The web is full of dodgy types and one that students in particular should avoid are the essay cheats – or, as they’re sometimes called, ‘essay mills’.
The situation they prey on is common enough. An essay is due next week and you’re finding it too hard or you haven’t done the reading or there’s some thing else more important right now – your job, your boy/girlfriend, a different essay or even just a party. For a few quid (in fact, often quite a bit of money), you can make the problem go away. You can buy a ready-written essay, dissertation or even PhD thesis online and pass it off as your own.
Of course, the shysters offering this service don’t advertise that they’re there to help you cheat. They describe them as “sample essays” to “inspire” or “inform” your own work. However, they also describe them as “plagiarism-free” (so that, in theory, unis won’t spot it’s not the student’s own work). Why would they say that unless everyone knows the real score?
You know perfectly well this isn’t ethical and you shouldn’t do it. But, if morality isn’t enough to convince you to do the right thing, here are six reasons why you should never cheat.
Summer is well underway – we’ve broken into August now. You’ve had a heatwave (or six), you’ve had a long time to relax with the long academic year behind you now. Now’s the time to wipe the Mr. Whippy from your mouth and get yourself back into gear.
With not much more than a month left before schools and colleges start up again, you’re running out of time to make the most of your remaining freedom.
Take it from us: if you’re thinking of heading to uni, the best investment of your time is to visit as many as you can in the upcoming weeks. These can be local unis if that’s the area you want to stay in, or they can be further afield.
Once results are in on Thursday, you have four options — two if you got the grades you wanted, and two if you didn't:
If you got the grades you wanted:
Thumbs up, round of applause, pat on the back, etc. Your two options are:
Some of you who were in year 12 did exams last term, and this week may well be when you get your results.
Okay. Exhale. It will be okay. Push is here to help whether you hit above your weight, hit your target or got hit with a dead haddock on results day 2018.
You might have heard in the news lately that lots of people are talking about a thing called “unconditional offers”. In terms of UCAS applications, this means a university you have applied for has read your application and decided they like you enough to offer you a place right away, no matter the grades you get at the end of the year.
Beware though, the word “unconditional” might be misleading.
In this sense, an unconditional offer might be (ironically) on the condition that you make the university in question your firm choice, essentially ditching all of your other options. If you’re the type to like a sure-bet, who maybe doesn’t perform their best under exam stress and who would really be happier all-round to know they have a guaranteed university place waiting for them, this could be a really great thing.
But it is absolutely not the best option for everyone. Listen to us when we say: do not feel pressured into making a university your firm choice. By anyone.
Do you know your bops from your balls? Or your CATS from your CUKAS?
Heading into the world of higher education can be like learning a new language – there's more jargon than you can shake a soc at. That's why we've created this handy glossary of all the weird and wonderful terms academics like to use. Let Push be your guide.
You'll need us. Honestly, it's a jungle out there.
Think you’ve missed the boat if you don’t head straight from college to uni? These days, that can’t be any further from the case. The stereotypical student may be late teens, early 20s, but the world of higher education is opening up more and more to mature students from all ages.
If you're heading to uni, in just about two months’ time, you'll be packing up your life to continue it somewhere else for the next three, four or more years.
The weeks between getting your results and starting term scoot by and unis start allocating their housing the moment the grades are out. There are four basic housing choices for students – living at home, living in, living out or private halls.
With this year's exams behind you, you'll be pleased to know that uni isn't all about books, lectures and exams. We all know students get up to other stuff, right? And this other stuff is important when it comes to getting the most out of the whole university experience.
Not got a place yet? If none of your unis offered you a place or you played hard to get and turned down all their advances, then you might still find something through UCAS Extra. The idea is that you can apply to courses that still have spaces even if they weren't one of your first choices.
We all know there's a variety of ways to get things to stick in your head: texts books, spider diagrams, post-it notes, mind-palaces, reading out loud, singing your revision and even sleeping with your notes under your pillow (note: we have no proof of the last one...).
If you have a basic understanding of how memory works you can incorporate this into the way you revise.
So, it’s getting to the time of year where everyone’s asking the same, awful question: what are you going to do with your life?
Yuck. What a quick way to ruin the annual family barbecue.
If you’re panicking about the answer, or really just don’t know what you want, you’re not alone. Just remember that it’s your life, and your choices, so be certain that whatever you decide comes from a well-researched place. This is not the time to make a last minute panic decision, or just go along with whatever everyone else is doing or telling you to do.
Studying abroad isn’t for everyone.
For one? It ain’t cheap. There are lots of options to help with the cost, but one way or another you’ll have to be saving your pennies in the summer up to your time away. You’ll really regret it if you don’t.
It’s also not easy, and requires a lot of dedication. The process is a little smoother if you want to study in Europe, but places like North America and Asia have strict visa regulations, and that almost certainly means making the trek to London to visit an embassy. Not much fun, there.
Did you know that all of your senses can be helpful when you revise for exams?
Some studies have found that if you always suck on Polos while revising the ins and outs of Biology, or wear the same perfume when thinking about French sentence structure, it can help encode what you're memorising. This is because all our senses are linked and they all make pathways into the process of remembering.
This, however, should only be used alongside your regular excellent study skills otherwise you'll be sat in your exam popping Polos and praying to a confectionery god. Not a good look for anyone.
If you’re anything like the rest of us, it’s not a stretch to say you’ve probably sat around at some point thinking – what makes me unique? How do I stand out from the crowd? These existential questions particularly rear their ugly heads when you’re faced with a personal statement for college or uni, or a cover letter for a job.
And it’s tough. Everyone’s their own biggest critic, but when it comes to singing your own praises, especially as to why you’re a better choice than anyone else, it can feel like an impossible task.
Yeah, we know you’re all pretty amazing. But to really stand out from the crowd of other applicants for a job or course, you need to have something else on offer besides the same GCSEs, A-Levels or degree as everyone else you’re up against.
For year 12s
Are you heading down the uni highway?
This month you can officially start applying to uni for 2019 entry. UCAS opens its website for people to register on 22nd May.
Don’t worry, the deadline is still a while away, but the dogs are now off the leash.
Hopefully, your thoughts about what you might want to study have, like chewing gum on the pavement, been getting firmer.
The next question is where to study? Sometimes this isn’t just about where it is in the country, but about what the place is
really like – the atmosphere.
No two unis are the same. The surroundings and building affect how it feels, but so too do the people, the students. Some
unis are posh, some are full of students from the area, some are ethnic melting pots, some are arty, sciency or businessy. Some are none of those things.
If you read anything in a tabloid newspaper, you'd think that the young people of today are nothing but delicate little "snowflakes" – offended by everything, right down to the ever-rising price of avocados.
You only have to talk to a real-life young person to know that's not the case. An entire university study has been dedicated to the idea of Generation Snowflake, and you won't be surprised to find that it's an exaggerated, over-generalised load of nonsense.
Okay, maybe not the avocado part. C'mon, we've got to have some nice things.
Researches from the University of Leeds' Institute for Teaching interviewed 55 undergrads as part of their study into student resilience, and had another 185 complete survey questionnaires.
Students were asked what they thought about the snowflake generation - students who were "quick to take offence and too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own", and also the idea of 'trigger-warnings' - where individuals are notified of potentially distressing content before being exposed to it.
Surprisingly, large numbers of students hadn't even heard of the term 'snowflake generation' or even 'trigger-warnings', and if they were aware of the concept, it wasn't usually in terms of education and more in terms of internet use.
Rather than the negative associations, where 'trigger-warnings' are viewed as a form of censorship, the participating students largely agreed that the warnings allowed them to be prepared for potentially disturbing content, rather than choosing not to engage with it at all.
Overall, the participants "were likely to say that they could see some truth in ['snowflake generation'], but that it was an unfair, sweeping label for an eclectic group of people."
It's not all about getting a good enough job to get by, or even to just start making a dent in those hefty students loans. But that should be fairly obvious, right? No point studying for 3+ extra years, only to fall into a job that's completely the wrong fit.
If it's not for you, chances are you won't like it. And if you don't like it, chances are you won't be able to force yourself to get up and go to it every morning for all that long.
Not to scare you or anything, but today, January 15th, is a pretty darn important deadline. That's right, it's D-Day.
And the cut off is at 6pm.
If you've already got your UCAS application in, congrats, you're on the ball and we applaud your organisational skills. You may burn this message after reading, unless you'd like to keep the info safe in the off-chance you don't get the acceptance offers we know you deserve this time around.
If you're hoping to start university in 2018, and haven't yet submitted your UCAS application, now is the time to act – and panic slightly, but only if that's going to motivate you. No headless chickens here, please.
New Year, New You? If fitness is your thing (or not! No judgement) then you're in for a treat.
Here's Push presenter Moj Taylor's exclusive interview with personal trainer Kaoutar Hannach: read on for her insight on everything from student life and choosing the right degree, to how she found a career she loves.
You may have nearly a year until your uni application deadline for 2019, but if you're clever (and we’re sure you are), you'll want to be as on-the-ball as Cinderella’s godmother and get your application right at the front of the queue.
That means getting it submitted by around half term in the Autumn.
Still think you've got ages? Just think about all the lessons, summer exams, Saturday jobs, parties, holidays and procrastination that you've got to fit in. Blink and the year will be gone.
Thinking about heading to uni, but worried you won’t get the most bang for your buck? Have a look at this great article by the Guardian, featuring the wise words of our Chief Executive, Johnny Rich, on how to make the most of your money.
Up until this point, admit it, school has been fairly easy. But with A-level choices looming on the horizon the scary thought (that what you choose now will decide what options you have in the future) might just rear its ugly head.
Just in case that wasn’t enough pressure, a group of universities called the Russell Group have published a guide announcing which of their universities prefer certain subjects and, more scarily, which subjects they consider too ‘soft’ to take into account.
You've probably started thinking about your options after school already, even if by mistake, but soon your teachers are going to start pushing you for a plan.
So when the family's getting on your wick over the festive period, what better excuse is there for finding some alone time than that you want to get ahead of the game?
Today, we thought we'd share with you a Telegraph article featuring the wise words of Push founder and Chief Executive, Johnny Rich.
In it, Johnny compares choosing a uni to choosing a marriage partner – “You wouldn’t rush into a nightclub and grab the first person you saw — likewise, you shouldn’t spend three years at a university without having spent at least three hours looking around beforehand."
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