Should I do an EPQ?

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The Extended Project Qualification is a valuable experience that demonstrates to universities your ability to carry out a research project independently.

I would certainly recommend an EPQ, particularly to any student applying to an arts subject such as English or History. The project not only teaches you the kind of research skills (for example: using local/academic libraries, collating your findings, developing an argument, and structuring an extended essay) that will give you a definite headstart when you are confronted with your first essay at university; but is an easy way of showing in a personal statement that you are a student with personal drive and intellectual curiosity, and is a fantastic topic of conversation at interview.

One word of warning: the EPQ is a considerable time commitment. Students taking four A2s in particular should think carefully before taking on this extra work load. The key I would suggest is to choose a topic that really interests you, that you can talk about with enthusiasm to academics and in your personal statement, and which doesn't feel like a chore to prduce an extended project on.

Laurie A. GCSE English Literature tutor, A Level English Literature t...

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