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How to help your student prepare for results day and Clearing

Results day is a key date for both students and their parents and supporters. Let’s have a look at some of the steps you can take to help your prospective student prepare for this important day.

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Step one: Know what to expect

On results day, your student may not need to go through the process of Clearing. If your student gets the grades they need for either their firm or insurance offer, they don’t need Clearing and their university will likely confirm their place around 8am on results day via the UCAS hub. It can take a few hours to update, so don’t panic if their place has not been confirmed yet.

If your student didn’t get the grades they needed to meet a conditional offer, they still have plenty of options and can participate in Clearing, which you can help to support them through.

Step two: Understanding Clearing

If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology and timescales of Clearing, theUCAS website provides lots of useful and clearly explained information.

They have FAQs and  video guides (by searching 'Clearing'), so digest as much information on Clearing before results day and you’ll be in a much better position to help and advise. 

The search tool on the UCAS website shows courses which have vacancies from 5 July. This is the official vacancy list and universities update their course information on this regularly. At Sunderland, from the same date students can access our Clearing course search tool. Keep checking this as we update this regularly to show which of our courses have entered Clearing.

Step three: Researching your options

Even if your student is confident they will get the grades they need, it’s worth researching other universities with slightly lower entry criteria just in case they don’t.

All universities will have their courses, accommodation and scholarships detailed on their websites, so sit with your student and get them started with looking at all their options. They may have already looked at other universities before they made their initial application and it's always worth having another look in case any new courses or incentives are available.

Many universities will also have courses specifically designed for those with lower or non-standard entry requirements, like our Integrated Foundation Year courses. These are great options for those who didn’t achieve the grades they need for their firm or insurance choice as they include study skills modules and a grounding in the subject, to help students gain the confidence they need for high education study.

Step four: Know your key information 

Knowing when results day will occur is important, as it can differ depending on location (such as England or Scotland), as well as the examination type (such as A-Level or BTEC). For those sitting their A-Levels in the UK, results day is Thursday 15 August 2024.

Before results day, make a note of your student’s key information (with their permission) so it’s easier for you to help them complete the Clearing process. It’s essential to have their UCAS ID number written down and easily accessible.

It’s also useful to have their GCSE results to hand, with the official title of the award and the examination board available to avoid confusion. Likewise, the official title and examination board of A-Levels and BTEC’s will help during the Clearing process.

Finally, find out the Clearing phone numbers for all relevant universities, such as those applied to and any others of interest for Clearing. The University of Sunderland Clearing line is 0191 515 3000.

Good luck!

We wish your prospective student the best of luck for results day and hope these tips help you to prepare! We hope to be welcoming your student to the University of Sunderland in September.