Deputy Head of
GBA International Education Institute
What is EPQ?
EPQ stands for Extended Project Qualification and it is an official A-level examination provided by Edexcel. Unlike other examinations, a student does not have to sit in an examination room for EPQ. Instead, he or she should carry out a research project and submit a 5000-word research article. A good score from EPQ can contribute significantly to a student’s college application.
EPQ AT MIS
MIS students have received training for EPQ from SSC in the past couple of years. In January this year, Daniel of Y13 has finished his presentation and submitted his EPQ dissertation to Edexcel and received an A result recently. Alison and Betty from Y13, and Jesse, Bowe and a few others from Y12 are planning to submit their EPQ articles in May this year.
Mr. Don Lyu, Head of the Student Success Center (SSC) explains that there are actually more than one examination boards that offer project qualifications. ASDAN, our collaborator, offers EPQ; and both AQA and CAIE offer IPQ (International Project Qualifications). Although there are differences between project qualifications offered by different examination boards, all project qualifications are designed to provide students with an opportunity to undertake an independent research project on a topic of their choosing, and to develop skills such as critical thinking, research, and communication.
EPQ is equivalent to half an A-level in terms of UCAS scores and is widely recognized by universities in the UK and around the world as an excellent way for students to demonstrate their academic abilities.
According to Mr. Lyu, to successfully complete an EPQ, a student has to:
Choose an appropriate topic: The first step to success is choosing a topic that is of interest to the student, is appropriate for the level of the qualification, and can be explored in-depth.
Research the topic: A successful EPQ requires thorough research, which includes consulting a wide range of sources, such as books, academic articles, and primary sources.
Plan and manage the project: Students must develop a clear plan for their project, including timelines, milestones, and goals, and ensure that they have sufficient time and resources to complete the project.
Write a report: The EPQ report should be well-structured, clearly written, and provide a comprehensive analysis of the research question.
Give a presentation: Students must also prepare and deliver a presentation that summarizes their findings and demonstrates their understanding of the topic.
Reflect on the project: Finally, students should reflect on their experience of completing the EPQ, including what they have learned, the challenges they faced, and how they could improve their approach in the future.
An EPQ is completed over an extended period of time, usually taking between 6 and 12 months. This requires a significant investment of effort as well as a high level of motivation, organization, and critical thinking.
“On the other hand,” Mr Lyu said, “doing an EPQ is consistent with the education philosophy of Long Term Cultivation. In fact, when making admission decisions, many universities want to know whether a student has a long term academic interest, which might be rooted in his or her educational or cultural background; and they also want to know whether a student has been pursuing such an interest persistently and what outcomes have been achieved. An EPQ can be an excellent opportunity for a student to demonstrate his long term pursuit for an academic interest.
MIS EPQ Samples
In MIS, students have been working on a variety of academic topics for EPQ.
Daniel of Y13 looked at the history of using inflation as a tool for wars. “The recent war between Russia and Ukraine made me start this project. I collected a lot of data and I found that indeed in many historical occasions from Roman Empire to World War II, inflation was utilized as an financing tool for wars. Thus my EPQ has practical implications for solving the current problems.”
Betty of Y13 is designing an experiment to estimate salt intake among Chinese teenagers. Salt intake is strongly correlated to people’s health and high salt diet is blamed for many diseases. Betty is going to test people’s preference for saltiness with a cleverly designed experiment and she is recruiting subjects among her classmates.
Alison of Y13 went to a state-of-the-art laboratory in Taiwan last year and collected data regarding anti-oxidation for several anti-aging products. The results were consistent with her expectations and were quite encouraging and she is now wrapping up her investigation report.
Jesse is a Royal Mile student in Y12 and he has been working on a dissertation that looks at revisionism and negationism. “Sometimes it might be difficult to draw the line between these two concepts.”Jesse said, “However, I look deeply into examples such as the 1619 project vs. the 1776 project and I feel that I can provide some conceptual and logical clarifications. ”
Additionally, Bowe of Y12 is working on an EPQ project that looks at the impact of an aging population on economic development; and Simon of Y12 is interested in geography and he is investigating why many Chinese seaside cities such as Shanghai keep its urban area at a distance from the shoreline.
Let’s look forward to participating in these students’ presentations in April. And let’s hope more and more MIS students will start early to work on their EPQ in the future.
EPQ是Extended Project Qualification的缩写，意思是拓展项目证书，它是一种独立的资格认证，有点像一篇小型论文。爱德思考试局的项目式学习认证（EPQ）是爱德思提供的一个官方A-level考试。和其他考试不同的是，EPQ考生不需要到考场去做题。他们需要开展一个研究项目，然后提交一份5000单词的研究论文。好的EPQ成绩对于大学升学可以起到很大的帮助。
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