It happens every year – students find themselves disappointed with their GCSE grades and look for ways to boost them before they apply for college or university due to course requirements, or simply because they feel that they could do better. Most students may choose to retake their GCSEs to boost their grades, however, some students find themselves tempted to lie on their UCAS form. Here’s why that is a bad idea, no matter what happens.
You cannot lie on your UCAS form, it’s as simple as that. Most schools check their student’s UCAS forms before they are sent off and are required to make sure that all information is true. In addition to this, UCAS themselves will ask for proof of your grades, which, if you cannot provide, will get you caught out. You will get caught and UCAS will stop you from applying, which will seriously affect your future education. Instead of lying on your UCAS application, you can either resit your GCSEs or appeal to your exam board about the papers you have already taken.
The rest of this article will explain the process of UCAS applications and reiterate the importance of an honest application. It will also go through ways of improving your GCSE grades so you do not feel the need to lie.
What Happens if You Lie on Your UCAS Form?
Lying about your GCSE grades is one of the worst choices you can make when filling out your UCAS form. Sure, you may have heard stories of people lying and getting away with it but bear in mind that there is a much higher chance of getting caught and facing repercussions than getting away with it. In addition, saying you’re better at a subject than you actually are will make the course you plan to do much harder for you academically. This advice goes for your personal statement too.
If you do decide to lie on your UCAS form, then it will be checked by both your school and UCAS’s own independent verification team, who will most likely ask for proof of your GCSE grades in the form of your exam certificates. When you are found to be lying on your application, then UCAS will most likely stop you from applying to your chosen college or university, and they may even prevent you from applying through them for years to come. In a nutshell, it’s a lose-lose situation – you can lie and get caught, or you can lie and have to deal with pretending to know what you’re doing throughout your further education.
Lying on an important document such as your application form also shows people bad qualities which employers will not want when employing people. If you lie, you are damaging your reputation as a trustworthy person who is employable and should be given places at colleges and universities.
What is a UCAS Form?
UCAS stands for the Universities and College Admissions Service, and it is used by students up and down the country to apply to their desired universities or colleges after their GCSEs or A-Levels. It is the most popular way of signing up to further education in the UK. You must apply beforehand online to ensure you are given a UCAS place.
When signing up for UCAS, you must choose the education scheme you are looking to apply for. These include undergraduate, conservatoire, postgraduate and teacher training schemes. Another part of this application process is filling out a UCAS form. On this form, you must declare information such as your employment history, your final GCSE grades, the courses you plan to do, and a personal statement written by you. Every piece of information on your UCAS form must be true – if you lie and get caught, you will lose your place with UCAS. There is also a £20 fee to apply through UCAS, however, this is subject to change depending on which year you decide to apply.
On the UCAS website, you can look up which courses are available to you at which colleges and universities, and also what the grade requirements are for your chosen course. Here, you can begin to sign up and get ready to apply for your further education.
How Can You Get Better GCSE Grades?
So, you’ve decided that lying on your UCAS form is not the way to go, but still need higher grades to proceed with the higher education you want to? There are two options that you can take.
Your first option is to appeal your grades. If you truly believe that the work you did in your exam deserved a higher grade, you can ask for the examiners to take another look at your paper and rethink your mark. This is generally done by asking your school to contact Ofqual and send in your paper for remarking. Often, there is a fee for appealing your grade, but if the exam board decide to give you a higher mark, you will get your money back. Something you must remember is that when you appeal your grade, it can go either up or down. There is a possibility that you may end up with a lower grade than you were given initially. You can find out more information about the appealing of exam grades on the official government website, which offers a simple overview as to what an appeal entails.
Your second option is to retake your exams entirely. There is no shame in doing this, as a large number of students retake one or more of their GCSE or A-Level exams every year. The most common GCSEs which are retaken are Maths and English Language, as the vast majority of colleges and universities will not accept students who have not at least passed these subjects. You must pay a fee to retake your GCSEs, which depends on your exam board. Resits of GCSE exams are taken in November, which gives you four months to prepare to boost your grade – perhaps you were just a few marks off the grade you were hoping for, and simply need a little more revision time, or need to get your head down and really study for these resits. Wherever you are in terms of progress, here a few tips on how to prepare for resits:
- Don’t panic! There are so many students in the same position as you who are all feeling the same way. Remember, there is no limit to how many times you can resit a GCSE. If you are looking for more information on GCSE resits, then have a look at How Many Times Can You Resit GCSEs?
- Organisation is key. If you feel like you need a revision timetable, then make one! Four months will turn into an extremely short time, and before you know it, you will be sitting the exam(s) again. For advice on organising your revision, take a look at How To Make A Revision Timetable (That Actually Works).
- Pick a revision technique and stick to it. Once you have found a revision technique that you think works, keep on using it and don’t change your method with only a short time before the exam. For ideas on revision techniques, check out 7 Revision Techniques For GCSE & A-Level (That Actually Work).