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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:41 pm 
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Location: South Bucks
The EPQ is the Extended Project Qualification and is said to be worth up to 70 UCAS points. It is offered or even insisted upon by sixth forms as an additional qualification to AS/A levels.

My son went to visit Oxford last year and asked all the tutors and admissions staff what they thought of the EPQ.
MOST had never heard of it and all those who had said it was a waste of time.

Do ANY universities rate this qualification? As I understand it Oxford and Cambridge want you to get 3 (not four) really good A levels. No EPQ. No extra A level.

So why are sixth forms pushing this so hard?

Here is another EPQ thread on here showing what a time-consuming struggle it can be:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23911&hilit=EPQ+Extended+Project+Qualification

Here is a Guardian article written by a Y13:
http://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2014/mar/28/extended-project-qualification-sixth-form-students


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:45 pm 
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Both DCs did it, one in yr 13 and one in year 11. Both got v high grades and found the experience of independent work useful - helps if the DC is particularly interested in the subject / topic... bit heavy going otherwise


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:55 pm 
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DD just starting out on hers.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:00 pm 
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Did she have a choice about doing one?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:01 pm 
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Yes.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:32 pm 
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Personally I think it is a cunning way of cutting down on teaching time ... especially as some school are now offering three A levels from next September.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Location: Herts
Well, I suppose you might consider it a 'waste of time' if you think everything a DC does should be aimed at getting into Uni.

As Hermanmunster says, it promotes independent learning. My DD (Yr 13) has just completed hers & she enjoyed studying a subject in more depth (yes, she could have just done this anyway but let's face it, most teenagers wouldn't...). The EPQ didn't even get a mention on her personal statement / UCAs form & it hasn't stopped the offers rolling in.

My Yr 10 DS has just done one too. I think this was a new thing at his school for that age group.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:03 pm
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Location: Cheshire
My DS school did EPQ for about 2 years every one got an A* or what ever the highest grade was , they made a great song and dance about it at the time, but strangley they have stopped doing it now? I wonder what that might imply about the value of it?
(this is school that sends aprox 10-15% to Oxbridge each year and a further 10-15% to Med School)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:59 pm 
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tense wrote:
Well, I suppose you might consider it a 'waste of time' if you think everything a DC does should be aimed at getting into Uni.

As Hermanmunster says, it promotes independent learning. My DD (Yr 13) has just completed hers & she enjoyed studying a subject in more depth (yes, she could have just done this anyway but let's face it, most teenagers wouldn't...). The EPQ didn't even get a mention on her personal statement / UCAs form & it hasn't stopped the offers rolling in.

My Yr 10 DS has just done one too. I think this was a new thing at his school for that age group.

Well, no, I don't think everything a DC does should be aimed at getting into Uni, nor that everyone should be aiming to get into a Uni at all. But from what I see and hear the 6th forms are 'selling' the EPQ as something that will bolster your University application. That is fine if it is true (and a good Uni is what you want) but I have only seen evidence that, at best it isn't taken into account and at worst it could have a negative effect on your other subjects if you find the EPQ a struggle.

If you have *chosen* to do an EPQ to add breadth and depth to your studies then great, but there are lots of other things the student could be getting involved with for example Young Enterprise or any number of other activities which could broaden and enrich their 6th form experience and *possibly* enhance (or not as the case may be) their Uni or further education application.

I am worried about forcing pupils to do an EPQ and the mis-selling of its value especially when you consider the opportunity cost in time that could be spent doing valuable (to the pupil) things.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:45 pm 
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Location: Herts
I absolutely agree with you- no-one should be forced to do it. As you say, there are plenty of worthwhile things to get involved with & they might suit a DC more.


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