At the end of year 12 my sixthform offers all students the opportunity to do an EPQ. If you don’t know what an EPQ is, then let me give you a quick brief. EPQ stands for Extended Project Qualification, it is worth half an A-level (essentially an AS-level). The EPQ is the only AS level qualification you can achieve an A* in. This year I opted to do an EPQ. However I wanted to discuss with you why I chose to do an EPQ and why other people in my year chose not to.
Reasons I chose to do an EPQ:
Lower entry grades to university
Some of the courses I am looking at will offer me lower entry grades if I do an EPQ. To me this seems like a great idea as it will mean I have slightly less pressure when it comes to my final A-level exams. It will also mean I am more likely to meet the entry requirements for university, so in theory stand a higher chance of getting in. Before you ask which universities offer this I can reassure you that well respected universities such as the University of Bristol and University of Birmingham will offer students lower entry grades to particular courses, if they have a grade A in a related EPQ. That brings me onto an important point, all universities I have looked at will only offer a reduction in entry requirements, if the grade in the EPQ is an A.
Personal Statement Stand Out
If you are worried about what you might put on your personal statement, then an EPQ is perfect for you. It will give you something to write about and show that you are capable of independent work and can manage your time effectively. The EPQ is a great way to prove all those skills that you say you have, from presentation skills to written communication. It can also show how passionate you are about a certain subject, which can be very valuable to the admission team.
An EPQ is great to bring up in a university interview. If you get stuck and do not know what to say, or just want to impress the interviewer. You can always go back and discuss your EPQ topic. Many people who write about an EPQ in the personal statement, will have an interview that covers the EPQ work.
If you have always been interested in medieval fashion, quantum computing or Scandinavian metal work you can freely explore your interest and get a qualification in the process. I think that if you choose a topic you love and enjoy, then the EPQ will not seem like a chore or even work. It can be a great way to get an insight into a potential course you want to study at university.
Those are just a few reasons why I chose to do an EPQ. However not everybody in my year did, so I wanted to discuss why a few people didn’t. One of my friends who wants to study medicine decided against the EPQ. She was saying that medicine heavily focuses on work experience, rather than additional qualifications. Medicine is very much based on grades and she wanted to channel all her time and effort into her A-levels, in order to get the highest grades possible. Therefore she decided that the EPQ was not worth it.
I think an EPQ is important as it shows off your subject interest. It is good to focus on your A-levels and the course content of course. However everybody does the same A-level course and it will not show your commitment and passion about the subject you want to apply for. That it simply my opinion and why I opted to study for an EPQ.
Let me know about your thoughts and opinions on whether an EPQ is worth it.