Students achieving better than expected grades can set their sights higher and see whether there are improved options to be had. Some may prefer a more prestigious university, like one of the Russell Group, or they might have refined their plans and would like a more challenging degree.

Under these circumstances they can apply for Adjustment.

The period of Adjustment lasts for only five days, during which time students already holding a firm offer of a place have the chance to look to improve their prospects without obligation. Their original firm offer remains in place and is only cancelled once a student has approached another university and has been offered and has accepted a place.

There isn’t a vacancy list for Adjustment, and students will need to check course details using the search tool and contact university admissions offices to talk about any possible vacancies.

Those students applying through Adjustment should give their Personal ID number. A student’s application status is automatically updated via Track and once another offer has been accepted, the original place goes back into the Clearing process to be offered to another candidate who can meet the university’s grade requirements.

It’s important to act quickly: the limited availability of Clearing places on popular degree subjects or Russell Group universities calls for decisive action and level-headed thinking.

“We can open our Clearing hotline at 8am on the Thursday results come out and by 10am on the same day we might have filled all of the Clearing places on our most popular degree courses,” says Simon Willis, the director of student recruitment and admissions at the University of York.