either a university or college if you have met the conditions of your offer. This does not apply to those that are eligible for either the Clearing or Adjustment systems. If accepted you do not have the right to turn down the offer and enter into Clearing.


Clearing can be quite a complicated process to go through - fortunately UCAS have created a simple video that explains the process.

Once you have entered the Clearing system you are free to contact universities and colleges to discuss vacancies and you may be offered a place. You need to consider is that you can only enter one choice on Track- but you should only enter institution and course details on Track only when you have been offered a provisional place by that institution, otherwise it could delay your application. Once you have entered your choice UCAS will automatically contact the institution, and then the institution has the choice to accept you. Once confirmed and accepted your new choice will be displayed in Track. If you chose to enter Clearing UCAS do not send out a letter, all the information you need will be displayed on Track. You are eligible for Clearing if you applied before 30 June, no offers have been made to you and your place was not confirmed after the publication of the exam results.

Once the Clearing system has opened, if you are eligible, you can add clearing choices on your Track account, by using the Add Clearing Choice button. One thing to keep in mind is that if you have a Conditional Firm and a Conditional Insurance, you cannot enter the Clearing system until both institutions have confirmed that they will not offer you a place.

  • The official list of vacancies will be published on the UCAS website and in The Times newspaper on results day
  • UCAS helpline number - 0871 468 0468


Adjustment is for candidates that have achieved better results than they expected; you will have to exceed the conditions of your FIRM choice to be eligible. This allows these candidates to reconsider where and possibly what course to study. UCAS have also created a video to help students understand this process.

To use Adjustment you have to register on Track. The option will become available to all students but remember you can only enter Adjustment if you have met and exceeded your FIRM offer. Though you may have exceeded the conditions of your FIRM choice, entering Adjustment is optional. It is your responsibility if you enter the process to contact universities about an Adjustment place. Once you have entered the Adjustment process, you have five days to receive and accept your alternative place. If after the five days you do not receive or accept an alternative place you will still remain accepted at your original choice.

You cannot enter Adjustment if you have exceeded the conditions for your INSURANCE choice. You can only enter Adjustment if you have exceeded your FIRM offer. Remember when you enter Adjustment that there is no guarantee of being accepted.

From personal experience I chose not to enter the Adjustment process because the university I was accepted into I chose after careful research and consideration. This is something to keep in mind, don’t make any rash decisions that you might later regret. There are things other than the academic aspect to consider when entering Adjustment, such as finance and accommodation.
We hope this guide is useful and makes the process a little clearer. Good luck from all at Scape Living for your results! We hope that one day we might accommodate you if you choose to study in London.

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