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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

How to use the Feynman method of learning to great effects

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How to use the Feynman method of learning to great effects

Guest post by Justin Goh (Share your insight with 56,000+ Malaysian students)
“How can I make sure of the fact that I have understood a topic clearly?”
I have encountered hundreds of similar questions from middle school students especially when they get deeply involved into the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). My answer has always been the same: “use the Feynman Technique to get it to perfection.”

So what exactly is this Feynman technique? Does it have a set of hard and fast rules? Let’s see to that in greater details in this article.
How to use the Feynman method of learning

The Feynman technique: A short history

Richard Feynman, a celebrated physicist was the inventor of this technique. He was also widely known to be a great explainer of things because of his exceptional ability to explain things in the best possible way.

What’s the Feynman technique?

The Feynman method of learning is considered to be an active form of learning. It can help students comprehend, explain and recall the subject (it can be ANYTHING, ANY topic) within a short amount of time.

The Feynman method of learning has a simplistic approach to education. It incorporates the incorporation of only 5 steps in general that are serially mentioned below:
  • The first and the foremost thing to do is to choose a concept.
  • Explain the concept to yourself (or to somebody else) as if you’re explaining it to a layman (says a 5-year old kid).
  • Point out any knowledge gap (if any).
  • Use some sort of an analogy.
  • Simplify the concept.
Take a peek at this short video to understand this in greater details-

Explaining the Feynman technique in greater details

I have already highlighted the 5 steps in my previous paragraph. In here, I will just explain it further.
  1. Choose a topic
    • ANY topic! The Feynman technique doesn’t have any limitations. It’s not like it’ll work only for science subjects and nothing else. No! It is equally efficient. So make your choice freely.
  2. Explain it to yourself as if you’re explaining it to a 5 year kid
    • This is the real deal. This is the place where you are compelled to simplify entire concepts such that even a child can understand it.
    • By forcing yourself to do that, you are actually simplifying the entire thing for your very own benefits.
  3. Is there any knowledge gap?
    • Find out whether there’s any knowledge gap in your possible explanations. If there’s any, pinpoint them. Go back to the matter and clear them up.
    • Feynman nursed this belief that if something can’t be explained in layman’s terms, there’s a problem with his comprehension, not with the information.
  4. Use your analogy
    • If your concept is abstract and is something that’s not so easily relatable to the physical world, it’s advisable to create some sort of an analogy to make it more relatable?
    • Why should you do it? Do you think that a 5 year old child can understand abstract concepts with bare ease? The entire motto of the Feynman technique is to render the subject in such a manner that even a child can understand it. Naturally an analogy becomes some sort of a necessity, rather than a luxury.
  5. Simplify the concept if it still appears to be difficult
    • If the concept appears too difficult to your liking, it might do you more good to lose some details. Still difficult? Lose some more but simplify it nonetheless. It will definitely benefit you in the long run; there’s no doubt about it.

Why should you incorporate the Feynman method of learning in your studies?

According to Richard Feynman, leaning is not about memorizing a bunch of facts and figures however difficult it might appear to be. It’s all about making difficult things easier. The Feynman technique can be used to great effects for doing the exact same things mentioned above.
There are no subject restrictions as well. From quantum physics to basic arithmetic, the Feynman technique can be used to learn anything from A to Z to near-enough perfection.

So that’s it then. It’s time to bring this article to an end for now. But before that, take a last peek at this classic quote coming from the man himself-
“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”
- Richard Feynman
Honestly, can you fault his reasons that are stated in that quote of his? If you can, don’t hesitate to mention them in the comments sections below. I will be looking forward to it.

Justin Goh
Justin Goh is a former teacher and prolific writer, penning blogs to help the parents, students and the educators alike. Regularly contributing articles for MyPrivateTutor Malaysia, he prefers to write on varying aspects of education ranging from learning strategies and preparation tips to the ways to reach out to the students better.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

10 Ways to Relieve Your Stress Passing the Exams

10 Ways to Relieve Your Stress Passing the Exams

Guest post by Richard Nolan (Share your favourite tips with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

You have to study hard, but cannot do it because you feel under great pressure? Here are the 10 best ways to get rid of stress before your exam.
Lots of Books Flipping

1. Visualize Your Success

It has been proven already that visualization really works. Believe it or not, you may pass your exam if you’ve imagined it. The positive emotions you get imagining your success will reduce your stress hugely. This is a big deal already, isn’t it? You can even write about how you are going to pass your exam - this is a great tool to control your emotions!

2. Be Emotionally Prepared for a Failure

You don’t have to wait for a failure. Just try to understand that it happens sometimes. Even to those who are 100% ready. Mainly, because of stress, by the way. So just let it go. It can happen, and you can survive the consequences. Now, get to work!

3. Revise and Study

Haven’t you thought that you’re stressed because you are simply not prepared? If you know that you are suffering from procrastination or trying to avoid actual work, stop it right now! Stress is not the reason to do nothing! Besides, it won’t go, if you don’t revise the material, it’ll grow! Put yourself together and don’t waste time.

4. Don’t Think About Others Too Much

This point includes a number of aspects that are equally important for making the situation less stressful
  • don’t think about what other people will say if you fail
  • don’t think about what other people say because you’re revising too much/not enough/not the way you should
  • don’t think that other people are studying better that you do
  • don’t think that other people are more gifted/have better writing skills/have a better background, etc.
Such thoughts take your energy away and give you nothing back.
University College Students Friends Smile Walking

5. Choose the Right People

Everybody is different. So, in various situations, the RIGHT people are different for everybody, too. In a stressful situation you may need communication with:
  • someone who’ll calm you. This is a rather typical need. You may want someone to support you and to say that everything will be ok.
  • someone who’ll distract you. This is not always about having fun and hanging out with your friends because you may have no time for this while you’re studying. But if someone will tell you a funny story, it will take your thoughts away for a while.
  • someone who shares your feelings. Sometimes, you just need to hear: ‘Yes, you are under enormous pressure. It’s hard to deal with it. Exams are always stressful.’ That’s it, no clapping on the back, no calming words. You may just need to know that someone knows how you feel. 
  • someone who has (or thinks s/he has) more serious problems than you do. No, you don’t have to be sarcastic. Some people need to be supportive when they are under stress themselves. This is a way to distract and a way to help someone at the same time.
Listen carefully to yourself and spend time with people you really need right now.

6. Mind What and How You Eat

Avoid junk food, while you’re studying for your exam. If course, you are better to avoid it all the time, because it doesn’t give you enough energy and it’s never enough for you. Mind that you have to get enough of carbonates and protein. Don’t eat too many sweets - instead of making you happy, they will make you hyped and give you sleeping problems. Drink enough water. Try to reduce caffeine.

7. Get Enough Sleep

It is one of the most widespread students’ mistakes - to study until their eyes are red and all the coffee in the house is miraculously gone. You really have to sleep well to have strength. But! You are to sleep right. Go to bed early (at least, earlier), wake up early, don’t oversleep, and turn off ALL the light and all the sources of sound.

8. Don’t Forget About Your Hobbies

Yes, you are quite busy now. The point is you're going to be busy all the time. Other exams will come soon, then work, family… You seriously have to develop a habit to do what brings you peace. Here, setting up writing daily schedule could be a great idea - start a journal, craft a story - anything that takes your mind off the stress.

9. Listen to Music

You can listen to whatever you like when you are having a break. What makes you happy? If you are a real music fan, you certainly have many options. But some students like to listen to music when they are working. It is quite acceptable, but there are some major rules:
  • try listening to something you never listened before. Otherwise, you can start singing along;
  • listen to instrumental music rather than to songs;
  • choose relaxing tunes over those that make you feel excited.

10. Use Various Relaxing Techniques

There are plenty of them you can read about. You can even watch a tutorial if you have difficulties mastering relaxing techniques. Among the best of them, there is free-writing. Just put all your negative thoughts on paper and forget about them. Meditation has no rival, but learning to do it right takes some time. Remember, it is totally worth it! Surely, you're better to master meditation before your life gets too stressful. Breezing techniques are close to meditation in their power, and they are much easier to complete. Anyway, find whatever help you need and don’t forget to do it!

Exams are a major stress for a student. It seems that the whole world has united to make you fail. Processing a lot of information, lack of time, limited physical conditions (seriously, they probably think they teach robots) – this is all too much! Or is it? Haven’t you lived through your exams before? Are you the first one who has to go through all this? You just have to find the way to believe in yourself and get really focused. We hope our tips are going to help you!

Richard Nolan is a writer and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of writing, entrepreneurship and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers, managers and students. Currently, Richard works as a general blog editor for proofreading & writing center.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Does Formal Education at School Today Kill Creativity?

Does Formal Education at School Today Kill Creativity?

Guest post by PenPencilEraser (Share your thoughts with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Education, this is something that runs in each of our minds as a student, as a parent, as a teacher who is a parent and as a teacher. Why specifically mentioned as a teacher who is a parent deliberates that they are knotted in both ends and they have the complete insight of the expectations of the parents and the reality deliveries at schools.
School Formal Education Kills Creativity Kids
Many prominent educationalist and writers mentions clearly and have spoken much over the creativity in children and one such mention was that, ‘children have extraordinary creativity and are born with the creative talents and over the education they unlearn their creativity skills.’ It’s a sad thing and that is exactly what is happening in the current day education system.
Why at all the creativity is not treated the same as literacy education?

What are the common attributes among these?

How well can be taken up for the success in children?
Sometimes the reality is that that situations when answers are unknown the questions keeps mounting up and that’s exactly what I have been doing here.

Well, passionately let us consider creativity coming along with us as we grow up. Yes! It must as each of us are born creative and we grow killing it at every stage. The slaughterer here what I wish to call is the competition and the comparison. We all know parents who are not aware of the education, the concepts, the chapters and the knowledge which the school provide to their child, but even such parents are a double degree professionals in knowing the competition and studying the comparison.

All the creative dilution starts here and as parents expect their children to stand in the cut-throat competition the pressure mounts up on students and they are seen snatched away from their hobbies, sports, interest and the creativity. This over the period keeps them much away from the creative stuffs and makes them run behind the unrealistic competition and the numeric scores. So, how are we going to grow up creativity, well let’s come to it.

Academics are important to make you brilliant and successful but not the degrees and scores!

In the recent times end of the academic year one common activity syndrome is seen among the parents, what I call it is ‘Shopping for School’, am sure most of you would agree to me as the academic year draws to end the parents meet to plan and explore rather exploit with schools.

Schools are structured in the same way at all nations across the world. Beneath the schools are the principles governing them, and their ability to bring up the child successful and confident citizens rather leaders.

Importance of Creativity

This should be to the attention of parents and teachers, creativity is directly the so-called intelligence which can be experienced in the subjects they learn. Brilliance comes when the child can grasp the lessons taught, the lectures listened, the books read and able to reproduce the learnt content during the exams and assessments. But what intelligence meant is that the blur line between the learning and thinking. When the child learns the subject in different modes and when he must reproduce he thinks his ability to add his original ideas which are said to have more value and this outcome is much welcomed.

Thankfully, creativity is related to the academic excellence too and wonder not that those who enhance their creative capabilities with the excellence in human imagination are the genius the world celebrates.

Hooking on to the mundane system losing energy over winning the competition may be the part of today education but how many of the students are encouraged to work on their best and the rest to concentrate on their passion, creativity and experimented. When I mention experiment it calls for more thoughts.

Fear of experimenting, kills creativity!

Another reason how the education kills creativity is that children of today fear to do mistakes while mistakes when done opens the creative door. They fear to be wrong and as they set their minds that to be wrong is not acceptable they condense their thinking capacity and initiate bring experimental as their mind thinks. This is because mistakes when done are subjected to humiliation and demotivation. So, as the child grows up without mistakes they lose the capacity of creativity. Somehow today’s education is killing the creative capacities in students.

Allowing them and appreciating their exploration and handling the mistakes in the positive manner which enable their creativity and only when being wrong they can come up with something original. This must be encouraged and set the a platform for exploration with motivation.

Do not discourage mistakes, set a motivation for exploration.

In the popular talk of Sir Ken Robinson clearly indicates the education that kills the creativity and restoring it with complete awareness to the parents and teachers of this generation.
Creativity happens to bring happiness. Set the happiness in children and let the different perspective of education be thought of and bring light to the real education.

Schools, be realized!

Schools should consider the intelligence in students and encourage. Not just the exams and scores should determine the academic excellence. The competency should be measured on the creative part and educating the children of today with the different competency and free thinking ability makes the school responsible for their success and would be creating successful future leaders.

PenPencilEraser, the online school management software provides a complete solution to school management and administration. You can request for a demo here for better understanding and guidance over the various features.

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Sunday, May 07, 2017

5 Ways in Which Malaysia Education System Could Improve

Five Ways In Which Malaysia Education System Could Improve

Guest post by Gloria Bailey (Share your thoughts with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Are you a citizen of Malaysia and want to get rid of the constant changes in the Malaysian education system? If yes, then you don’t need to worry about the ways to fulfill this goal. We have a compiled a list of some tips that will help you improve the Malaysian education system. See how:
Ways to Improve Malaysia Education System

Be consistent

One of the ways through which Malaysian education system can be improved is by being consistent. You must have read about the changes that occur in our teaching syllabus within a short span of time. These frequent changes have a detrimental effect on the academic studies of students. Students get confused as they don't know what to do and how to do. They get perplexed about the fact that they have to constantly pick up something new. When they get adjusted to the old syllabus, it is difficult for them to cope, if it gets changed. Not only students, but teachers and parents also find it difficult to educate their children when the syllabus keeps changing forever. Hence consistency is what Malaysian education system has to adopt.

Teach practical subjects

One of the other ways through which Malaysian education system can be improved is through the teaching of practical subjects. In Malaysian, the education system is academic-centric. It causes a gigantic problem for those who want to apply for international universities and plan to study overseas. They feel incompetent and incompatible as compared to all the other students across the world. Malaysian universities focus on teaching subjects like Health Education, Citizenship, Civics, and Moral Education. These subjects don't come under the realm of practical subjects. These subjects are not considered foremost subjects that can reshape the world. They are considered impractical, monotonous and boring. Therefore, if Malaysia wants its students to compete and beat the students of other countries, it has to take some important measures so that practical subjects are taught there.

Focus on coursework, not exam

One of the other ways through which Malaysian education system can be improved is by focusing on coursework instead of exam. Malaysian education system focuses more on exams than the coursework which leads to a plenty of problems. The people in Malaysia has a mindset that education simply refers to scoring the test papers of students, teaching them what is important for the exams, focusing more on grades, CGPAs, ranks and just dealing with those questions that can solve all the mysteries of a question paper. They don't focus on acquiring knowledge but on the number of A's a particular student gets in his exam. Even intelligence is measured through the parameter of grades instead of analytical skills, abilities or knowledge in Malaysian education universities. They regard those students more who score higher in exams than those who perform well in co-curricular activities and have talent. Malaysian education system focuses on exams more because it thinks that exams help a student evolve in his life and excel in the professional field. It doesn't pay heed to a fact that mature thought process can enhance the creative problem solving skills or knowledge of a student. Therefore, if Malaysian education system aspires to grow, it has to focus on coursework not exams.
Malaysia Students College University

Implement interactive teaching style

One of the other ways through which Malaysian education system can be improved is by the implementation of an interactive teaching style. There are many ways through which a teaching style can be interactive. A teacher can use charts, flow charts, PowerPoint presentations, props, other different objects in the class to make his/her teaching style extremely interactive. Malaysian students are used to spoon-feeding style of learning where teacher is their academic god and they expect him/her to teach them everything about the secrets of the universe without even having to work hard in life.

They are considered pampered passive learners for the same reason as they don't believe in researching facts on their own, debunking myths on their own by gaining a comprehensive knowledge about a particular object. They don't like browsing through the webpages, magazines or books to learn something new as they expect a teacher to enhance their knowledge. Therefore, interactive teaching style is necessary to teach the Malaysian students so that they get hooked to the lecture a teacher is trying to deliver.

Encourage Extra Co-curricular Activities

One of the other ways through which the education system of Malaysia can be improved is by encouraging the students to take part in extra co-curricular activities. Since Malaysian education system gives a lot of emphasis to academics so they undermine the significance of extra co-curricular activities. They deem these activities as boring and waste of time, though contrary is the true. Extra co-curricular activities encourage students to recognize their own talent and ability. These activities make students recognize the value of their talents and interests. They also encourage competencies and values to prepare students for a rapidly changing world.

Gloria Bailey is considered one of the reputable writers in the professional field of writing. She has an experience for about 7 years in this field. She has written articles on career, education, health and technology, and has garnered much appreciation for them from the clients. She is now affiliated with essay writing service.

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Friday, May 05, 2017

A List Of Pros & Cons You Must Know Before Making Malaysia Your Study Destination

A List Of Pros and Cons You Must Know Before Making Malaysia Your Study Destination!

Guest post by Catherine Daisy (Share your thoughts with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Studying in Malaysia can be a life-changing decision. No matter if you are a native student or enrolled on as a foreigner student, you can get many perks of studying in Malaysia. This country offers plenty of benefits for students from any part of the world.
Malaysia has some of the best universities around the world. Some of them are even affiliated with one of the world’s most prestigious institutions and offer courses in many valuable degree subjects. As an individual, you can have your preferences while choosing Malaysia as your study destination.
Prior to applying for a university in Malaysia, it is important to consider the following pros and cons of studying in Malaysia:
Study Abroad in Malaysia World Class Education


It Has A High Standard Of Life

Every student prefers studying in a country that has the best quality of life. Malaysia is one of most progressive countries in Asia with the best amenities. From clean environment and hygienic foods to modern infrastructure and strict laws, Malaysia is a heaven for any student coming from any part of the world.

It Has A Pleasant Weather

The very name of Malaysia conjures up visions of natural green scenery, flowers, and splashes of bright colors. Sadly, the greenery is fast being taken over by the increasing concrete jungle. Still, there are several sightseeing places in Malaysia, such as Langkawi, Genting, and Malacca. This makes Malaysia comparatively one of the most popular study destinations.
The beautiful scenery, tranquility, and warm temperatures are some of the prominent features of this beautiful land. So if you choose Malaysia as your study destination, you are likely to enjoy the best climate.

It Is Affordable For North American And European Regions

Malaysia is a more economical study destination for North American and European countries. On an average, the Americans would probably find the cost of living and tuition in Malaysia significantly below the living expenses in America.
When it comes to education, Malaysia also has an affordable fee structure as compared to any other institutions in European and American regions.

Malaysians Can Speak English

Malaysia is a country that knows its fair share of English. Thus, many students from around the world can easily adjust in Malaysia. However, the English skills cannot be expected to be perfect as English is at best a second language for most Malaysian.

You Can Get Quality Education At Affordable Fees

The education ministry of Malaysia regulates the British curriculum at every tier of education. The country has some of the most eminent scholars who hold Gold Medal in different subjects. In fact, it is an integral part of the policy of ministry of education to attract the students from around the world.
In addition, the government also offers subsidies for international students and provides them internship opportunities in many of its organizations.


There Is An Abundance Of Community-Based Institution

Those studying in Malaysia seem to prefer staying within their ethnic community. So the foreigners would obviously feel like a misfit among others since most of the students are still Malaysian, while the other ethnic groups tend to stay closer to their ethnic group.
Of course, this depends on the overall culture of each individual’s university as well as the policies and practices it follows. If you are enrolled in a culturally diversified institution, you are not likely to face any such scenarios.

There Are Some Institutions That Have A Bad Name

Many students who are studying or have studied in Malaysia claim that Malaysian lecturers are generally not up to the mark. This fact is primarily associated with their weak English language skills, poor time management, and a combination of other factors. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with the qualifications, experience, or the teaching style of the lecturer himself.
Those with experience have also reported that just like any other educational institution, some Malaysian lecturers are gentle, cooperative and caring towards students, while others are extremely strict and despotic. However, this attribute is not typical of a particular country.
There is a possibility that some colleges inherently have a racist faculty. Therefore, it’s always best to take opinions from those who are in the inner circles of the faculty. You can also read online reviews of any specific institution for more accurate judgment of the organization.

There Is A Shortage Of Jobs

After graduation, a student usually looks for a job. However, those on a student visa are not allowed to stay and they have to file a work permit application for employment in Malaysia. But there are very few job vacancies for the foreigners. However, those with the required capabilities and qualifications are always welcome to try!

The Bottom-line…

Studying in Malaysia can be a lot of fun and memorable experience. However, one would have to look at the social, economic, and even personal factors to make the right decision. Of course, it takes time to take such an important decision of life. So, you can take expert opinion of a veteran for validation.

Catherine Daisy is a Student Counselor, Educator, and a Career Consultant. In addition, she also provides UAE assignment help to international students.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Making College Life Worthwhile As a Foreign Student

Making College Life Worthwhile As a Foreign Student

Guest post by Linda Ken (Share your tips with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

With the passage of time, students’ preference for pursuing higher education abroad is increasing due to various factors. The most dominating factors are that studying abroad gives you an opportunity to survive alone which is a fruitful experience and that students are more concerned about the worth of the degree. Colleges create their brand name due to which students are attracted towards them from various parts of the world. However, the experience is not always a good one for some students because you, as a student, have to play your part in making college life worthwhile.
university malaya student discussion group project assignment work
A lot of students focus too much on academics and in an attempt to maintain a very high CGPA, they do not utilize their time in anything else when they go abroad. Foreign colleges are meant to teach you some skills that you may not have otherwise learnt in your hometown college. You must take advantage of the experiences to become a better person as you graduate and step into the real world. As a foreign student, you must seize this opportunity and there are several ways through which you can make your college life worthwhile.

A worthwhile college life remains memorable for the rest of your life and hence following are some of the many good ways in which you can make your college life worthwhile:

1) Explore the city

The best part about going abroad for higher education is that you get an opportunity to explore the new city, its environment, culture and people. A very important activity that you should do as soon as you reach the new city is to explore the new places that are well known for their architectural beauty or historical significance. The reason why you should do this as soon as your college journey begins is because the workload gets immensely unmanageable after a couple of weeks at college. Hence, students should explore as many places as possible when they are free from assignments and quizzes.

2) Make friends from different backgrounds

The best part about a foreign college is that the student body is extremely diverse and you get a chance to interact with people from different ethnic, social and economic backgrounds. One way of making your college life worthwhile is by not feeling nervous and be friends with such students who do not share the same background as yours. This will eventually help you explore a number of other cultures and food apart from just the one being practiced in that region.

3) Cooking experiments with friends

Hostel life is an opportunity to learn numerous skills that can help you make your life easier. One of the most useful skills that you will learn is cooking but do not cook considering it as a responsibility or duty. You should always cook a variety of new dishes with your friends because experimenting with ingredients is always fun. You get to enjoy the experience and finally learn a number of new dishes that can be cooked.

4) Utilize your skills

If you are a dancer, show your skills to the relevant student-run society. If you can sing, show it to the music society. If you can act, get in touch with the dramatics society. There are a lot of student-run societies in colleges whose main purpose is to provide a platform to students where they can not only showcase their skills but also learn a variety of other skills including event management, logistics and communication. Do not let your skills go in vain and you must utilize them well to make your college life worthwhile.

5) Go for trips with college students

Societies usually organize trips once every two weeks or so to nearby places that are popular for their beauty or historical significance. These trips do not cost too much and is a great opportunity for students to explore new places. The traveling experience is always an excellent one and your mind gets refreshed after traveling. The experiences of exploring new lifestyles, scenic beauty, cultures and making new friends during the trip all makes the college life worthwhile for students.

6) Participate in events

Being a part of the host team of an event is always a very good experience because you not only get a chance to learn new skills through a different experience but also get an opportunity to meet new people. The more people you meet, the better your social circle becomes and as a result, the more worthwhile your college experience will be. Try to be a part of the biggest events that takes place at your college because experience with such events is usually very good.

Through these ways, you can make your college life worthwhile if you went abroad for higher education.

Linda Ken is a finance graduate and currently preparing for the postgraduate admission & helping other students at Assignment Help Online. She is highly interested in portfolio management and aims to get hired by a top-notch Finance firm.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

7 Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay

7 Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay

Guest post by Lori Wade (Share your tips with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

An application essay is one of the basic requirements for college application, however, it is also one of the most important requirements. Sure, test scores and your grades matter too, but there’s quite a big possibility that many other students have the same scores and grades as you do. In this case, an application essay is your only chance to stand out among them, impressing the admission committee.
7 Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay
Moreover, just like a good essay can increase your chances of getting into the college of your dreams, a bad one can dramatically decrease those chances though your other stats might be quite impressive. Probably all members of the admission committee view poorly written application essays as a red flag: if an essay is written badly, this most likely means that a student simply isn’t motivated enough to study at a certain college.

So, how could you avoid such mistakes and impress the admission committee with your essay? We are going to help you with that, offering 7 tips that could ease your writing process greatly.

1. Develop a strategy.

The main goal of a college application essay is to show your personality to the admission committee. Without that personality, your application will simply look like a list of scores, not saying much more to the people who’re going to decide your fate.

Therefore it’s important to ensure that your personality will shine. A strategic plan could help you do so: start by listing your key qualities and move on to the plan of an essay that will allow you to mention all those qualities.

2. Try to be concise.

Despite the fact that an application essay usually doesn’t have an upper limit of characters, you shouldn’t try to impress the admission committee with the number of words you’ve managed to write. Remember that the admission committee are only people who receive way too many application essays each day and have to read them all. Of course, they aren’t always able to spend more than a couple of minutes reading your essay, so the longer you’ll make it, the lower the chance that they’ll actually read all of it will be.

Don’t try to make sentences deliberately longer and smarter if they don’t have to be so. Instead, stick to being more concise yet still impressive.
Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay

3. Show that you are unique.

As we’ve already mentioned above, showing your personality is one of the most important tasks of your application essay. However, some students get the wrong idea about how to do so. They try to list all their achievements or speak about their experience in order to impress, forgetting that most of the students have the same experience or achieved the same results.

Most of the students are teenagers and, knowing that the admission committee doesn’t expect thrilling life stories from them. It’s the mindset that matters the most. Show them how you think, what you believe in, and so on – while it could be hard to do, this could benefit you a lot.

4. Write a vivid story.

Some students try their best to sound like adults in their application essays, forgetting that an essay is more a story than a cover letter. It has to include details, so be sure to work on them well. Mention the names of the people you write about, add the information you find important.

However, try not to overdo it here: while the details are definitely a good thing, wordiness and inappropriate jokes are not.

5. Don’t be afraid to tell your opinion.

While it is completely fine to write about important topics like religion and politics, you shouldn’t simply mention them in order to look smart. Some students do write about those things, using the safest statements possible, thinking that this way they’ll be able to impress the committee without risking to speak their mind. However, such essays usually look unclear, not smart.

It’s okay for you to share your opinion on important topics, but you have to support it too, using various arguments as well as considering other perspectives. The only bad way to do this is to sound like you are the only person who’s right about it.
Tips Writing College Application Essay

6. Mind your writing.

You have to proofread your essay and ensure that it is error-free – that goes without saying. However, you should also pay attention to other details, which are just as important: the structure, the tenses, and the words you use. Organize your writing, use strong words, and avoid writing in passive voice – these simple things will make your essay look much better.

7. Get multiple tips.

It is completely normal to ask for someone’s advice when you’re writing an application essay. Your parents, teachers, and friends can help you, voicing their opinion and giving valuable suggestions. However, don’t settle with one opinion only: listen to as many of them as you can, not forgetting to evaluate and discard some of them if necessary.

The good way to make your essay even better is to ask a professional writer to help you. Maybe there’s a writer among your parents’ friends you could talk to? And even if not, don’t get discouraged: you can easily find plenty of high-quality writers online. For example, freelance writers or writers working for essay writing services can easily proofread college application essay for you, making it look even better.

As you see, there are many ways to make your college application essay stand out. Yes, you should know what you are going to write about, but you also have to pay attention to the other things that aren't related to writing directly but still matter. If both your content and your writing are good, you have a huge chance to succeed.

Maybe you know more tips that helped you write your own application essay or have some stories that you want to share? If so, please do so in the comment section below. Both our readers and we will appreciate that.

Lori Wade is a freelance content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. Also, she can help write or proofread college application essay for you. Lori is used to handling many writing orders at the same time and as she likes sharing her ideas and experience, she decided to write a great article for you to show how multiple tasks should be dealt with.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

The Secret to Topping Your SPM 2017 Exams

The Secret to Topping Your SPM 2017 Exams

Guest post by Justin Goh (Share your insight with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Every person’s born with a unique potential. Different people have different abilities. Many work their socks off to secure good marks in exams while others don’t and yet manage to do the same thing in examinations.
SPM Exams Preparation Secret Tips
Is there a secret ingredient behind success? Is there some sort of magic? Possibly not! The secret ingredients stay the same that are:
  • Dedication,
  • Punctuality,
  • Hard work and more importantly,
  • Smart and organized work.
The first three ingredients highlighted above depend completely on your mentality. But how can you achieve “smart and organized work” to maximize your efficiency? It’s one of the primary keys to achieve a successful rank in examinations. We’ll see to that in this article.

1. Review your entire syllabus

Let’s go back to the basics at the start. Just go through your entire syllabus right before an examination.

Did you miss out on a few things here and there? No? Just make sure that you double check every nook and corner of it to ensure that you have covered everything that’s going to come in your upcoming examination.

There have been many cases where students complained that a particular question had come out of syllabus. Hence, they had to skip it and jump over to the next one. In most of these cases, it has been found that the question did come right out of syllabus. The students just missed it by an inch.

Make sure to the best of your knowledge that you don’t face the same issue in your examinations.

2. Create a study goal

At the time of your exam preparations, you have to remember that your time’s short and every second is equivalent to gold dust. You have to do the maximum within minimum time.

Organization’s the key. Hence, it’s necessary for you to create a study goal. What do you want to accomplish within this session (say a period of 45 minutes)? Be realistic in your goals and try to stick to your goal as much as possible. You’ll maximize your productivity in no time.

3. Sort out your subject contents

Before you start your final revision, you need to do a list of things in an organized way to ensure that you do it in the best possible way with the least amount of distractions. Example:
  • Put all your notes and lectures in order and close by. 
  • Get all your gears together as well and keep it close by in case you need to practice with the same.
    • E.g. if it’s a geography exam, make sure you keep your toposheets and maps nearby so that you don’t miss out on practicing any of them.   
  • Keep your syllabus nearby in case you want to double check certain things on it.

4. Your study techniques must be adjusted to the subjects accordingly

Different subjects require different study techniques. You have to adjust accordingly.

For example, subjects such as mathematics require practice to get familiar with the processes involved. You must not memorize mathematics or read math in anyway. You have to solve sums on a piece of paper to improve your problem-solving abilities.

Subjects such as literature or history on the other hand require memorization and information synthesis. You have to adjust your study techniques on basis of that.

5. Implement technology for exam prep

In this techno-oriented world, you just have to implement a few of these wonderful creations of men in your exam prep to maximize your efficiency.
  • Online videos
    • Vimeo and YouTube have made it incredibly easy for people to share instructional educational videos online for public viewing. These videos are absolutely free of any cost.
    • Why don’t you take advantage of these? If you face any doubt anywhere, you can always “Google” your doubts on the internet to get a proper solution. YouTube instructional videos can benefit you in that aspect tremendously.
  • Audio
    • Your audio options include things like audio-books, lectures, instructional podcasts etc. You can find them in bunches on the internet. Use them as per your requirement. 
    • Your mobile devices will come in handy for this task.
  • Exam preparation apps
    • Mock tests play a significant role before an examination. Now you have the comfort to give these mock tests from the comfort of your very own drawing room saving you both time and money.
    • Some of these apps can also clear several doubts of yours related to a particular examination and can also give you a comprehensive learning experience.
    • An example: Pocket Prep.
  • eReaders and Note taking apps
    • eReaders give you an inexpensive platform to study eBooks and their pdf counterparts on your mobile devices. With the aid of these apps, you can carry a soft copy of your book anywhere with you and read it any time you wish.
    • Like the name suggests, note taking apps aid you to take quick notes in classes. Many students find it real difficult to take appropriate notes in classes because they usually lose the flow of the lectures at some point.
    • Note taking apps can help you with that. These apps give you the option to write manually on it or integrate with other related media; such as online videos or an online article. Some of these apps also give you the option to scan documents on it.

6. Implement flash cards

Flash cards help you in getting a quick view of something important in the blink of an eye. By keeping certain terms or formulae under your nose, you would be able to memorize them quickly and effectively.

Say for example, you have an English test tomorrow. Write a few of those confusing words on your flash cards along with their meanings. Keep them close by and in easily noticeable places. Refer to them from time to time.

7. Last but not the least, take power breaks

Studying all day for hours at a stretch is NOT advisable in any way. Because you are going to exhaust yourself tremendously though that tactic resulting in poor performance and poor retention of information.

A 20-30 minute session followed by a 5 minute power break is advisable. Think of those 5 minutes as ones having high ROI (return on investment). By keeping your sessions fresh after a 5 minute break, you are definitely going to maximize your productivity immensely.

Just be positive and confident enough in your approach and you’ll definite see the positivity reflecting in your final results. We wish you the best of luck for your upcoming exams!

Justin Goh
Justin Goh is a former teacher and prolific writer, penning blogs to help the parents, students and the educators alike. Regularly contributing articles for MyPrivateTutor Malaysia, he prefers to write on varying aspects of education ranging from learning strategies and preparation tips to the ways to reach out to the students better.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How to Score Straight A's for SPM 2017 in 50 Days

Guest post by Camille Fan, SPM 2016 Straight A's Scorer (Share your secret exam scoring tips with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Hello! I am here today to guide you how to achieve straight As in just 50 days. THIS IS NOT A CLICKBAIT!! I'm not going to lie but don't expect all rainbows and sunshine. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WAR RIGHT HERE, SPM!! (Just kidding, SPM is nothing okay? please don't stress yourself out) Most students procrastinate every chance they get. I mean why finish my homework when I can re-watch every season of 'Friends'? Right? *rolls eyes*

However, time ticks and the last thing you know you're only 50 days away from SPM. Hence, I’ve compiled a list of ways I found effective that helped me!

Stop hogging the revision books and start doing your past years!!

First, to test your understanding and memories on what you have learnt, read your revision book for an hour to revise what you learnt throughout the year. For example, read your textbook and revision books for Biology for an hour or two and that's it; no more reading. Then, get your trial papers out and do it as if you're in the exam. You're also only allowed to check the answers after you completed everything. It's okay if you get a lot of wrong answers at first, nobody's perfect. You will then gradually remember your mistakes and not repeat it the next time! Fast and effective.

Reward yourself!!

Everyone gets stressed and that's ok because it's our body's natural reaction. I had a few acquaintances that cried when they couldn't understand a specific add maths question or couldn't memorize all the facts for Sejarah and NEWSFLASH! Time waits for no man. Oh boy, the stress when you have so much to do but so little time. HORRIFYING!! Hence, watch your favourite drama or movie to broaden your mind. I used to write narrative essays for my continuous writing so movies and dramas help me in planning my plot. You really need your story to stand out and be unpredictable to impress your teachers and examiners. Ditch reading novels when you can watch movies and write amazing stories!

Talk to your family!!

At this moment so near to SPM, friends can get a little sensitive and selfish I might say. Some become conscious and starts studying every second they get up until the point where they neglect their health and friends. Besides, some also gets protective and would not share their knowledge with you. Let's be honest, it gets pretty annoying but it's okay focus on yourself and family. Now, always talk to your family members because they'll always be there for you and will not trigger stress.

Ask for your teachers help and go for tuition classes and seminar!!

You can always seek other professionals for help whenever you find trouble in your studies. Teachers always want the best for their students and they'll appreciate it if their students ask them for tips; in terms of life advices or just academically questions in general. Seminars are meant to help you absorb as much knowledge and tips for SPM in a short matter of time. However, do not go for overly expensive seminars, instead you can actually go for tuition centers that also hold seminars that are affordable and worth it.

Time yourself!!

A lot of students including myself find it hard occasionally to cope with the given time during examinations. For example, subjects like Mathematics do not provide a lot of time. Hence, plan it well before the big day. Time yourself when you're doing past year papers or trial papers with no distractions. Always skip the questions that are taking up too much time. To avoid catastrophes such as not being able to complete the other questions or getting too stressed out, skip the harder questions and come back to them later. When you've nothing else to worry about, you can then focus on the harder questions and try your best!


This is really important. Never tire yourself as this will affect your health! Don't let a few papers ruin your body. If you have too much tuition classes, quit some (if possible) and self study instead. Seminars and tuition classes are very different. Seminars are usually only a few days right before your SPM but tuitions are from the start of the year. I used to have three tuition classes, all of it on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. They were Chemistry, Physics and Additional Mathematics but I decided to just go only for Physics because the teacher is cool and I can never study physics on my own HAHAHA. I quitted the other two subjects around June because I wanted more free time. You can't strain your brain and body anymore at this point, do self-study and have more time to yourself. Saving money and time at the same time!

So, this is it! Sorry it's been quite boring but I hope this helps! If you're reading this now, you probably still have more than 50 days but you can always start early. I wish the best for you and hope you score flying colors for your SPM!

Fan Kye Wen Camille Profile Picture
Kye Wen Camille is the usual girl that's enjoying life and has an undying love for chicken nuggets and writing. A part time low-key blogger and a student. She is a minimalist and you can occasionally find her bare foot on the couch with a bag of chips watching korean dramas. She hopes her doable and practical content can help others. Craziness runs in her blood!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Exclusive Money-Saving Tips & Discount Deals for Students in Malaysia

Malaysia Freebies Bargains & Student Promotion Offers

Guest post by Durian Runtuh (Share your favourite tips with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Traveling and living in Malaysia generally are quite affordable. However, as a student you will always be always searching for ways to save money. Here we share 7 money-saving tips which help to enjoy your life there too.

1. Apply and collect Kad Debit-i Diskaun Siswa 1 Malaysia (KADS1M Debit-i)

Every student in the country can get Malaysian Student Discount Card (KADS1M) for free of charge. Using it you will be able to enjoy discounts on food, apparel, entertainment, books, health and recreation services, restaurants, transportation and even flight tickets. It saves from 5% to maximum 60% of your spendings at more than 2,600 different outlets. So don’t delay and apply for it.

2. Make full use of free educational resources like university libraries

Many educational resources provided by many universities in Malaysia are available for free. Normally, you don’t have to pay for an access to their materials. So come to study at your university and use the Internet to research as much and as long as you need, instead of paying membership fees in public libraries. In addition, universities tend to organize free additional lectures, trainings and events. Don’t hesitate and attend them too.

3. Enjoy high quality edu-tainment for free

Malaysia, having a rich cultural heritage, which blends influence from Asia as well as Europe, offers many entertainments. And the good news here – you can enjoy many of them for free.

First of all, you can always join free guided walking tours organized by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall. They highlight the local architecture, food, shops and history of Malaysia.

There are many free galleries and museums as well. The most well-known ones in Kuala Lumpur are Bank Negara Museum and Gallery, Galeri Petronas and Wei-Ling Gallery. After all, simply come and enjoy peaceful spots at Lake Perdana at tropical Perdana Botanical Garden and KLCC Park.

Also, every Monday at The Stage in Publika Square a free open-air film screening takes place. It is bound to be memorable. As a student, you can get tickets for some theaters, cinemas, clubs provide students with discounts. Even it is not stated anywhere, it never hurts to ask one more time.

4. Traveling for free

Free Go KL Bus KLCC Bukit Bintang
Free Go KL City Bus KLCC - Bukit Bintang
Cycling is the cheapest, but it is not that feasible and safe to ride a bike in Kuala Lumpur. Free GoKL city bus service will be very useful if you travel within the Central Business District of Kuala Lumpur. It offers green, purple, blue and red lines, all of which have different one-route. They are free and quite convenient because bus stops are in very close proximity to tourist attractions, shopping malls and entertainments. In addition, you will find free WIFI network there.
In you are staying or travelling frequently in Selangor, you should take the free Bas Smart Selangorku bus which covers all major destinations in Selangor.
There are many other good choices for public transport: buses, trains, ferries, taxis. Buses, in general, are quite cheap. In case you are going to use the transport on a regular basis, better buy a monthly ticket for public transport, which costs only RM149 in Kuala Lumpur.
When you need to take a taxi, pick Uber (UberX) or Grab (GrabCar) using discount promo codes instead. Besides cheaper price for a ride, it has many other benefits compared to the conventional taxi, which often doesn't use the meter.
Moreover, when you are planning a round-trip journey to some neighborhood countries, like Singapore, for example, buy cheap bus or train tickets online in Malaysia. Otherwise, you will find out yourself that the same tickets outside Malaysia cost much higher.

5. Shopping

First of all, shopping in local street markets will save you a lot of money. In Kuala Lumpur there are plenty of them and the biggest are Petaling Street, Kasturi Walk, Chow Kit Market. You can find there various of very fresh groceries as well as apparel, accessories, jewelry and many other things for a quite cheap price. Moreover, they demonstrate the authentic Malaysian culture and serve as an attractive destination for tourists. Secondly, download a mobile application Smart Shopper. It compares prices for groceries across various supermarkets and provides you with the cheapest price just in a second. Finally, benefit of shopping during sales.

There are several big shopping seasons in Malaysia in 2017:
  • Malaysia Super Sale (March 1, 2017 – March 31, 2017), 
  • Mid Year Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (June 16, 2017 - Aug 31, 2017) and 
  • Malaysia Year End Sale (November 1, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017). 
On these shopping festivals, you can shop with discounts up to 75%. Also, online shopping in Malaysia is growing and become especially popular. Go online and shop there using coupons on different products and services. Don’t forget to spend a minute before a purchase in an online store and check availability of one on the Internet.

6. Cash vs Credit Cards in Malaysia

According to the Department of Statistics in Malaysia, almost half of the Malaysian population under 30 years old are bankrupts. As a usual thing, students have a difficulty with controlling their spending and waste much money on unnecessary things. The best solution to avoid this is to use cash instead. A credit card might be a good alternative only in a case when it is important. Otherwise, such habit may easily lead you to big debts. The thing is, it is hard to realize how much you spend when money is abstract. So plan your budget ahead and take as much cash as you really need.

7. Consider your wants and your needs

Everyone has certain difficulties with understanding where the edge between his needs and wants is. Sometimes, people tend to ignore its existence even if they realize it. This is how we buy impulsively and waste much money on unimportant things. Before making an actual purchase and spending money, especially a big amount, always take a minute to consider its necessity. Extra time will allow you to come up with an answer rationally and make a right decision.
This guest post is presented to you by Harga Runtuh which provides save money tips, discount deals & promo codes for smart consumers in Malaysia (improved and edited based on a draft by Cuponation)

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