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.