Application for Engineering from a French student,
Hi, I'm currently finishing off my SAQ for St Johns to read engineering.
Obviously in France we do not have AS level, but I had good results for my brevet (Mention Très Bien which is the equivalent of 16 +/20). For the bac, the requirement of A*AA roughly translates 17, 15 15 if I am correct (Any French students already there to help me??). This should be achievable as I am currently attaining these marks in Physics, Maths, and Chemistry and Physics. But two things worry me about my application. One is that on top of the marks for Science, French students are asked for the "Mention Très Bien" which means a mark of 16+/20 for the Bac as well as the marks for the individual scientific subjects. Although I do well in most subjects and think it is possible for me to obtain this "Mention" it would seem unfair to not be offered a place should I do not achieve the Mention Très Bien, perhaps because I do not do so well in French or Philosophy which would jeopardize the average score. These are subjects I am not applying to study. So I could get 18 18 18 in the required scientific subjects but not get the Mention Très Bien because of French or Philosophy. These are very sujective subjects, there is no moderation or recourse, and it really does depend on the mood of the corrector at that particular time!. The point i am making is that I could do well in the subjects required for, but not be offered a place (should I get this far in the application process) because I have not done so well in French and Philo. For the rest, Ie, Geography/History, English, Latin, German, Sport, Biology/Geography, Physics/Chemistry and maths, plus Speciality Physics, I am predicted to do well, but nobody can predict for French and Philo and every year we see the unfairest marks imagineable! This seems unfair when the request for GB students is confined to the Science subjects and they do not have to meet some other exam criteria. Sorry for this gripe
. Anyway, I will remain hopeful.
My second question relates to practical experience/courses for Engineering. As I have been in France, it has not been posible for me to attend any "Headstart" course or similar. In France we are not allowed to go into Engineering companies for legal reasons until we are 18. And so I have conducted a series of experiments of my own to test certain aspects of engineering. St John's confirmed to me that I would not be disadvantaged for not having completed such a course. Can anybody on here enlighten me? How many Engineers had practical experience before completing the course, or had attende a Headstart or similar course.
If there are any French students reading this thread can you tell my why you chose Cambridge over the "Grande Ecole" system?
Thank you for reading the above and fingers crossed that I get offered an interview!!