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Clearing is an alternate stage where students can apply for a university place if they fail to achieve the A-Level or IB grades needed for their university offers. They are also eligible for clearing if their grades significantly exceed their offers and they wish to find a place at a better university than they had initially applied to.

During clearing, unfilled university places are available in a variety of courses. The listings of available places are given on the UCAS website and in The Telegraph. The clearing period can offer new prospects to students who remain motivated and optimistic during this time.

Students may be advised to practice caution and plan for the eventuality of not making their university offers during the summer holidays. They can do this by researching alternate courses and universities whom they can speak to if necessary during the clearing period.