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 Post subject: EPQs
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:54 am
Posts: 1006
Dd has just found out that she hasn't been selected to do an EPQ. I had no idea that the number of students doing one is limited. Is this usual in schools?

Out of 200 ish, 50 were selected to do an EPQ.

Dd has mixed feelings about not being selected; she is a bit disappointed but on the other hand, it's a lot of work on top of her A Levels.

How much value does an EPQ have? Is it worth doing one independently?


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 Post subject: Re: EPQs
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am
Posts: 588
Location: N London
I wonder if it depends on the subject you are applying to uni for? None of the information DD gleaned at open days suggested that it would be considered or offered on. I can imagine if you are applying for law, for example, not having studied it at A level, that it might be useful to demonstrate interest, but again unlikely to be offered on. I was quite glad DD chose not to do one. DS is doing one but I fear the workload will overcome him at some point.


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 Post subject: Re: EPQs
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 9943
Location: Herts
Absolutely not.

Dd1 did an EPQ.

Dd2 was not selected to do one and it was a real blessing as she already had History and Geography coursework and a composition to write from scratch in Music.

One of the Heads of Department told me that EPQ's had been the reason why some students had ended up losing their Uni offers in August as they spent far too much time on it.

I am sure it is very positive for a student who is well ahead in all of their A levels but for those who slip behind it can become a real time drain. DG


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 Post subject: Re: EPQs
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 6780
Location: Reading
DD is doing an EPQ. They do need support from a teacher I thing as DD as regular meetings with hers. They don’t need to be knowledgable about the subject though.

Her school also select a certain number, not all those wanting to do it get to. I suspect down to the number of teachers available to support students.

She has enjoyed it so far and it reflects her choice of uni degree course, so was good to put in her PS.

At least One of her uni choices gives slightly lower offers if a EPQ is also offered, eg one asked for A*AA, but lowers this to AAA with an A in EPQ as well. Others have said that of students don’t quite meet their offer, then they will look at other factors to see whether they will still offer the a place, doing an EPQ is one of them, along with the PS.

However I don’t see it as the be all and end all. DD has Eng Lit coursework and her work in her EPQ has stalled at the moment due to that. Thankfully her A level mocks are in feb, so she will spend time over Christmas on it.


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 Post subject: Re: EPQs
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 6718
Any student who wants to do an EPQ in our school, can do one. If a student has a real interest in a topic then it can be an interesting thing to do. However, it is a lot of work to get a decent grade and, frankly, anything lower than an A/A* is not going to have any impact on uni offers. The vast majority of DS1s year didn’t do one and the vast majority have started in university. DS2 has no interest in doing one and will use the time to do things that have as much value to him.


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 Post subject: Re: EPQs
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 am
Posts: 602
Anyone at my DS school can do an EOQ.
Most don’t and of those that do most I have spoken to regretted it.
They reported it being much more work than they had anticipated.
My DS was really glad he didn’t do one.
In my opinion A levels are enough.


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 Post subject: Re: EPQs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
Posts: 510
Location: S E London
DD hasn't done an EPQ, but instead did a couple of MOOCs related to her course, and read a couple of journal articles which tied in with the MOOC she did, so had plenty to write about in her PS without it taking up a lot of time. She has offers from all 5 unis she applied to.


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 Post subject: Re: EPQs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:28 am
Posts: 468
DD tells me that in her school, not everyone who applies to do an EPQ gets selected. Her school do them in YR12 and it's all completed by the beginning of April. It took up so much of her time last academic year and I can see why it's so stressful for YR 13 students.


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 Post subject: Re: EPQs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 4953
Location: london
I think an EPQ needs to be something DC want to do, not something to try to improve chances for Uni applications (actually I think that of everything :wink: ).
DD1 loved hers, she did not find it too much work despite doing 4 A levels (old system) 2 of which were essay subjects BUT she had finished it by autumn of Y13 so most of the legwork was in Y12. That said if it was something she was doing for any reason other than it was something she really wanted to do, (incidentally completely unrelated to her A levels or degree) then I think it would have been a slog. Certainly some of her classmates ran close to deadlines and it became a total pain for them.
I don't think it made any difference to her Uni applications but once there she found the referencing systems, lit reviews and project management of extended essays and her dissertation easier to get to grips with as she had already experienced the format and style of this type of work.
OP, if DC is dead set on doing one then I would suggest she would need someone to mentor her every couple of months to make sure she understands what is required and can get feedback on progress so far etc. But if there are other things she is interested in then go ahead with them instead, she will not be any the worse for it.

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 Post subject: Re: EPQs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:54 am
Posts: 1006
Thank you all. So it sounds like it's just as well she wasn't selected. She's on track to get top grades so better to put all her focus into her A Levels.


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