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EPQ - who actually cares about it??

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    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering, has anyone actually had a good experience with the EPQ. I'm thinking of applying to Cambridge (NatSci), then chemistry in Durham, Bristol, York, St Andrews - do these uni's actually give a s**t about the EPQ (because I have been specifically told by Durham and Bristol that they aren't *that* interested in it...

    Thanks!
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    They won't consider it when giving offers so it won't count as your 3 A-levels they ask for. But from personal experience, I think it'll help me with assignment layouts and Uni dissertation once I start so it's worth doing.
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    Its not really something to be used in place of the three a levels, but can be used to help get an offer and can be used as a negotiation tool if you just miss out on your offer when you get your A2 results.
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    It's a fantastic way of researching something unfamiliar in your subject to demonstrate commitment and interest... I'd imagine they're not so much interested with the grade you get than the stuff you learnt while taking it.
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    I loved EPQ I took it 2 years early doing microbiology and got A*, its actually pretty easy if you have good time management. I would say its a bonus and strengthens your applications
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    I did the EPQ, and none of the unis I applied to (Oxford, York, UCL, Manchester and Leeds) seemed to care about it one jot. I wasn't asked about it at any interviews or anything.
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    The EPQ although not included in offers is a great thing to have imo. It can help with time management skills, show passion for a subject, as well as being a talking point at interviews. I've been doing my EPQ over the summer and have loved it.
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    Your attitude stinks... If you were really passionate about your subject you would jump at the chance to write an investigative analytical essay and presentation of your choice!
    I have seen the whole 'I am only interested if it benefits me' speal many-a-time at school, especially in regard to EPQ and it's sad. Maybe you should ask yourself why u want to study natsci/chemistry, to say you study at a top uni or for the general enthusiasm for the area.
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    (Original post by rugbyladosc)
    Your attitude stinks... If you were really passionate about your subject you would jump at the chance to write an investigative analytical essay and presentation of your choice!
    I have seen the whole 'I am only interested if it benefits me' speal many-a-time at school, especially in regard to EPQ and it's sad. Maybe you should ask yourself why u want to study natsci/chemistry, to say you study at a top uni or for the general enthusiasm for the area.
    Asking whether it's worth doing re. university admissions is completely fair. I did it and found it massively time-consuming, and if I could go back and change things I wouldn't have done it, because it got in the way of my A Level revision and didn't seem to make much (if any) difference to my university applications. That doesn't make me any less passionate for my subject.
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    seems pretty pointless to me as i think uni's just ignore it
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    (Original post by rainbow drops)
    Asking whether it's worth doing re. university admissions is completely fair. I did it and found it massively time-consuming, and if I could go back and change things I wouldn't have done it, because it got in the way of my A Level revision and didn't seem to make much (if any) difference to my university applications. That doesn't make me any less passionate for my subject.
    Come on it's hardly time consuming... Research can take 4 hours, bashing out 5000 words + referencing maybe another 6 max.. I think most people could get it done in a weekend!
    Also if nothing else it is useful to mention on your personal statement (I'm assuming you did).. Who knows, maybe your passion for the subject swayed your application in the eyes pf the admission tutor and got u an offer on the back of it.

    There is nothing wrong with asking if it's helpful with uni applications but I think the animosity many 'top' candidates held towards it was saddening.
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    (Original post by rugbyladosc)
    Come on it's hardly time consuming... Research can take 4 hours, bashing out 5000 words + referencing maybe another 6 max.. I think most people could get it done in a weekend!
    Also if nothing else it is useful to mention on your personal statement (I'm assuming you did).. Who knows, maybe your passion for the subject swayed your application in the eyes pf the admission tutor and got u an offer on the back of it.

    There is nothing wrong with asking if it's helpful with uni applications but I think the animosity many 'top' candidates held towards it was saddening.
    If people were truly passionate about their subject like you were saying before, then surely they wouldn't 'bash out' the whole thing in one weekend :rolleyes: Besides, I had to go to extra tutor sessions about it all year, document all my research and planning and do a presentation on top of my essay, so for me it really did use up time which could have been better spent on revision and coursework.

    It was in my personal statement, and that doesn't change my belief that it didn't make any difference. I could even see that it didn't make any difference to my Oxford application, because the interviewer had my PS in front of her and had underlined certain sections to ask questions about, but had ignored where I'd talked about the EPQ. UCL didn't mention it either. If they'd been impressed by it or if it had swayed their thoughts, they surely would have mentioned it :dontknow:

    I know it's nice to do further research into a subject you love, but you can easily do that in your own time without the EPQ. I'm just describing my own experience, that's all.
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    if the only reason you are considering the EPQ is to boost your uni application then it is not for you, it is for people who passionate about their subject and want to go beyond the syllabus.
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    (Original post by Ynang)
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    Hi. Cambridge university in particular likes the EPQ, and throughout their website they constantly mention that even though it won't be included in any offer they make, that it is a useful and welcome tool. An excerpt from their entrance page:

    "We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills, which will ease the transition from school/college to higher education. However, completion of an Extended Project won't be a requirement of any offer made." - Cambridge.

    The idea is that you do it because you enjoy your subject so much that you're willing to undertake what is essentially another qualification just because you can.

    If you're doing it literally only because they may like it a bit, don't bother as it'd become unwanted hassle which could subtract from your UMS percentage average across your top 3 science subjects (which is basically what Cambridge will care about most), and reduce your chances.
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    im doing Pharmacy and i got an A in my EPQ and nobody even cared what it was on! But its very easy as you cant really go wrong.. you decide how you do it so its always good to have on a statement. For example you and a candidate might both have AAA predictions in your a-level but you'll be AAA + A in an EPQ so youll get the uni offer !

    good luck !
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    hi guys, in need of some ideas for my EQ based around business management? struggling to narrow it down :/
    heeeeeeeeeeeelp
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    I agree with the others about EPQ not being worth it. I decided not to do it after speaking to students the year above me and asking whether it was worth the time, and they said no, and having not done it, I don't feel it weakened my application in any way. If anything, I feel it made my application stronger, because I had more time than my friends, and did other things and concentrated more on my January exams.

    That doesn't make you OP, or me, any less passionate about our subject or anything like that. At the end of the day, getting into the best university that you can, IS a game, and you have to play it. Okay in an ideal world I would have liked to have spent time doing an extra research project, but in the real world I didn't have time for it and focused on other things. All schools structure their EPQ differently, but in my school, the time for submitting their EPQ reports, meeting with their tutor to go over their report, doing that presentation thing you have to do for EPQ, fell right in the middle of January exams, and I saw some of my friends this year having a hard time juggling both. It appeared to me, as though EPQ wasted a lot of their time. I don't think I saw anyone manage to do it in one weekend or ~10 hours work.

    On my personal statement I neither had the space to mention an EPQ project, nor did I want to, as all my other things were in my eyes more important than any EPQ project that I could have done and mentioned on the ps. Yes maybe if you do do an EPQ that may 'sway your application in the eyes of the admission tutor and get you an offer', but then that could be said of anything and everything, such as, oh you should have done DofE gold, or you should have been head boy, that will work in your favour if there are two applicants both with AAA but you also have this extra stuff, etc etc.
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    Nobody cares about it, its the most useless qualification created shortly behind btecs
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    Nobody cares about it that much, if at all. Personally, I wasn't asked about it at interview and I only briefly mentioned it in my personal statement.

    That said, I don't regret doing it at all. I picked a subject I was genuinely very interested in, I got to read some really fascinating books, I got to study and write in a way that A levels don't let you. The EPQ is self-directed, and it's a perfect opportunity to study something you won't be taught in A levels or even at university.

    If you're going to do it, do it because you want to commit to studying a topic that interests you, not to impress admissions tutors. Honestly, the EPQ is way too easy to impress admissions. If you do tiny bits of work here and there throughout the year, and shove enough reflective bits in the report, an A* should be easy enough for anyone with some academic ability.

    I don't think it added much to my application for medicine, but it wasn't a completely medicine focused topic, so I never expected it to. On the other hand, one girl in my year got an offer for Law at Oxford, got AAB and missed it. They still let her in, and she seems convinced it was down to the A* she got in the EPQ.
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    (Original post by Ynang)
    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering, has anyone actually had a good experience with the EPQ. I'm thinking of applying to Cambridge (NatSci), then chemistry in Durham, Bristol, York, St Andrews - do these uni's actually give a s**t about the EPQ (because I have been specifically told by Durham and Bristol that they aren't *that* interested in it...

    Thanks!
    My EPQ was included in my Sheffield offer, but York, Leeds, Leicester and Exeter couldn't have cared less.

    To be honest, I did it because my chosen topic was relevant to my degree choice, which made my personal statement look better. I didn't expect universities would consider it when making offers, and neither should you.

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Updated: September 15, 2012
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