A-level results day is a time to look back on astounding achievements and two years of hard, hard work.

If you are one of the 416,310 students to have secured a university place then it’s a time for celebration. Even if you haven’t made the grades to secure an offer, you still have plenty of options before you.

One of these options is clearing, the UCAS system through which you can secure a place on a course that a university still needs to fill. More students than ever before found their university place through clearing in 2016, almost 65,000 pupils.

UCAS estimates that there will be 40,000 vacancies on a range of courses across the country, with most universities offering places. You can use add a clearing choice from 3pm today (August 17) until the end of September, but it’s best to get started as soon as possible because places will start to be taken up.

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ chief executive, said: “If you have not done as well as you had hoped, try not to worry – you have plenty of options, and every year many people who have missed out on their grades find high quality and rewarding courses through clearing.

“Make sure you take some time to think about what you want to do next, and seek advice from those who know you best – parents, teachers, and friends.”

Here are five reasons to use clearing:

1. One in eight students who got into higher education last year used clearing.

2. Of the students who go their university place through clearing last year, 15,000 applied after they got their exam results.

3. Close to half of those using clearing will be placed by the Monday after A level results day.

4. Most universities now recruit students through clearing for some of their courses, including those with the highest entry requirements.

5. Just under 90 per cent of students who used clearing last year said they found the service useful.

You can find our more and search clearing vacancies at ucas.com/clearing2017