The Student Room Group

Should i do an EPQ?

Im thinking of doing an epq but my school hasnt really gone into depth with it. Im just wondering if anyone had any information or tips on the epq in general like what is the process
Reply 1
Original post by Normax
Im thinking of doing an epq but my school hasnt really gone into depth with it. Im just wondering if anyone had any information or tips on the epq in general like what is the process

Hi! I was quite lucky in the fact that my school was very structured with it. I made an effort to have weekly or biweekly sessions with mu supervisor to make sure I was on track throughout. I would say to try and get as much done as you can at the start of the process so you're not leaving everything until the last minute. If you split the work up into manageable chunks then it is absolutely fine. I ended up getting an A but I honestly felt like it was quite easy (quite a statement I know) but only because I tackled it in realistic sections rather than procrastinating like a lot of other people. Also, make sure you answer all the prompt questions listed on ProjectQ and that will ensure you're on track.

In terms of whether you should do it or not completely depends. If your uni options involve grade reductions as a result then I would definitely recommend. None of my unis even considered it so I have mixed feelings about whether it was worth it for me personally. I did write about it in my personal statement but only briefly and I do think participating in essay competitions would've given me the exact same benefits. However, unis really appreciate students who complete epq for the general process as it is a lot like how uni work is conducted which could definitely benefit your application.

Hope this helped! Of course this is all just based on my personal experience but let me know if you have anymore questions!
Reply 2
Original post by Babysalsa
Hi! I was quite lucky in the fact that my school was very structured with it. I made an effort to have weekly or biweekly sessions with mu supervisor to make sure I was on track throughout. I would say to try and get as much done as you can at the start of the process so you're not leaving everything until the last minute. If you split the work up into manageable chunks then it is absolutely fine. I ended up getting an A but I honestly felt like it was quite easy (quite a statement I know) but only because I tackled it in realistic sections rather than procrastinating like a lot of other people. Also, make sure you answer all the prompt questions listed on ProjectQ and that will ensure you're on track.
In terms of whether you should do it or not completely depends. If your uni options involve grade reductions as a result then I would definitely recommend. None of my unis even considered it so I have mixed feelings about whether it was worth it for me personally. I did write about it in my personal statement but only briefly and I do think participating in essay competitions would've given me the exact same benefits. However, unis really appreciate students who complete epq for the general process as it is a lot like how uni work is conducted which could definitely benefit your application.
Hope this helped! Of course this is all just based on my personal experience but let me know if you have anymore questions!

Thankyou for the reply! Topic wise can it be about anything or do i have to be proving a question? And would it be smart to do something linked to a course i would like to do in the future?
Reply 3
Original post by Normax
Thankyou for the reply! Topic wise can it be about anything or do i have to be proving a question? And would it be smart to do something linked to a course i would like to do in the future?

Yes I would say it would be smart to have it link to your course as it will automatically give you something very strong to talk about in your personal statement. However, it can literally be about anything. My topic was about the most significant impacts of parasocial relationships. Most people tend to come to a solid conclusion but due to the complexity of my topic it was more along the lines of it is impossible for me to prove which is most significant due to my lack of ability (couldn't perform any brain scans for any biological evidence and time constraints etc.). I would say you would be making your life a lot easier if it was a measurable question but there is nothing wrong with conducting your research and finding that you can't prove your question wrong or right. My school always told us to stay away from "To what extent..." topics/questions as they are very difficult to prove anything.
Reply 4
I did my EPQ this year, and I personally found it quite useful for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I found it helped me in confirming my interest in a subject, and helping me decide I wanted to study it at unim it also gave me a lower offer for my insurance and was something to put on my personal statement to demonstrate interest in the subject. That being said, my school starts it in Y12, and I think I would have struggled to complete it if we started in Y13. Secondly, it is a time committment, and for some courses (medicine) your time would likely be better spend on something else.

In terms of topic, you can either make something (a piece of clothing, a play, a computer programme, ect) or you can do a dissertation, which is what I did. For the dissertation questions, typically you have to evaluate something (To what extent did ...) and you do have to provide the question, but if you get stuck, there are loads of question titles you can find online
Original post by Normax
Im thinking of doing an epq but my school hasnt really gone into depth with it. Im just wondering if anyone had any information or tips on the epq in general like what is the process

Hey, did the EPQ and got a perfect score (50/50) for it. Firstly, strong disagree with what Babysalsa's school suggested = to avoid the to what extent format. The to what extent format would be the best format to use as you don't necessarily need to answer yes/no. You could argue both sides of the question and come to your own conclusion. For eg: yes to a certain extent but one must factor... With more research you will be able to form your own opinion in your chosen topic.

I did my EPQ on medicine and as a med candidate last year, I found that the EPQ was invaluable to me. I mentioned it in my personal statement, countless times during interview, and it was one of the best things to help me gain insight into the field given how dynamic it is. So yogo1o might think it better to spend time on something else but honestly I think it helped me stay sane during the app process. My school made the EPQ mandatory and honestly it ain't that hard to get an A (50% of my year group did). Some tips I have:

1) Remember that the production log is just as important if not more than your final product and presentation: essay 5000+ words/an artefact + written report. Easier to score an A with an essay tho (imo).

2) Note down all your thought processes and exaggerate. I think what distinguished me between someone who got 49/50 or 48/50 was that I wrote down things that made me seem like a try hard but in reality, it shows commitment. Write down any changes, reasons for these changes, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, how you have grown throughout the project in your production log. Your production log is like you project diary. You write your project ideas, reflect on supervisor meetings, and discuss research approaches. It offers a chance for reflection. Show that you went above and beyond and write with clarity.

3) Read the criteria. They score you on different things for eg: range of resources, evaluation, evidence of changes etc so seek to give as many evidences of these things as possible.

4) Choose a topic that is relevant to your field of interest/one that you intend to pursue in uni. You can do the EPQ on any topic of your choice but during your presentation you will have to talk abt project aims so a good aim is to say that via the EPQ = ascertained your desire to pursue this field and do future research (green flag).

5) Choose a topic that is relevant and has new research coming up. Shows your ability to utilize research both new and old = CRAPP testing which you will do a lot of. You will also have to use a variety of sources to show that you take the initiative to expand your methods of learning (academic journals, books, videos, documentaries). You can do primary research too = speaking to specialists/experts in your chosen field. This was a huge plus point for me.

6) Show good organization skills throughout to impress your supervisor. Although you will have to talk abt what skills you have gained from this project, organization skills should be smthing you show throughout. Meet em deadlines!

7) Keep a research diary. You will have to do in-text citations and references (in alphabetical order) so save your links, date you last used these publications, and CRAAP test em as soon as you use em.

8) Make sure that you have a clear essay structure so you can start distributing your research accordingly. You have to keep in mind the word limit (if you are doing an essay). Shorten your findings into concise sentences and try to do so in your own words. Also you will have to do a plagiarism check at the end and submit the % similarity so keep this in mind.

9) Show the effort you put in = commitment. Amount of research done and doing so daily. You will need to make GANTT charts = a timeline of things you have to do (usually for research) with dates and stuff. Show that you can adapt and navigate the EPQ alongside exams, doing CCAs etc.

Process in short:

Ideas first

First research action + 1st Gantt chart

Finalizing idea

Start research

Finish research + starting first draft

First draft done

Redrafting + more reflection

Presentation

Final draft

Reflection

All production log + essay done + plagiarism check

Submit everything


(supervisor meetings and reflection in between).

Hope this helps!
Reply 6
Original post by Tulipbloom
Hey, did the EPQ and got a perfect score (50/50) for it. Firstly, strong disagree with what Babysalsa's school suggested = to avoid the to what extent format. The to what extent format would be the best format to use as you don't necessarily need to answer yes/no. You could argue both sides of the question and come to your own conclusion. For eg: yes to a certain extent but one must factor... With more research you will be able to form your own opinion in your chosen topic.
I did my EPQ on medicine and as a med candidate last year, I found that the EPQ was invaluable to me. I mentioned it in my personal statement, countless times during interview, and it was one of the best things to help me gain insight into the field given how dynamic it is. So yogo1o might think it better to spend time on something else but honestly I think it helped me stay sane during the app process. My school made the EPQ mandatory and honestly it ain't that hard to get an A (50% of my year group did). Some tips I have:
1) Remember that the production log is just as important if not more than your final product and presentation: essay 5000+ words/an artefact + written report. Easier to score an A with an essay tho (imo).
2) Note down all your thought processes and exaggerate. I think what distinguished me between someone who got 49/50 or 48/50 was that I wrote down things that made me seem like a try hard but in reality, it shows commitment. Write down any changes, reasons for these changes, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, how you have grown throughout the project in your production log. Your production log is like you project diary. You write your project ideas, reflect on supervisor meetings, and discuss research approaches. It offers a chance for reflection. Show that you went above and beyond and write with clarity.
3) Read the criteria. They score you on different things for eg: range of resources, evaluation, evidence of changes etc so seek to give as many evidences of these things as possible.
4) Choose a topic that is relevant to your field of interest/one that you intend to pursue in uni. You can do the EPQ on any topic of your choice but during your presentation you will have to talk abt project aims so a good aim is to say that via the EPQ = ascertained your desire to pursue this field and do future research (green flag).
5) Choose a topic that is relevant and has new research coming up. Shows your ability to utilize research both new and old = CRAPP testing which you will do a lot of. You will also have to use a variety of sources to show that you take the initiative to expand your methods of learning (academic journals, books, videos, documentaries). You can do primary research too = speaking to specialists/experts in your chosen field. This was a huge plus point for me.
6) Show good organization skills throughout to impress your supervisor. Although you will have to talk abt what skills you have gained from this project, organization skills should be smthing you show throughout. Meet em deadlines!
7) Keep a research diary. You will have to do in-text citations and references (in alphabetical order) so save your links, date you last used these publications, and CRAAP test em as soon as you use em.
8) Make sure that you have a clear essay structure so you can start distributing your research accordingly. You have to keep in mind the word limit (if you are doing an essay). Shorten your findings into concise sentences and try to do so in your own words. Also you will have to do a plagiarism check at the end and submit the % similarity so keep this in mind.
9) Show the effort you put in = commitment. Amount of research done and doing so daily. You will need to make GANTT charts = a timeline of things you have to do (usually for research) with dates and stuff. Show that you can adapt and navigate the EPQ alongside exams, doing CCAs etc.
Process in short:

Ideas first

First research action + 1st Gantt chart

Finalizing idea

Start research

Finish research + starting first draft

First draft done

Redrafting + more reflection

Presentation

Final draft

Reflection

All production log + essay done + plagiarism check

Submit everything


(supervisor meetings and reflection in between).
Hope this helps!

This has been extremely extremely helpful tysm!! Ive just submitted my sign up for the epq
Original post by Normax
This has been extremely extremely helpful tysm!! Ive just submitted my sign up for the epq

Aye no problem. Let me know if you need any more help/tips.

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