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4 alevels and an EPQ

hi, i rlly want to do 4 alevels and an EPQ just because i think it would be fun and have lots of subjects im interested in. i have no clue what i want to do after uni apart from that i love geography so i hope this will help me keep my options open as well as (hopefully) having good grades and impressive subjects

im aiming for all 8s and 9s in my gcses (apart from art which i got a 7 in already) and would literally do anything to go to oxbridge

basically, does anyone think its worth it to do 4 alevels and an EPQ or is it not worth it - i want rlly good grades so would this make it too hard

tysm <33
(edited 1 month ago)

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Original post by taylorswift4life
hi, i rlly want to do 4 alevels and an EPQ just because i think it would be fun and have lots of subjects im interested in. i have no clue what i want to do after uni apart from that i love geography so i hope this will help me keep my options open as well as (hopefully) having good grades and impressive subjects
im going to do
english literature
geography
maths
french or politics (not sure)
and an EPQ (which i will do geography related about something im genuinely interested in)
im aiming for all 8s and 9s in my gcses (apart from art which i got a 7 in already) and would literally do anything to go to oxbridge
basically, does anyone think its worth it to do 4 alevels and an EPQ or is it not worth it - i want rlly good grades so would this make it too hard
tysm <33


people do do 4 alevels but i think that unless you have absolutely incredible time management it would be difficult to balance all 5 of those things - especially if you want to go to oxbridge, they really value extracurricular things in applications so youd want to still have time enough to do that
Original post by taylorswift4life
hi, i rlly want to do 4 alevels and an EPQ just because i think it would be fun and have lots of subjects im interested in. i have no clue what i want to do after uni apart from that i love geography so i hope this will help me keep my options open as well as (hopefully) having good grades and impressive subjects
im going to do
english literature
geography
maths
french or politics (not sure)
and an EPQ (which i will do geography related about something im genuinely interested in)
im aiming for all 8s and 9s in my gcses (apart from art which i got a 7 in already) and would literally do anything to go to oxbridge
basically, does anyone think its worth it to do 4 alevels and an EPQ or is it not worth it - i want rlly good grades so would this make it too hard
tysm <33

hi, so ive literally just done my epq and ive done it along side 3 a levels. i found my epq pretty stressful although i did join my class half a term later than my classmates. i also did my epq on law (big regrets). You have to be exteremely organised for your epq and manage ur time wisely and efficiently (i struggled to do this a lot with just 3 a levels on the go) i am also doing english literature and french (like ur thinking of doing) my other subject is physics (dont ask lol). maths will be pretty rough unless ur an absolute maths genius (ive seen some of my friends practice papers). i think for epq ( i migh be worng but this is what i remeber my supervisor saying) that u can't write about something which u are studying for a level so for example if u were studying geography you wouldnt be able to write ur epq on geography unless it was explicitly unrelated to the entire geography a level course.

a levels are a big step up from gcse and literally nothing prepared me for that.
if u really want to go to oxbridge, and epq is a great idea. i know someone who got into oxbridge studying latin, english lit and either class civ or history (not sure but i think it was class civ). geography might not be the strongest subject for oxbridge but do check on their website. also look at uni courses u are thinking of applying for (even if u have no idea yet, i still dont) and look at the entry requirements.

u may also have no social life :smile:

a levels r rough
Reply 3
Original post by taylorswift4life
hi, i rlly want to do 4 alevels and an EPQ just because i think it would be fun and have lots of subjects im interested in. i have no clue what i want to do after uni apart from that i love geography so i hope this will help me keep my options open as well as (hopefully) having good grades and impressive subjects
im going to do
english literature
geography
maths
french or politics (not sure)
and an EPQ (which i will do geography related about something im genuinely interested in)
im aiming for all 8s and 9s in my gcses (apart from art which i got a 7 in already) and would literally do anything to go to oxbridge
basically, does anyone think its worth it to do 4 alevels and an EPQ or is it not worth it - i want rlly good grades so would this make it too hard
tysm <33

I would only recommend doing 4 A-level OR 3 A-levels plus EPQ. Also, 4 A-levels only really works when it includes maths and FM.

Doing 4 A-levels plus EPQ will not only be unnecessarily stressful, but it is likely to damage your chances of getting into an elite uni. They only need 3 A-levels, but to get into them, you need to spend a lot of time on super curriculars, entrance exam prep, interview prep etc, which you won't have time to do if you do 4 plus EPQ.
(edited 1 month ago)
i'm gonna be completely real here: i did 4 a levels, two epqs, alongside various dance and drama qualifications so it's completely doable and i have loads of free time (+ an oxford offer). my main tip is just do the epq stuff as early as possible because then it's fine to keep up with? i ended up redoing my first one because i got a B but i have full marks on the second one so i'd suggest provide supporting documents, at length, and don't be afraid to lie on your epq. go forth and conquer

edit:

my a levels are english lit, classical civ, history, and drama & my epqs were on psychology & ancient history respectively - i did most of my interview stuff over summer so i had like 20 drafts of my personal statement, but i also did a lot of extracurricular stuff (related to my degree subject, not just generic) & entrance exam & interview practice, so i want to tell you it's definitely doable, it's only really hell during the actual exam period due to the placement of exams. i also will add that i have had a lot of free time so don't let that put you off (you can also drop an a level or an epq later! :3) and also i have appalling time management so that wasn't much of a problem either (if your epq time management sucks, LIE.)
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 5
Original post by aaaaaaaaaa2006
i'm gonna be completely real here: i did 4 a levels, two epqs, alongside various dance and drama qualifications so it's completely doable and i have loads of free time (+ an oxford offer). my main tip is just do the epq stuff as early as possible because then it's fine to keep up with? i ended up redoing my first one because i got a B but i have full marks on the second one so i'd suggest provide supporting documents, at length, and don't be afraid to lie on your epq. go forth and conquer
edit:
my a levels are english lit, classical civ, history, and drama & my epqs were on psychology & ancient history respectively - i did most of my interview stuff over summer so i had like 20 drafts of my personal statement, but i also did a lot of extracurricular stuff (related to my degree subject, not just generic) & entrance exam & interview practice, so i want to tell you it's definitely doable, it's only really hell during the actual exam period due to the placement of exams. i also will add that i have had a lot of free time so don't let that put you off (you can also drop an a level or an epq later! :3) and also i have appalling time management so that wasn't much of a problem either (if your epq time management sucks, LIE.)
You did well. Congratulations. In case anyone reads this though and thinks that you should do 4 plus EPQ to get into oxbridge, you donโ€™t. Both my daughters recently got into Cambridge with just 3, one with EPQ, one without.
Original post by lalexm
You did well. Congratulations. In case anyone reads this though and thinks that you should do 4 plus EPQ to get into oxbridge, you donโ€™t. Both my daughters recently got into Cambridge with just 3, one with EPQ, one without.

oh yeah no you don't need it! i just really enjoy my subjects and wanted to do all of them :3 but it's still definitely possible and you shouldn't be put off from doing the four and an epq if you want to do it!
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by lalexm
You did well. Congratulations. In case anyone reads this though and thinks that you should do 4 plus EPQ to get into oxbridge, you donโ€™t. Both my daughters recently got into Cambridge with just 3, one with EPQ, one without.

Hi! If you dont mind, please could you tell me what degree both of your daughters choose to do? Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by aaaaaaaaaa2006
i'm gonna be completely real here: i did 4 a levels, two epqs, alongside various dance and drama qualifications so it's completely doable and i have loads of free time (+ an oxford offer). my main tip is just do the epq stuff as early as possible because then it's fine to keep up with? i ended up redoing my first one because i got a B but i have full marks on the second one so i'd suggest provide supporting documents, at length, and don't be afraid to lie on your epq. go forth and conquer
edit:
my a levels are english lit, classical civ, history, and drama & my epqs were on psychology & ancient history respectively - i did most of my interview stuff over summer so i had like 20 drafts of my personal statement, but i also did a lot of extracurricular stuff (related to my degree subject, not just generic) & entrance exam & interview practice, so i want to tell you it's definitely doable, it's only really hell during the actual exam period due to the placement of exams. i also will add that i have had a lot of free time so don't let that put you off (you can also drop an a level or an epq later! :3) and also i have appalling time management so that wasn't much of a problem either (if your epq time management sucks, LIE.)

wow tysm!! this is actually super helpful (also congrats on the oxford offer <33)
i do dt and art gcse so even though im horrendous at time management, i think ive learnt how to work to deadlines (espeically for dt)
what type of extracurriculars did you do?? i can't think of anything that a uni would find relevant/useful
Original post by taylorswift4life
wow tysm!! this is actually super helpful (also congrats on the oxford offer <33)
i do dt and art gcse so even though im horrendous at time management, i think ive learnt how to work to deadlines (espeically for dt)
what type of extracurriculars did you do?? i can't think of anything that a uni would find relevant/useful

i'm both an explorer and i do a part time theatre school ft. idta and lamda qualifications, which i believe is useful for most unis, whereas unis like oxbridge want subject related ones (i.e. i read around the subject and go to talks on my subject, which is classics and as such i'm a member of the british museum :3, summer schools for the languages et cetera - mostly they want proof of you thoroughly engaging with your subject!)

i'm glad i could be helpful! and good luck :3
Original post by ๐“ต๐“ช๐“ด๐“ฎ:)
hi, so ive literally just done my epq and ive done it along side 3 a levels. i found my epq pretty stressful although i did join my class half a term later than my classmates. i also did my epq on law (big regrets). You have to be exteremely organised for your epq and manage ur time wisely and efficiently (i struggled to do this a lot with just 3 a levels on the go) i am also doing english literature and french (like ur thinking of doing) my other subject is physics (dont ask lol). maths will be pretty rough unless ur an absolute maths genius (ive seen some of my friends practice papers). i think for epq ( i migh be worng but this is what i remeber my supervisor saying) that u can't write about something which u are studying for a level so for example if u were studying geography you wouldnt be able to write ur epq on geography unless it was explicitly unrelated to the entire geography a level course.
a levels are a big step up from gcse and literally nothing prepared me for that.
if u really want to go to oxbridge, and epq is a great idea. i know someone who got into oxbridge studying latin, english lit and either class civ or history (not sure but i think it was class civ). geography might not be the strongest subject for oxbridge but do check on their website. also look at uni courses u are thinking of applying for (even if u have no idea yet, i still dont) and look at the entry requirements.
u may also have no social life :smile:
a levels r rough

tysm!! this is so helpful!!
Reply 11
Original post by taylorswift4life
hi, i rlly want to do 4 alevels and an EPQ just because i think it would be fun and have lots of subjects im interested in. i have no clue what i want to do after uni apart from that i love geography so i hope this will help me keep my options open as well as (hopefully) having good grades and impressive subjects
im going to do
english literature
geography
maths
french or politics (not sure)
and an EPQ (which i will do geography related about something im genuinely interested in)
im aiming for all 8s and 9s in my gcses (apart from art which i got a 7 in already) and would literally do anything to go to oxbridge
basically, does anyone think its worth it to do 4 alevels and an EPQ or is it not worth it - i want rlly good grades so would this make it too hard
tysm <33


honestly no you'll have no life

I'm doing 4 (bio, chem, maths, politics) and I am SUFFERING. EPQs sound all exciting and fun at the start and they make it sound like a fantastic edition but it quickly becomes A LOT.

I didn't even bother looking into it because I have very strong a levels that go well together, and I'm doing a supracurricular project as part of a course I'm on anyway. Which will give me the same research skills, and personal statement embellishment but WAY less effort and on my own accord and timings.

My sister did comp sci, economics, maths and psychology and an epq on decision fatigue (AAAA, B in psych) and she has said it's not worth it at all. She is currently studying international management at king's college.

Also a lot of unis just don't care. It'll maybe be two sentences in your personal statement but other than that isn't thattttt helpful. maybe more for interviews idk. But tbf even if you just like researching then u can talk about how u decided to delve into whatever topic just because it interested you.


Don't underestimate a levels. It's not the same as GCSE. I thought dropping from 10 to 4 subjects would make life SO much easier but no. I actually feel I don't have enough time just to do my 4.
Original post by Ajhdhd
honestly no you'll have no life
I'm doing 4 (bio, chem, maths, politics) and I am SUFFERING. EPQs sound all exciting and fun at the start and they make it sound like a fantastic edition but it quickly becomes A LOT.
I didn't even bother looking into it because I have very strong a levels that go well together, and I'm doing a supracurricular project as part of a course I'm on anyway. Which will give me the same research skills, and personal statement embellishment but WAY less effort and on my own accord and timings.
My sister did comp sci, economics, maths and psychology and an epq on decision fatigue (AAAA, B in psych) and she has said it's not worth it at all. She is currently studying international management at king's college.
Also a lot of unis just don't care. It'll maybe be two sentences in your personal statement but other than that isn't thattttt helpful. maybe more for interviews idk. But tbf even if you just like researching then u can talk about how u decided to delve into whatever topic just because it interested you.
Don't underestimate a levels. It's not the same as GCSE. I thought dropping from 10 to 4 subjects would make life SO much easier but no. I actually feel I don't have enough time just to do my 4.

out of raw curiosity i'm wondering if maybe sciences have higher workloads than humanities?
Reply 13
Original post by aaaaaaaaaa2006
out of raw curiosity i'm wondering if maybe sciences have higher workloads than humanities?


in terms of homework, the most I've gotten is from maths and politics. Pages of questions for maths and essay practice or just worksheets for politics.

Sciences the only homework we really get is to finish writing our practicals.

Revision wise - maths has been easiest, and required very little work for me.
The other 3 have taken a lot more work. Bio and chem mean you have to learn a lot of complex concepts and keep on top of them. Then a TON of practice questions.
But politics the mark scheme is SO specific that essay structure takes a lot of work. You also have to learn a million bajillion examples of concepts, both historic and modern AND know limitations AND be able to hold an argument.
For me, GCSE history and chemistry took a lot of hard work to go from 6s to 9s. So those are what I have found require the most work from me.


From what I've heard from my English lit friends it's a LOT. I never stop hearing complaints ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Not sure about other humanities but this is my experience with politics.
Original post by Ajhdhd
in terms of homework, the most I've gotten is from maths and politics. Pages of questions for maths and essay practice or just worksheets for politics.
Sciences the only homework we really get is to finish writing our practicals.
Revision wise - maths has been easiest, and required very little work for me.
The other 3 have taken a lot more work. Bio and chem mean you have to learn a lot of complex concepts and keep on top of them. Then a TON of practice questions.
But politics the mark scheme is SO specific that essay structure takes a lot of work. You also have to learn a million bajillion examples of concepts, both historic and modern AND know limitations AND be able to hold an argument.
For me, GCSE history and chemistry took a lot of hard work to go from 6s to 9s. So those are what I have found require the most work from me.
From what I've heard from my English lit friends it's a LOT. I never stop hearing complaints ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ
Not sure about other humanities but this is my experience with politics.

that's really interesting to hear actually i'm gonna think on this one

i was wondering because i never found my workload particularly demanding apart from the first month or so but then again i basically do the same subject in four different flavours lmaoooo that might be a little bit like cheating
Original post by taylorswift4life
hi, i rlly want to do 4 alevels and an EPQ just because i think it would be fun and have lots of subjects im interested in. i have no clue what i want to do after uni apart from that i love geography so i hope this will help me keep my options open as well as (hopefully) having good grades and impressive subjects
im aiming for all 8s and 9s in my gcses (apart from art which i got a 7 in already) and would literally do anything to go to oxbridge
basically, does anyone think its worth it to do 4 alevels and an EPQ or is it not worth it - i want rlly good grades so would this make it too hard
tysm <33

hii,
so I'm in year 11, so I do not have any experience with this. that said, here is what most people have told me (also a lot of my own research too):
my school really pushes 4+epq, because we finish epq in yr 12. However, epq takes up a lot of time that you could spend revising for other subjects- getting 4 A* predicted is better than 2A* 2A and 1A* epq. My friend in the year above is doing that, and she honestly hates it, but says that at least now it's over so that's better. Also, a lot of the top unis do not consider epq that much- in the sense that it will not lower offers. yes, you can talk about it in your personal statement, but then again you can do your own project at home and talk about it too, which will probably be better and easier than having to be in a structure. Also, I have asked an oxford admissions officer (for materials science so this may be different for different subjects), and they said that as long as you have really good predicted grades it is definitely not necessary to take an epq. also, you need to know how much time the epq takes out of lessons- for instance at my school it's 4 hours a fortnight, so you could end up with only 6 frees a fortnight which will make it difficult to get good grades in your other subjects.
however, if you do a lot of epq over the summer holidays, then that could significantly reduce the stress and workload- I would suggest that you could try doing it but be ready to drop one the minute that you are getting overloaded.
good luck with whatever decision you make!
Reply 16
Original post by taylorswift4life
hi, i rlly want to do 4 alevels and an EPQ just because i think it would be fun and have lots of subjects im interested in. i have no clue what i want to do after uni apart from that i love geography so i hope this will help me keep my options open as well as (hopefully) having good grades and impressive subjects
im aiming for all 8s and 9s in my gcses (apart from art which i got a 7 in already) and would literally do anything to go to oxbridge
basically, does anyone think its worth it to do 4 alevels and an EPQ or is it not worth it - i want rlly good grades so would this make it too hard
tysm <33

Hi, I'm in year 13, I did EPQ in year 12 and I'm doing 4 A-Levels. I wasn't and am not fully 100% sure of what I want to do after. But I do have an offer from Cambridge too, and I personally didn't find it consuming too much time.
Original post by taylorswift4life
hi, i rlly want to do 4 alevels and an EPQ just because i think it would be fun and have lots of subjects im interested in. i have no clue what i want to do after uni apart from that i love geography so i hope this will help me keep my options open as well as (hopefully) having good grades and impressive subjects
im aiming for all 8s and 9s in my gcses (apart from art which i got a 7 in already) and would literally do anything to go to oxbridge
basically, does anyone think its worth it to do 4 alevels and an EPQ or is it not worth it - i want rlly good grades so would this make it too hard
tysm <33
I did 4 A levels and an EPQ in year 12. I ended up doing one of my 4 subjects (Geography) as an AS level so I would have more time to focus on my other three in year 13. If it's good for anything, it'll definitely keep you to a strong work ethic!
I wouldn't actually recommend doing it this way regardless - most high level universities (like Oxford and Cambridge) don't provide lower offers based on an EPQ and any AS levels. It would be better to choose 3 subjects and do an EPQ on the side to develop your research and writing skills for your personal statement. If you're dead set on doing 4, it might be worth reviewing after a month or so and deciding to drop one / do it as an AS. I did this and got an offer from Oxford for 3 A's. If I had continued to do Geography as a full A level I would find these grades much harder to achieve.
Hope that helps!
Reply 18
Original post by 17HANNAYMa
I did 4 A levels and an EPQ in year 12. I ended up doing one of my 4 subjects (Geography) as an AS level so I would have more time to focus on my other three in year 13. If it's good for anything, it'll definitely keep you to a strong work ethic!
I wouldn't actually recommend doing it this way regardless - most high level universities (like Oxford and Cambridge) don't provide lower offers based on an EPQ and any AS levels. It would be better to choose 3 subjects and do an EPQ on the side to develop your research and writing skills for your personal statement. If you're dead set on doing 4, it might be worth reviewing after a month or so and deciding to drop one / do it as an AS. I did this and got an offer from Oxford for 3 A's. If I had continued to do Geography as a full A level I would find these grades much harder to achieve.
Hope that helps!

Agreed. Don't do 4+EPQ. Furthermore, rather than doing 4, you are better off doing 3+EPQ, unless your 4 includes the maths/FM combo.

Most unis reduce offer requirements if you do EPQ, and the few elites ones that don't like Oxbridge, require a lot of super curriculars for you to stand a chance of getting in, and doing a relevant EPQ can go a long way towards achieving this. EPQs can also be a good topic of conversation at interview. At my daughter's Cambridge Land Economy interview for example, a fair amount of time was spent talking about her EPQ.
Original post by ๐“ต๐“ช๐“ด๐“ฎ:)
hi, so ive literally just done my epq and ive done it along side 3 a levels. i found my epq pretty stressful although i did join my class half a term later than my classmates. i also did my epq on law (big regrets). You have to be exteremely organised for your epq and manage ur time wisely and efficiently (i struggled to do this a lot with just 3 a levels on the go) i am also doing english literature and french (like ur thinking of doing) my other subject is physics (dont ask lol). maths will be pretty rough unless ur an absolute maths genius (ive seen some of my friends practice papers). i think for epq ( i migh be worng but this is what i remeber my supervisor saying) that u can't write about something which u are studying for a level so for example if u were studying geography you wouldnt be able to write ur epq on geography unless it was explicitly unrelated to the entire geography a level course.
a levels are a big step up from gcse and literally nothing prepared me for that.
if u really want to go to oxbridge, and epq is a great idea. i know someone who got into oxbridge studying latin, english lit and either class civ or history (not sure but i think it was class civ). geography might not be the strongest subject for oxbridge but do check on their website. also look at uni courses u are thinking of applying for (even if u have no idea yet, i still dont) and look at the entry requirements.
u may also have no social life :smile:
a levels r rough

Hi, how come you regret doing your EPQ on law? I was considering doing that for mine as i want to study law in university. Is it better to do something else? Thanks!

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