A YORK university has put together some top tips for students navigating clearing after getting their A-level results.

Clearing has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years as more and more students look to make the most of their university options. In a year of cancelled A-levels, rethought gap years and general unpredictability, an estimated 80 thousand students are expected to go through the Clearing process this year.

York St John University has put together some top tips:

l Be prepared – make sure you’ve done your homework. Research course vacancies on the UCAS website and get a head start on finding ones that might work for you. Also look at university websites and specific course pages.

l Be flexible – there may be lots of course options to study what you’re interested in. Some courses offer joint honours rather than a single subject, and other courses may be more like your original subject choice than you thought.

l Check UCAS track – be clear about your UCAS status and original course choices so the universities you contact know how best to advise you.

l Have your details ready –

• The phone number for the university and your own contact details

• Your Clearing number from UCAS Track

• Your A-level, AS-level, GCSE and equivalent results, including module marks

• Personal statement from your UCAS application

• Your log-in details for Track

• Your notes on the course/university and any planned responses to questions

• Any questions you want to ask the university

• The name and details of anyone you have spoken to in a previous call (if you’ve called the university before)

l You need to make the calls – universities will appreciate direct contact from you and won’t be able to talk to your parents or teachers because we’re not allowed to discuss your application with anyone else. Go somewhere quiet and go for it.

l Keep asking questions – don’t be shy, we won’t judge you. Phone as many universities as you want, and call back if you have more questions. Ask about accommodation options, course details and what student support services are available.

Read everything carefully – make sure you understand your offer email and be aware of any deadlines.

Be positive –Clearing is your chance to explore new options without compromising on ambition. Lots of students have been through clearing before and gone on to get great degrees, successful jobs and fantastic life-experience.

Breathe – don’t panic, you’ve had enough stress this year.

Director of admissions Matthew Taylor said: “You’ve probably seen the headlines ‘busiest Clearing yet’, ‘record numbers expected’, ‘scramble for places’ and the like, but it’s no reason to worry. Students have all had a stressful year and everyone is keen to get their futures secured, and yes Clearing will be busy but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get the university place that you want. We’ve compiled some tips to take the pressure off and help applicants to keep a cool head and get the most out of it.”