3 a levels + epq or 4 a levels? Watch

Unknown45678abc
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I have currently signed up for 4 a levels (English lit, history, phycology and economics) but I have doubts as to whether it would be better to just do 3 a levels and an EPQ?
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Bill Nye
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psychology*

But anyways doing 3 a-levels + an EPQ would be better as no university requires 4 a-levels, and an EPQ is well liked by universities - a few will even give you a lower offer if you have the EPQ and get certain grade in it.

But do 4 if you can't decide between them.
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Unknown45678abc
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(Original post by Bill Nye)
psychology*

But anyways doing 3 a-levels + an EPQ would be better as no university requires 4 a-levels, and an EPQ is well liked by universities - a few will even give you a lower offer if you have the EPQ and get certain grade in it.

But do 4 if you can't decide between them.
universities don't really require an EPQ do they? but yeah it may be easier. i just wondered because doing 4 would give you more points
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JimmyG69
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I was in a similar position to you when I was doing a levels, I decided to go ahead with the 4 a levels and overall I wouldn't say it gave me a massive advantage applying to university. However many universities did recognise the fact that doing 4 was more challenging and took it into account when considering me.
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ZoeN2
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I did 3 a-levels and an EPQ (History, Classical Civilisation, and RE) and I would really recommend it.

Focusing on three subjects helped me have time for deeper reading and was less stressful than taking four and I believe my grades improved as a result. You still get points with an EPQ with 60 points if you gain an A*which is more than you would get for an A grade at AS. Even if you were taking four most people drop it at the end of year 12 to focus on their best remaining subjects. The EPQ was really well-liked by universities and was talked about in my interviews too- both Leeds, Kent, and Royal Holloway (3/5 of the universities I applied to) gave me reduced offers for it. It also really helped with my personal statement as it linked in with my chosen subject and was really rewarding- it also showed independent learning.
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alevelphysicist
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3 and EPQ imo (unless you had planned to take further maths)
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Bill Nye
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(Original post by Unknown45678abc)
universities don't really require an EPQ do they? but yeah it may be easier. i just wondered because doing 4 would give you more points
No they don’t need an wow but they do like people who have it. It is meant to be a qualification that gives you good preparation to uni
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jtkai
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University entry requirements tend to only include 3 A-levels, so taking 4 may be worth it if you're interested in all of those subjects, but there's an increase in workload, of course!

As some people have mentioned before, some universities will lower a grade in their offer if you're taking an EPQ, if you do well enough in it. For example, say a typical offer was AAB, a uni might say that if you get an A in your EPQ, they'll lower your offer to ABB.

Think about the universities you'd like to apply to. Is it likely that you'll have to be interviewed for some/all of them? If so, an EPQ can give you something to talk about in them. Many universities like to see that you've done additional reading/research around the subject you want to study, and an EPQ is probably the easiest way of doing this/proving that you've done this.

Universities regularly advise that 3 good grades are better than 4 decent ones, so you might want to focus on 3 to make sure you do as well as you can at them. But if you feel capable of doing 4, it's completely up to you if you'd rather do them!

Overall, it's your decision; if you enjoy all of those subjects, or aren't sure which of them you want to continue to study at uni/higher forms of education, then it could be the right choice for you to do 4 A-levels. However, an EPQ has many benefits which are worth considering.
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Ahmer0
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(Original post by Bill Nye)
psychology*

But anyways doing 3 a-levels + an EPQ would be better as no university requires 4 a-levels, and an EPQ is well liked by universities - a few will even give you a lower offer if you have the EPQ and get certain grade in it.

But do 4 if you can't decide between them.
This such a myth. Every university formally requires only 3 A levels but if you look at the average acceptance into oxford for example its 5.5 A levels. If you really cant decide just do 4 A levels plus the EPQ and get the epq out of the way before anywhere near exam season
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Bill Nye
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(Original post by Ahmer0)
This such a myth. Every university formally requires only 3 A levels but if you look at the average acceptance into oxford for example its 5.5 A levels. If you really cant decide just do 4 A levels plus the EPQ and get the epq out of the way before anywhere near exam season
Do you have any proof of that? I would love to see it.

A uni only requires 3 alevels. A lot of schools won’t let you take 4, or only allow certain people to take 4.

I have never seen anyone on here who has been rejected because they only have 3 alevels.

Surely doing an epq related to the course you want to do at uni is better than doing an extra subject which isn’t necessarily related to what you want to do?
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Ahmer0
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(Original post by Bill Nye)
Do you have any proof of that? I would love to see it.

A uni only requires 3 alevels. A lot of schools won’t let you take 4, or only allow certain people to take 4.

I have never seen anyone on here who has been rejected because they only have 3 alevels.

Surely doing an epq related to the course you want to do at uni is better than doing an extra subject which isn’t necessarily related to what you want to do?
Obviously universities will understand if your school only allow you to do 3 A levels and i didnt say someone would be rejected from having 3 A levels. I said your application will be more competitive if your predicted for example 4 A*s rather than 3 A*s . And in reply to your question, that is something the person would need to consider themselves. No point answering that for them or asking me because its their choice whether they see an EPQ as more interesting/ benefical to them. I will say that an EPQ is worth an AS or half an A level not an entire A level
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Martin2343
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I'm doing 4 A levels with an EPQ. Is this not an option for you? The benefit of an EPQ is that you can write it in your personal statement, so long as you make it relevant to the field you are interested in applying to. I have rushed through mine but was still predicted top marks, so I wouldn't consider an EPQ as a challenge; if you're looking for a challenge then go for 4 A levels if the fourth is relevant.
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Unknown45678abc
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(Original post by Martin2343)
I'm doing 4 A levels with an EPQ. Is this not an option for you? The benefit of an EPQ is that you can write it in your personal statement, so long as you make it relevant to the field you are interested in applying to. I have rushed through mine but was still predicted top marks, so I wouldn't consider an EPQ as a challenge; if you're looking for a challenge then go for 4 A levels if the fourth is relevant.
No that isn’t an option for me otherwise that is what I would have done. I just am not sure if 4 a levels would benefit me more in the future
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ltsmith
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Doing 4 A-Levels gives you zero advantages but an EPQ can lead to a reduced offer

So do 3 A-Levels + EPQ
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Unknown45678abc
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(Original post by ltsmith)
Doing 4 A-Levels gives you zero advantages but an EPQ can lead to a reduced offer

So do 3 A-Levels + EPQ
Surely doing 4 a levels would give you more ucas points than 3
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ltsmith
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(Original post by Unknown45678abc)
Surely doing 4 a levels would give you more ucas points than 3
They do, but lots of universities don't use the UCAS points system. They ask for three A-Level grades. E.g. AAB. Getting ABCC wouldn't meet that requirement although its worth more UCAS points
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concoval
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(Original post by ZoeN2)
I did 3 a-levels and an EPQ (History, Classical Civilisation, and RE) and I would really recommend it.

Focusing on three subjects helped me have time for deeper reading and was less stressful than taking four and I believe my grades improved as a result. You still get points with an EPQ with 60 points if you gain an A*which is more than you would get for an A grade at AS. Even if you were taking four most people drop it at the end of year 12 to focus on their best remaining subjects. The EPQ was really well-liked by universities and was talked about in my interviews too- both Leeds, Kent, and Royal Holloway (3/5 of the universities I applied to) gave me reduced offers for it. It also really helped with my personal statement as it linked in with my chosen subject and was really rewarding- it also showed independent learning.
Are you sure that it's 60 points? I was told that an EPQ is worth half an A Level but wouldn't 60 points be higher than an A* at A Level?
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