UCAS Form “Cheating”

The BBC are reporting that students are using content “lifted” from the web for their online UCAS forms.

Sixth form students are being warned not to cheat on their university application forms by copying material from the internet.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service has written to every UK school saying doing so could affect students’ chances of winning a place.

Ucas is to use plagiarism detection technology to scrutinise the half a million forms seeking entry in 2008.

Maybe it’s time to move away from a written statement on a form for applications.

The web may have made it easier, but when I filled in an UCAS form (some time ago now) I know people who were given extra guidance and help filling it in over and beyond what you would expect and that was never considered “cheating”.

Copying and pasting is cheating, there is no doubt, using the web to help fill in the form is fine, but who tells the sixth former filling in the form what is okay and what isn’t?

One thought on “UCAS Form “Cheating””

  1. I agree that ‘written statements’ are not a powerful way to decide if students are or are not suitable for a certain course at a certain university. Even someone who doesn’t cheat (which I hope is still most) will have had the worked checked, and checked again and edited and reedited to the point where it isn’t a true representation of themselves.

    Maybe it would be better to ask the students to draw a picture of themselves and get someone to psycho-analyse it, or get them to create a concept map – that would be good.

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