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The EPQ

A-Levels have undergone various reforms in past decades, but one thing never really changes, and that’s the stress levels students feel come exam time. Back in 2006, a new idea was introduced into the system that increases the variety of qualifications and results students can attain. It’s called the Extended Project Qualification, and while it doesn’t replace exams, it has had a significant impact on the world of secondary education. 

In this new article series, I will be exploring this exciting qualification, expanding on the details of all the essential aspects for students. There will be some crucial advice for parents, too, so look out for that. 

The Extended Project Qualification, or EPQ, is an increasingly popular project-based assignment that students finishing year 12 and preparing to move into year 13 undertake. It involves three main parts — an essay or final “product”, a production log, and a live presentation — which we will discuss in more detail as this new article series progresses. 

What is the EPQ?

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The EPQ is a large-scale piece of project work, typically covering about 120 hours of work in total. The topic of the project is entirely up to the student, with the freedom to choose from almost any topic area, as long as it doesn’t directly overlap with regular coursework. Students will select their topic areas at the end of year 12, after which they will complete their initial research during the summer break before entering year 13. The written/production stage of the project is usually done in the early part of year 13 before students become busy with preparation for final A-Level exams.

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The EPQ is offered by all the major exam boards and is listed by AQA, for example, as a “Level 3” qualification attracting higher UCAS Tariff Points than a new AS-Level subject. In this series, we’ll be creating a guide for students and parents so they can learn all the vital information about the EPQ that they need before they embark on it.

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How do yo choose your topic?

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The topic of your EPQ is a crucial decision not to be taken lightly. Some may imagine that doing something that extends from students regular coursework in some way would be the most comfortable option. Still, the truth is that this project is not about finding easy paths to the conclusion. 

You should choose a topic based on the following three questions: l 

What do I want to get out of the EPQ? If, for example, it’s a way to be competitive during university application, then you need something original and engaging. 


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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.