Preparing for A Levels 2021
It’s clear from social media that there’s a certain amount of anxiety among Year 12 students preparing to take A Levels in 2021. It’s a time of year when you’d typically begin looking for university open days, or assessing potential Apprenticeships. Maybe you’d usually be starting to think about your personal statement. Perhaps that’s more of a daunting prospect away from the support of your tutors and sixth form staff.
There is no need to worry. First – you are absolutely not alone. Universities vying for your application are finding ways to introduce you to their offer during lockdown. UCAS has even provided a helpful list of virtual tours so that you can review the campus and facilities from home.
Sexey’s support for A Levels 2021
Secondly – Sexey’s Sixth is here to support you. We are taking our rigorous summer careers programme online, starting this half term with planning and decision-making tasks, introduced by Mrs Elliott.
You will then be in a good place to start writing your personal statements, after the May half term. We will provide you with a workbook and presentation for you and your parents, including top tips and common pitfalls to avoid during your application. Your Sixth Form tutors and also your teachers will be on hand to provide support for each one of you. More on this to come!
In the coming weeks, I will also be talking to you about the EPQ – the Extended Project Qualification. This can add significant interest to your studies, and the EPQ will add considerable value to your university application. It’s something that we’re pleased to support you with at Sexey’s Sixth.
An EPQ is an independent research project which involves writing an essay of 5000 words (that’s around 10 typed pages), or creating a product, which might be anything from an art object to an iPhone app. As the project evolves, you must complete a production log to record specific stages of the project and this also contributes to your project result. The third component of the project is an oral presentation.
Generally, the whole process from start to finish takes about 120 hours. There’s no set time limit for doing an EPQ, but most students use the summer holiday at the end of Year 12 to do the preliminary research and then complete the project in the early part of Year 13.
There are also several major benefits to completing an EPQ when it comes to applying to university. At its simplest EPQ helps you with UCAS points – EPQ is valued at 50% of a full A level in the UCAS tariff. But perhaps the greatest advantage of an EPQ is in helping convince top universities to make you an offer.
EPQ provides very clear evidence of that you have interests and ability which go beyond the A-Level curriculum. It demonstrates clearly that you are capable of independent reading, research, and essay writing – the mainstay of most undergraduate degrees.
This is hugely important in the UCAS application process where universities often have little to distinguish between similarly graded students.
What else can I be doing?
In the meantime, there are lots of things you can think about doing to support your A Levels in 2021. Mrs Watson, our Independent Careers Advisor, has written this blog for Year 13s preparing for university this year, but it contains lots of helpful information for things that you can be doing to bolster your personal statements too.
Remember – we’re here to support you and you are not alone.
Mr Moise, Head of Sixth Form, Sexey’s Sixth