Top 10 Common Mistakes

  • Boring Opening Paragraph
  • Overly Brief Statement
  • Unnatural, Verbose Language
  • Poor Spelling and Grammar
  • Lack of Structure
  • Re-Listing Information Already Provided
  • Lack of Academic Focus
  • Too Career Focused
  • Lack of Passion for the Subject
  • Too Generic

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Copy, Paste, Waste: How UCAS Similarity Detection Busts Plagiarism

Times Educational Supplement has reported that approximately 30,000 students yearly get their personal statements flagged by UCAS over the plagiarism detection issues with relatively new software designed specially for such purposes. Plagiarism gets detected in UK and outside UK, students get expelled and suspended worldwide making the same mistake over and over.

personal statement mistakes tipsAccording to the Swedish daily Sydsvenskan May 24, 2016, a student has been sanctioned by the University of Lund for plagiarism in a Master’s thesis. Not only was the theory portion plagiarized, but interviews were also apparently falsified. The sanction meted out by the Disciplinary Board was suspension from the university for three months.

UCAS software gets busy mostly with personal statements as it currently displays the data featuring information that no less than 10% of each personal statement content contains plagiarism. The identical to other pieces of text fragments are found almost in every application and then they get reported to the colleges to take the measures and provide actions, in case the plagiarism percentage reaches the critical point. Thousands of personal statements share not so personal information as Coco Chanel’s quotes, famous philosophers citings and action movie lines, that turns them almost unbearable in terms of reading and evaluating. In case you don’t want to spend much time sweating above your personal statement you can ask professionals for personal statement check and help that will make the procedure easy and swift.

how ucas similarity detection works

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ucas personal statement plagiarism mistakes

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The first time that they launched the UCAS similarity detection software for the procession of the applications was in 2007, when more than 50,000 personal statements aiming for approval were sent to Oxford and Cambridge on medicine faculties, 5% of them were reported to have slight plagiarism issues that meant approximately few personal statement phrases were stolen from the free websites, as was reported by the Copycatch. Other 234 applicants decided to break the ice with deliberate phrases like “a burning a hole in my pyjamas at age eight was stirring and fueling my passion for the subject”, needless to say, they all flunked. Just after that year when official results were reported and published the number of stolen content started to drop and the amount of cliché and cheesy opening lines started decreasing as well, each year for 3 per cent and more.

What Is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism can be defined as: providing the material (of any kind of source, including written, visual, audio formats) produced by another individual without giving the proper credentials and acknowledgments, that kind of action is considered as claiming the material is of your own authorship.

Plagiarism also extends to such types of information like: unattributed ideas, photos, opinions, theories, graphs and data tables, models, illustrations, computer code, quotations and hypotheses, spoken and written words, paraphrasing another person’s ideas, concepts and any kind of other information.

UCAS Similarity Detection Service is designed to process all incoming personal statements and check them for plagiarism issues, when getting checked the software also runs through the database of all previously submitted applications and collects the data from the wide range of written and digital sources, including free websites, sample websites and relevant paper publications. Each and every personal statement that gets processed by the UCAS system is added to the register and passed to the base archive library.

personal statement phrases overused

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Only if personal statement reaches 60% of plagiarism or more the applicant gets informed via e-mail and receives the notice of advice including the outcomes and the consequences clarified. In case the software finds out more than 80% of plagiarism the college or university will be notified that will almost inevitably lead to the rejection of the applicant. Those personal statements that run up to 10% of plagiarism will be checked by the UCAS Similarity Detection Service specialists more closely and evaluate if the matching sentences are plagiarized or there was a chance of coincidence. If more matching content will be found in the end it may be qualified as plagiarism.

How Does UCAS Personal Statement Checker Work?

There’s a Verification Team that runs UCAS prevention and plagiarism detection work, it checks for the fraudulence in applications. To define those UCAS personal statement checker software scans the document, highlights the similarities and provides the initial source the content was borrowed from.

The process of verification includes the stages:

  • Copycatch identifies sentences with matching content, taking into account all material and digital sources.
  • The Copycatch system defines the level of copied similarities, measured in percentage, the results are reviewed by the professionals who decide whether the institution and the applicant should be informed.
  • The institution evaluates the significance of the issue and takes the final decision taking into account received information.

P. S In case if you applied to the institution before your personal statement will not be compared to the previous personal statements version that you submitted.

Personal Statement Mistakes That Make Your Application Look Silly

Many awful personal statement mistakes ruined tons of applications since 2007 according to UCAS and the plagiarism was not the only one, there were poor opening lines, including boring clichés, bad grammar and poor punctuation.

Here just the bunch of hilarious examples:

ucas similarity detection tips

Make sure you don’t include those clichés in your writing:

  • “I’ve always wanted to become”
  • “I have a thirst for knowledge”
  • “From an early age”
  • “When I was little”
  • “It has always been my passion”
  • “I am currently studying”
  • “It is a very challenging and demanding career”
  • “For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with”
  • “It is a profession I have always looked upon”
  • “Academically, I have always been a very determined and…”

If you want to establish a life-long interest in your professional sphere it is far more better to use less abstract words and appeal to the real-life experiences that you went through in your life. Stay away from these phrases and wasting the valuable text place with empty definitions that don’t bear any significance. A good practice is to incorporate the simple writing style as well, exactly the same one that you would normally use every day in the regular life, that doesn’t mean, however, that you are free to use jargon, such staff should be either eliminated. Find out more about formal writing and apply the tone and the style to your personal statement, this way you can avoid sounding silly and at the same time learn how to sound natural without adopting way too complicated academical or abstract style.

It may seem tempting to try using someone’s good idea to enrich your narrative and make yourself seem smarter but the stakes with UCAS are high, in fact, so high that is easier to write the one yourself. If you can’t come up with some valuable content that barely takes one A4 piece of paper then probably you’ve picked the wrong institution and if you use someone else’s words that one is probably not exactly about you. Even if your get away with a plagiarized personal statement version you might end up finding yourself hating your university or college one day and that may cause more severe consequences.

Frightened of UCAS similarity detection? We know how to represent you authentically! Try our best personal statement plagiarism checker!

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