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What's an EPQ and is it worth doing?

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    Hi guys, so I'm doing AS and I'm only taking 3 subjects (biology, chemistry and business), I was also taking maths but I dropped it a week before the Christmas holidays as it was too difficult and my other subjects were suffering. I was wondering what exactly an EPQ is and what it involves and if it is worth doing. Any help is appreciated.

    EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is pretty much where you write about a topic of your choice (it has to be a topic which you're not covering/or going to cover in any of your subjects). For example, my friend's topic is 'Is interstellar travel possible'. Essentially just give yourself an open-ended question which you can write 5000 words on (the minimum). It's graded up to A, and is worth half an A-level.

    Now, there's a debate on whether it's worth it or not. In my opinion, although some unis (Southampton for example) lower entry requirements if you have EPQ, it's not worth it. My friend has put hundreds of hours into his which could have been spent revising for his other subjects. Some unis even disregard it completely. However, it has its pros and cons, so if you are considering doing it, think about a topic you'd enjoy writing about.

    It's your decision .

    An EPQ is basically a project which you carry out yourself, and you can do it in a number of formats. The most usual EPQ type is a 5000 word essay, but you can also do an 'artefact', such as building an object, composing a song, making a sculpture etc, along with a 1000 word essay.

    In addition to the essay or essay + artefact, you also need to fill in what's called a Log Book or Production Log, at three stages during your project - the beginning, middle and end. In the Log Book you write about what you have done so far at each stage of the project, what you will do next and any changes you have made to your project plan. The Log Book has detail on what you need to write about, so don't worry about that.

    You'll also need to do a short (10-15 minute) presentation at the end of the project, discussing how you conducted your project, what you found out, what you would do differently etc.

    If you're willing to put the work in to get a good grade, then I think the EPQ is worth it. You get to research a topic that interests you in detail, develop important skills such as essay writing and referencing, and some universities will even give lower offers if you have done an EPQ.

    Just to be clear, the above relates to the requirements for AQA (I did my EPQ with AQA, I'm not sure about the requirements for other exam boards)
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