Similarity Detection UCAS Personal Statement Watch

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Physicsmate10
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Hi, a few weeks ago i sent my application off to UCAS. I have recently received an email from them saying that there are similarities between my personal statement and someone else's and that they have informed my University choices. My older brother sent his off last year and I used a few similar sentences to his. It says that 34% of the sentences are similar, which to me seems way to much considering only really 3 of the sentences are truly similar. I have applied to quite high ranked unis, including Imperial. Therefore I am wondering firstly what my next steps should be, should i contact the universities directly? Secondly I would like to know my chances of still getting an offer.
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TVIO
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Don't contact the universities, it probably wouldn't help. WHY would you copy even ONE sentence for something as important as this? I mean, unis don't even CARE about the PS for science-y subjects much (you've applied to imperial, I'm assuming you're doing something science-y) so you didn't need to make it particularly good if you couldn't think of anything. I think you've probably reduced your chances of getting an offer as this is a pretty serious offence. Imperial is a very competitive uni, and they have a pool of highly achieving candidates to choose from and you've just made yourself stand out; in a negative way.
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thestars
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Your own fault tbh


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BobbieShamrock
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(Original post by Physicsmate10)
Hi, a few weeks ago i sent my application off to UCAS. I have recently received an email from them saying that there are similarities between my personal statement and someone else's and that they have informed my University choices. My older brother sent his off last year and I used a few similar sentences to his. It says that 34% of the sentences are similar, which to me seems way to much considering only really 3 of the sentences are truly similar. I have applied to quite high ranked unis, including Imperial. Therefore I am wondering firstly what my next steps should be, should i contact the universities directly? Secondly I would like to know my chances of still getting an offer.
There's really nothing you can do except hope for the best and maybe consider re-applying next year. You should NEVER copy even a sentence from someone, not even a family member.
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Minerva
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(Original post by Physicsmate10)
Hi, a few weeks ago i sent my application off to UCAS. I have recently received an email from them saying that there are similarities between my personal statement and someone else's and that they have informed my University choices. My older brother sent his off last year and I used a few similar sentences to his. It says that 34% of the sentences are similar, which to me seems way to much considering only really 3 of the sentences are truly similar. I have applied to quite high ranked unis, including Imperial. Therefore I am wondering firstly what my next steps should be, should i contact the universities directly? Secondly I would like to know my chances of still getting an offer.
I'd suggest you contact UCAS for advice on whether to contact the unis now, or wait to see whether they contact you. Either way each uni is likely to take a different view about what this means for your application prospects. As you have admitted that you did use material from your brother's statement, the proportion of your PS that has been identified as 'similar' is irrelevant. If you are going to contact the unis, you'd better have thought through what you are going to say, bearing in mind that you have no 'defence'. Probably the best line is "I made a mistake and I'm sorry". Do not even attempt the "it was only three sentences" line as that will absolutely not do you any favours, whether the unis are high-ranked or not.

If indeed all your unis decide against you, you will have the option of applying through Extra in February, and will then be able to provide a new PS that is all your own work. Alternatively, you will be able to re-apply next year, to the same unis if you have the required grades.

(Original post by thestars)
Your own fault tbh
I think he knows that.
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halamadrid777
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(Original post by Physicsmate10)
Hi, a few weeks ago i sent my application off to UCAS. I have recently received an email from them saying that there are similarities between my personal statement and someone else's and that they have informed my University choices. My older brother sent his off last year and I used a few similar sentences to his. It says that 34% of the sentences are similar, which to me seems way to much considering only really 3 of the sentences are truly similar. I have applied to quite high ranked unis, including Imperial. Therefore I am wondering firstly what my next steps should be, should i contact the universities directly? Secondly I would like to know my chances of still getting an offer.
Your chances of getting an offer are incredibly slim now. 34%? are you serious? But still many unis will give you a second chance to write a personal statement.
But still nothing can be said.
You shouldn't have copied really. Now pay the price.
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EleanorFrost
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I don't really see the point of contacting them; all you can say is that yes, you copied parts of your personal statement. You have no excuse or certainly no decent explanation. I guess you'll just have to wait and see what happens, but I do think you've reduced your chances - I wish you luck though.
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EleanorFrost
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(Original post by thestars)
Your own fault tbh


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It is, but this isn't the most helpful thing to say.
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perphation
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One of the most serious offences anyone can ever make in uni is to plagiarise, and students sometimes even face expulsion because of plagiarism, so for a candidate to copy sentences off someone else (even though you might have had permission and stuff), it reflects really badly on the applicant. Just cross your fingers and hope that the unis you've applied to are willing to overlook this (which I highly doubt.)
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Physicsmate10
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Thank you all for the advise. Is it then best to contact the universities and ask to send in an amended version of my personal statement?
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Paralove
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(Original post by Physicsmate10)
Thank you all for the advise. Is it then best to contact the universities and ask to send in an amended version of my personal statement?
No. Once you send off your PS you can't change it.
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paradoxicalme
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Did you actually copy the sentences or just amend them?
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Binary Freak
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I don't mean to be nasty, but it is your own fault. Perhaps in the future you'll be more inclined to find your own reasons as to why you want to study course. Ohh, and use the facilities provided by your college/sixth-form.

At this point it is up to the universities as to what they'll do with your application.
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BobbieShamrock
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(Original post by Binary Freak)
I don't mean to be nasty, but it is your own fault. Perhaps in the future you'll be more inclined to find your own reasons as to why you want to study course. Ohh, and use the facilities provided by your college/sixth-form.

At this point it is up to the universities as to what they'll do with your application.
There's no need to be so harsh. You're not even offering advice... He shouldn't have copied but it doesn't mean he didn't have his own reasons for wanting to study the course.


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Minerva
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(Original post by Physicsmate10)
Thank you all for the advise. Is it then best to contact the universities and ask to send in an amended version of my personal statement?
Rather than referring to an 'amended' version, I would suggest offering a 'new' PS - which can include the bits of your original PS that you are sure are 'yours'.

(Original post by Paralove)
No. Once you send off your PS you can't change it.
You can't on UCAS, no, but the uni/s can agree to accept a new PS direct - they don't have to, though.
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PQ
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(Original post by Physicsmate10)
Hi, a few weeks ago i sent my application off to UCAS. I have recently received an email from them saying that there are similarities between my personal statement and someone else's and that they have informed my University choices. My older brother sent his off last year and I used a few similar sentences to his. It says that 34% of the sentences are similar, which to me seems way to much considering only really 3 of the sentences are truly similar. I have applied to quite high ranked unis, including Imperial. Therefore I am wondering firstly what my next steps should be, should i contact the universities directly? Secondly I would like to know my chances of still getting an offer.
Contact UCAS in the first instance to ask for a copy of the similarity report (this report is what gets sent to your universities and should list similarities line by line) - this will show exactly which sentences have been flagged up. It could be content other than the content you copied that has triggered the software.

DO NOT contact the universities at this stage. Find out where the issues are from UCAS and prepare a new PS from scratch that does not plagiarise in any way.
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Kill3er
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(Original post by Minerva)
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(Original post by PQ)
Contact UCAS in the first instance to ask for a copy of the similarity report (this report is what gets sent to your universities and should list similarities line by line) - this will show exactly which sentences have been flagged up. It could be content other than the content you copied that has triggered the software.

DO NOT contact the universities at this stage. Find out where the issues are from UCAS and prepare a new PS from scratch that does not plagiarise in any way.
Hi, do you know how UCAS's plagiarism checker actually works? I assume it checks online and through the data base of previously submitted personal statements but surely there would be hundreds and thousands of the same phrases and VERY similar sentences used by many people. Do you know when % of the content has to be 'plagarised' for it to be flagged by the system? Also do you know any good online plagiarism checkers us students can use?

Thanks
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Minerva
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(Original post by Kill3er)
Hi, do you know how UCAS's plagiarism checker actually works? I assume it checks online and through the data base of previously submitted personal statements but surely there would be hundreds and thousands of the same phrases and VERY similar sentences used by many people. Do you know when % of the content has to be 'plagarised' for it to be flagged by the system? Also do you know any good online plagiarism checkers us students can use?

Thanks
The process is explained in this UCAS document. I don't know of any online checkers available - I rather doubt that they would be.
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Kill3er
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(Original post by Minerva)
The process is explained in this UCAS document. I don't know of any online checkers available - I rather doubt that they would be.
That's useful, thank you!
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indieguy
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34%? Lol. That's a third, and that's a lot of copying. Which may indicate your personal statement may describe someone else, not you.
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