(Original post by PorQpine)
I'm a prospective student from Germany.
Last year before finishing my Abitur and in the middle of the school term I had applied to Oxford to read Engineering with a predicted overall grade of 1,4. I underperformed in the PAT and more or less humiliated myself in the interviews.
This was partially down to the fact that for us all the work in the two years leading up to our final exams counts towards the overall grade and in the time leading up to the interview I was focused on learning for tests in Linear Algebra in Maths and Introduction to Quantum Physics in Physics, as well as for any other test in the 10 different subjects we have to keep until we leave school.
So my skills (if you can say so) in the relevant areas were quite rusty to say the least. This was however a wake-up call for me to actually start working since the final exams do actually require everything we learnt over the past years. So after getting down and sitting on my bum I ended up with an overall grade of 1,3 in the Abitur with 14 points in the final Maths exam (due to a really stupid error confusing deg and rad on my calculator) and 15 points overall for both Maths and Physics in the last semester, which both was better than what I had achieved in the years before.
Looking back at the PAT I can relatively confidently say that I would expect myself to score at least 60 points (but not that much more) compared to about 48 in the actual test last year with the amount of work I've put into learning in the past months.
After my expected rejection from Oxford and an unexpected but not too devastating rejection from Edinburgh with the same predicted grades I concentrated on finding a university in the German speaking area.
I have so far received an offer from RWTH Aachen but found out too late that they require 6 weeks of work in the industry to matriculate, so I have now turned down their offer.
In two weeks I will sit the entrance exam to ETH Zurich, but the pass rate of ~30% and the living costs of Switzerland make me feel quite uneasy about the entire story.
Furthermore I am holding offer from TU Munich for "Technology and Management-oriented Business Studies" (or something along those lines) but am unsure about the quality and qualification the course provides. In addition I am still waiting for replies from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and TU darmstadt (where I live and want to move away from) for Engineering Management and from LMU Munich and Uni Mannheim for Economics & Management as a course I also find interesting and could imagine studying but have so far only considered as second choice.
Actual Problem (sorry for so much text)
After an initially unnoticed insect bite doctor told me this week that he suspects I might have contracted borreliosis.
Ideally this is something that I would not want to take into my first weeks of studying and since I am growing more and more insecure about what I might end up doing, where I might end up doing it and above all where and what I actually want
to end up doing, I am currently considering taking a "gap year".
In this I would firstly like to gain some work experience in Engineering, as well as in E&M in order to come to a career decision, but also if possible reapply to Oxbridge, primarily so that I can say to myself that I gave it my best shot rather than what I did last time, but also because.. well.. it's Oxbridge... you know what I mean. Who wouldn't want to study there?
"Are my grades good enough?"