A Level results: What happens if I don’t get a place through clearing?

A Level results: What happens if I don’t get a place through clearing?

Last year, one in eight students found their university place through clearing, the annual process which allows students to apply for courses that still have vacancies.

But what If you’re one of the seven that didn’t get a spot? Don’t panic. It might be unfortunate, but it happens a lot… it just means you have a little more time to figure things out.   

Firstly, consider further study

If you’re set on a specific career path and you need certain qualifications to pursue it, this could be the option for you. There is no shame in taking a little extra time to get the right qualifications for something you’re truly passionate about. That could mean an extra year at college, a foundation degree or a few top up courses to push you in the right direction of that coveted Uni spot.

Click here for UCAS’ advice on alternative routes to getting into Uni - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35418350

Take a Gap Year

Taking a gap year isn’t just about travelling the world, wearing harem pants and drinking beer; A gap year can also provide time to gain valuable work experience and to consider what career route you want to take. Finlay James offers work placements in our offices in London, Manchester and San Francisco. Our team members gain valuable work and life experience, whilst earning serious cash they often put towards travelling, further study or even moving out of mum and dad’s.


If you think you could have got a better grade, then it is possible to re-sit the exam and reapply for university next year. You will need to speak to your school or college about this and find out if this is something they can help you with, but they will be able to point you in the right direction. Be prepared that some universities look for higher grades from re-sit students, so do your research to check for your chosen universities views on re-sit candidates. 

To read real re-sit experiences from real students, click here - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-level/exams/experiences-of-resitting-a-levels

Get to Work!

Let’s be honest, university isn’t for everyone and if you are one of those who is actually relieved at not getting in, you’re not alone. A fun fact; Richard Branson has NO formal qualifications and has an OBE and $5mil in the bank. Not too shabby.  If you, like Richard, think that University isn’t for you, there are plenty of career paths available that require no university qualifications. At Finlay James, some of our top earning consultants did not go to university, FJ Associate Director Sophie Sever says,

"I never really liked school but I love people. I fell into recruitment after leaving school at 16 and have never looked back. Being such an important part of my candidate, clients and FJ's growth is something I am really proud of…. for me, going straight into work after school has massively paid off; I turned 30 this year and already have 14 years recruitment experience..."

If you’d like to find out more about FJ’s positions in London, Manchester and San Francisco, click here - https://www.finlayjames.co.uk/join-us/