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An analysis of the effect of taking the EPQ on performance in other Level 3 qualifications

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Gill, Tim 


The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a stand-alone qualification taken by sixth form students. It involves undertaking a substantial project, where the outcome can range from writing a dissertation or report to putting on a performance. It is possible that some of the skills learnt by students whilst undertaking their project (e.g. independent research, problem-solving) could help them in other qualifications taken at the same time. Two separate investigations were undertaken: firstly, the performance of individual students was analysed, using a multilevel regression model to compare EPQ and non-EPQ students. The results showed that there was a small, but statistically significant effect, with those taking EPQ achieving better results on average in their A levels. The second investigation analysed performance at school level, using a regression to model the effect of increasing the percentage of students in a school taking EPQ. The results showed a significant and positive effect of increasing the percentage of students taking EPQ. However, the effect was very small.



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Research Matters

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Research Division, Cambridge University Press & Assessment

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