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And if i fail?

  1. Apr 16, 2015 #1
    Hello everyone, my name is Mike, and i am 18 years old.

    In a month from now, i am going to be giving the national exams my country does to qualify for a university. Unfortunately, there is no idea to know in which university i'll pass, if i pass at all. These exams are known to be difficult, and senior high schools do a poor job preparing students for them. Most secondary education students whose families can afford the significant fees (300+euros/month) attend these extra lessons, because of the low quality of state-sponsored education in Greece. It is generally considered impossible for all but the most gifted students to pass university entrance exams without this extra help.

    Now i've been going to these extra schools, and i've been preparing for these exams the entire last year, and as a result my family has been struggling to support my efforts and pay the extra school. Furthermore, i had the bad luck to give these exams this particular year. The education system is changing next year, and i cannot retake the exams. Plus it would be a huge huge pressure to my family to pay the extra schools again. Which means this is my one and only shot of entering a university.

    I love physics and engineering, but i will only have the opportunity to study one or none. The pressure is too much and i fear i will screw up just because of my enormous stress during the exams. The physics department here requires roughly 80/100 mean score on the exam, and most engineering schools require 85/100-95/100 mean score on the exams, which is extremely difficult to pull off.

    I sincerely have no idea why i wrote so much on this subject, now that i re-read it. It may be a plea for help, i don't know. Either way, my questions are:
    If i fail the exams, can one still compete in the job industry with just a school degree?
    Can one learn physics or engineering by self-teaching and actually get good at it?
    If i get good results on the exams, should i prioritize entering a physics or an engineering university? Remember that it is only one shot.

    A big thanks to those who took the time to read and answer my questions. It was a load off my chest writing this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2015 #2
    What a nightmare to be honest.

    I have to say I made the mistake of working too hard. I was absolutely exhausted in the exam room and this cost me a lot of marks. Make room for exercise. Never do useless revision. This is the other mistake I made. Revising when I was tired and bored. Half an hour of good revision when you make things fun and interesting is so much more memorable - and can be better than 3 hours of normal revision. I memorised an entire university module - some 24 hours of lecture notes, in 3 hours by doing funny voices and so forth. Also do a lot of mock exams by yourself - this will give you a good indication of how things are going.

    Prepare to fail and prepare to succeed.

    Plan for failure. If you fail would recommend that you go and work in Norway or Sweden where you can save quickly; when you get back pay for your own tuition and try again. A year out will do you no harm at all, life is long!
  4. Apr 16, 2015 #3
    Moving is not an option, it takes way too much money. Other than that, thanks for the tips on the revision, but it is quite a challenge to make things fun an interesting when half the lessons i am giving have nothing to do with physics or what i want to become.

    And again, thanks for the reply, makes me feel a bit better knowing people try to help me. :)
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