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Jacqueline Agate studied Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives and Research (GPR) at Central Sussex College and progressed to Leeds University. Hear about her experience of Cambridge Pre-U.
Jacqui Agate, 19, studied English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds. Jacqui completed Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives and Research (GPR) at Central Sussex College in Haywards Heath, 2009-2011. We spoke to her in June 2013.
I really enjoyed studying Cambridge GPR, a two-year course which helps you develop skills for university study such as research, critical thinking and communication. This kind of study, which was very different from other courses I studied at school, helped broaden learning beyond my subject specialisms.
The course had a greater focus on independent learning. We were expected to conduct our own research and take control of our own progress. The seminars, small in size, meant that the time we had was particularly effective as we were able to take advantage of one-to-one interaction with our teacher. I also preferred the linear examination style. Learning is much more enjoyable when you are not continually under the pressure of multiple exams.
Through GPR I learnt how to write an extended essay, scope out relevant sources to use in my work and how to reference my work efficiently. I also learnt how to critically analyse my own work and the work of others. All of these lessons were valuable for success at university.
The subject of my extended essay was the value of Shakespeare and whether this value is principally due to the quality of his writing or his references to contemporary culture. I really enjoyed writing it, and although I was fairly certain I wanted to pursue a degree in English, this particular project and my research around the subject, further informed and confirmed my decision.
As part of the course, my class visited the library at the University of Sussex. This was my first experience of using a university library, and again helped prepare me for university.
Lastly, Cambridge Pre-U challenged me to use my initiative and become more confident in sharing ideas and skills, all of which I believe are transferable to the world of work.
Following my success at GPR, gaining the highest mark in the country, I carried out work experience at the office of Cambridge International Examinations. This involved writing news articles for their website and helping produce factsheets for schools. I really enjoyed working in a communications environment and as part of a team.
I am currently studying English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds, and plan to do a Masters degree once I graduate. I am also an aspiring journalist and in the next few years plan to continue to gain as much work-experience and volunteer work as I can in order to provide myself with the best chance of fulfilling my ambition.
Alongside my degree, I spend my time enjoying the opportunities my university offers. I write for several publications: I am the marketing co-coordinator and a writer for Lippy magazine; a features and opinion writer for the Leeds Student newspaper and a new contributor to the online publication BounceSIN. I also volunteer and blog for a local literature festival.