Tuesday 6 January 2004, A level Year 2, Surrey, England

While the other two theories were harder to verify, the one that predicting offers come in larger envelopes certainly had its merits. There were a lot of information inside indeed. On top of the offer letter, the next-steps and more information about Trinity College, the economics department and the university itself, there was also a hand-written note from one of the professors who interviewed me. In it, the professor congratulated me for the offer and wished me all the best for my upcoming exams. Very kind.

But the main purpose of the letter was clearly something else: my English level. The profession said although I had fulfilled the English requirement of the university—getting a 7 in the IELTS test—I should take additional English classes before university began. From the conversations during the interview, there was some doubt about my English ability. It was on the lower end of the scale amongst all candidates. The Cambridge Economics syllabus was going to be very heavy in terms of both reading and essay writing. If I did not improve it further, I might find these particularly challenging.

You were very right, Professor. I was not surprised at all to hear my English was at the lower end of the scale. I actually would not be surprised if I represented the lowest end of the scale itself. There was barely a day that I didn’t have to struggle with it. That was the reason why I applied to Trinity in the first place…

Score: Me: 10, English: 33,185 (Was I being too mean for only giving English 10,000 points for such a crushing victory?)