Do you need to be passionate about your subject to do an EPQ on it? Watch

shibe
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Hi i am currently going into my second year of sixth form and potentially applying to Oxbridge for a Mathematics degree. The RISE coordinator (oxbridge teacher advisor person i believe) has strongly recommended i take an EPQ.

I am currently studying A-level mathematics, further mathematics and physics but unsure about doing an EPQ. I am interested in mathematics but i don't like it that much to consider myself "passionate" about it and as a result feel unsure about it. First off i don't have many ideas on what to write about and i'm not certain i can write enough and of sufficient quality for it to be worthwhile.


Will an EPQ benefit me a lot in a mathematics degree?

Will it benefit me more since i am applying to oxbridge compared to not applying to oxbridge? (i have been told it helps a lot in the interviews)

Does applying to Oxbridge imply that i should be passionate about the subject?

Ultimately, does an EPQ require passion for the subject?



Would be greatly appreciated if any of the questions could be answered or for some input!
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Calvin Baxter
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It's good to have taken an EPQ for getting into competitive universities. There is a chance that you could get in without taking an EPQ but it will give you the edge if you have taken one. If you know you aren't going to enjoy it at all than I wouldn't recommend it. However, you have to think about your future and doing that EPQ could make the difference by just putting up with doing it for a year.
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amymcm11
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If you can't think of a specific area of maths you might want to write it on, research outside of what your A-level courses cover (because your EPQ can't overlap with what your subjects cover in their syllabus). If you still don't feel passionate about any topic in particular, I would think twice about doing it. It does take up a lot of time, and despite being warned against it I think 90% of the people in my class did it last minute.

I did my EPQ on history, and wrote about it in my personal statement, but when I went for an history interview at Cambridge, they didn't ask me any questions about it; they focussed mainly on what I was studying at school and a source I had to look at.

If you're going into year 13 in september, I would probably consider just focusing on your studies and getting top grades for uni, because I started it in year 12 and even then I was pressed for time at the end!
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Sana_Akram
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Hi, I did my EPQ in year 13 and I just finished year 13 and hoping to start uni in September

I was not really passionate about my EPQ subject but it was somewhat related to what I wanted to study at uni,if you're passionate about the subject then you will probably get your EPQ done faster and possibly enjoy it more, but either way I wasn't really passionate about mine and I still got mine done on time and managed to get an A.

Good Luck
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username2752874
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Who on earth willingly bothers to do an EPQ? That's the real question.
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TelAviv
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If you do the written thing, it'll be very difficult to do well if you don't have any interest in the stuff you're writing 5000+ words about

given that you're doing maths, do you have any experience in computer programming? Making a little app or widget always goes down well with EPQ referees and usually doesn't take as much time as a written piece
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Count Bezukhov
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Oxbridge don't care in the slightest whether or not you've done an EPQ, all they care about are your MAT/STEP scores (and UMS if applying to Cambridge, might not apply to you if you're doing the new A levels), as well as interview performance.

You don't need to be passionate about the subject to do an EPQ, although obviously it helps. All you need is a willingness to dedicate time to it.

With Oxbridge it really won't give you an edge on other applicants, unless by chance you happen to do some research on something that pops up in the tests/interviews which is unlikely and will only help you to get a couple more marks. Maybe it has a bigger impact on other unis, but any impact is going to be minimal in all honesty.
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cxcoaj
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(Original post by shibe)
Hi i am currently going into my second year of sixth form and potentially applying to Oxbridge for a Mathematics degree. The RISE coordinator (oxbridge teacher advisor person i believe) has strongly recommended i take an EPQ.

I am currently studying A-level mathematics, further mathematics and physics but unsure about doing an EPQ. I am interested in mathematics but i don't like it that much to consider myself "passionate" about it and as a result feel unsure about it. First off i don't have many ideas on what to write about and i'm not certain i can write enough and of sufficient quality for it to be worthwhile.


Will an EPQ benefit me a lot in a mathematics degree?

Will it benefit me more since i am applying to oxbridge compared to not applying to oxbridge? (i have been told it helps a lot in the interviews)

Does applying to Oxbridge imply that i should be passionate about the subject?

Ultimately, does an EPQ require passion for the subject?



Would be greatly appreciated if any of the questions could be answered or for some input!
doing an EPQ does put you at an advantage of others because most other applicants won't have done it. you don't have to be passionate about the subject but it would help. i chose to do mine on childhood obesity because it is a topic that has a lot of attention (planning on studying medicine or a life science degree)
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dragonsonmars
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Having done an EPQ this year, I can tell you that passion really helps. My topic was so interesting which made me really passionate about it, thus I dedicated far more time to my project than others who also did it. The level of quality I found when looking at others EPQs, was almost correlational to their passion for their chosen subject. This year we had about 60+ interested in doing an EPQ, with only 14 finishing it. Lots of people drop out due to the time commitment of other subjects. If you're planning on applying to Oxbridge, whilst an EPQ may look favourable, I'm sure they'd rather you maintain high standards in your A-Levels. You do get a lot out of the project though, not just the knowledge, but also the skills like time management, independent study ect, which unis value so highly, so I think if you were to do any degree, the EPQ would benefit you in some way.
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shibe
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(Original post by amymcm11)
If you can't think of a specific area of maths you might want to write it on, research outside of what your A-level courses cover (because your EPQ can't overlap with what your subjects cover in their syllabus). If you still don't feel passionate about any topic in particular, I would think twice about doing it. It does take up a lot of time, and despite being warned against it I think 90% of the people in my class did it last minute.

I did my EPQ on history, and wrote about it in my personal statement, but when I went for an history interview at Cambridge, they didn't ask me any questions about it; they focussed mainly on what I was studying at school and a source I had to look at.

If you're going into year 13 in september, I would probably consider just focusing on your studies and getting top grades for uni, because I started it in year 12 and even then I was pressed for time at the end!
right i see, my mathematics teacher has given me some maths books to read over the summer so i may have some ideas once i get around to reading them. Does the EPQ also help with the personal statement? since i am struggling with things to write about specifically why i am doing the subject and what i have done related to maths already.
Thanks for the input!
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shibe
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(Original post by JRKinder)
Oxbridge don't care in the slightest whether or not you've done an EPQ, all they care about are your MAT/STEP scores (and UMS if applying to Cambridge, might not apply to you if you're doing the new A levels), as well as interview performance.

You don't need to be passionate about the subject to do an EPQ, although obviously it helps. All you need is a willingness to dedicate time to it.

With Oxbridge it really won't give you an edge on other applicants, unless by chance you happen to do some research on something that pops up in the tests/interviews which is unlikely and will only help you to get a couple more marks. Maybe it has a bigger impact on other unis, but any impact is going to be minimal in all honesty.
okay i will bear that in mind, thank you for the input!
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shibe
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(Original post by dragonsonmars)
Having done an EPQ this year, I can tell you that passion really helps. My topic was so interesting which made me really passionate about it, thus I dedicated far more time to my project than others who also did it. The level of quality I found when looking at others EPQs, was almost correlational to their passion for their chosen subject. This year we had about 60+ interested in doing an EPQ, with only 14 finishing it. Lots of people drop out due to the time commitment of other subjects. If you're planning on applying to Oxbridge, whilst an EPQ may look favourable, I'm sure they'd rather you maintain high standards in your A-Levels. You do get a lot out of the project though, not just the knowledge, but also the skills like time management, independent study ect, which unis value so highly, so I think if you were to do any degree, the EPQ would benefit you in some way.
thanks for the input! so do you think that i should do the EPQ and if due to time constraints my grades aren't high enough i should then drop the EPQ halfway?
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hycurrie
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(Original post by shibe)
Hi i am currently going into my second year of sixth form and potentially applying to Oxbridge for a Mathematics degree. The RISE coordinator (oxbridge teacher advisor person i believe) has strongly recommended i take an EPQ.

I am currently studying A-level mathematics, further mathematics and physics but unsure about doing an EPQ. I am interested in mathematics but i don't like it that much to consider myself "passionate" about it and as a result feel unsure about it. First off i don't have many ideas on what to write about and i'm not certain i can write enough and of sufficient quality for it to be worthwhile.


Will an EPQ benefit me a lot in a mathematics degree?

Will it benefit me more since i am applying to oxbridge compared to not applying to oxbridge? (i have been told it helps a lot in the interviews)

Does applying to Oxbridge imply that i should be passionate about the subject?

Ultimately, does an EPQ require passion for the subject?



Would be greatly appreciated if any of the questions could be answered or for some input!

I did the EPQ last year and my advice would be that you don't necessarily have to be passionate about the subject or topic you are doing for your EPQ. However, it would be better. It would make it far less boring for you as you would actually want to study and research the topic. In addition, it would most probably show in your work and presentation wether or not the subject was something that you enjoyed doing rather something that you felt was a necessity.

Hope this helps
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dragonsonmars
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(Original post by shibe)
thanks for the input! so do you think that i should do the EPQ and if due to time constraints my grades aren't high enough i should then drop the EPQ halfway?
you're welcome. yeah definitely! if you time it really well, you can manage to get all the initial planning done in the summer/early September, then take a couple of months for research, then it's just the dissertation and the evaluation, so it won't interfere with exams or revision much/at all. I finished mine (except the evaluation) around March so I had a couple of free months to revise. I also planned weeks/dates away from my extended project if there was a deadline coming up, but if I did have an idea or something, I'd note it down somewhere.
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amymcm11
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(Original post by shibe)
right i see, my mathematics teacher has given me some maths books to read over the summer so i may have some ideas once i get around to reading them. Does the EPQ also help with the personal statement? since i am struggling with things to write about specifically why i am doing the subject and what i have done related to maths already.
Thanks for the input!
I would say that it did help me write my personal statement, but equally if I hadn't done an EPQ I probably would have had more time to read subject related books, and then talk about them in my PS.

Maybe think about other things you could do related to maths. For example tutoring a younger pupil at your school, or even outside of school. Even reading those books your maths teacher gave you, and forming an opinion, will form a valuable part of your PS.

To be honest, everyone at my school had to do an EPQ unless they did further maths, because the school believed their workload would be too big, so if I were you I would really consider if you would have time to do an EPQ, especially in one year.

Sorry for such a long reply, but I hope this helped
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shibe
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(Original post by hycurrie)
I did the EPQ last year and my advice would be that you don't necessarily have to be passionate about the subject or topic you are doing for your EPQ. However, it would be better. It would make it far less boring for you as you would actually want to study and research the topic. In addition, it would most probably show in your work and presentation wether or not the subject was something that you enjoyed doing rather something that you felt was a necessity.

Hope this helps
Right ok, this has helped a lot thank you so much! 😄
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shibe
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(Original post by amymcm11)
I would say that it did help me write my personal statement, but equally if I hadn't done an EPQ I probably would have had more time to read subject related books, and then talk about them in my PS.

Maybe think about other things you could do related to maths. For example tutoring a younger pupil at your school, or even outside of school. Even reading those books your maths teacher gave you, and forming an opinion, will form a valuable part of your PS.

To be honest, everyone at my school had to do an EPQ unless they did further maths, because the school believed their workload would be too big, so if I were you I would really consider if you would have time to do an EPQ, especially in one year.

Sorry for such a long reply, but I hope this helped
Ah I see, I have thought about helping out the new AS classes but I feel like I lack some confidence to do so haha

Thanks for the reply! It has helped a lot 😊
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amymcm11
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(Original post by shibe)
Ah I see, I have thought about helping out the new AS classes but I feel like I lack some confidence to do so haha

Thanks for the reply! It has helped a lot 😊
You could always ask about helping out any students in younger years? And no worries
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hycurrie
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(Original post by shibe)
Right ok, this has helped a lot thank you so much! 😄

Not a problem
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yungggnike
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(Original post by hycurrie)
I did the EPQ last year and my advice would be that you don't necessarily have to be passionate about the subject or topic you are doing for your EPQ. However, it would be better. It would make it far less boring for you as you would actually want to study and research the topic. In addition, it would most probably show in your work and presentation wether or not the subject was something that you enjoyed doing rather something that you felt was a necessity.

Hope this helps
should i bother with the epq i want to atend bath or durham to study accounting/finance. should i bother with it i'm currently offering 3 AS subjects
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