Saturday, August 23, 2014

SPM 2014 Tips: How to Score Straight A+'s in SPM

Scholarship Openings

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  3. 30 September 2014: Bantuan Pelajaran Tunku Abdul Rahman (BPTAR) Education Assistance

Education News Updates

Who Says You’re Not Gonna Score?

by Hoe Zhan Hui [Writing Contest 2014 ★ Winner ★]

SPM Tips Straight A+

So, who said so?

All in all, I am not talking about anyone scoring a hat trick in a soccer game. I’m talking about real business! I mean, some serious study plan! Everyone wants to be somebody. I wish to score STRAIGHT A+ in SPM, you too! Now, what to do? Easy…

1) Leave everything behind (for the time being while doing something)
‘One target at a time.’ It’s more effective in reducing your overall workload and stress. Trust me, you’ll feel much lighter. I won’t say, ‘Prioritise’. It’s more like getting the job done rather than prioritizing something else that you should not be. FOCUS on the task in hand. Say, you are in chemistry class. Then, don’t do other stuffs during your chemistry class. Strictly, only do chemistry stuffs. It’s a good time to finish your undone chemistry homework!

2) Blend in with the education system
Hey, don’t go fussing about the downside of our education system. Eventually, you’ll be the one going through it. Save your effort! You don’t like to memorise, do you? Well, don’t memorise! Instead, you lean on the ‘practicing’ approach. Trust me, you won’t even realize that you could answer questions you are already so familiar with. This technique is much more effective for slow-learners like me! I need all the time I could get to digest raw information and making them a part of me. However, some ‘facts and figures’ are unavoidable. You need to memorise somehow. But here’s the trick. You practice ‘remembering’ the facts. In other words, you might need a few days, maybe weeks to get them familiar with. You will remember them in times of need!

3) Never stop asking stupid questions! – Not annoying ones
Have you ever wanted to know minute details of how to solve a question but sounded like asking stupid questions? This is perfectly fine in my point of view as long as you stick to the rule of thumb. Firstly, don’t ask repetitive questions, it’s annoying, yes. Secondly, explain what you are trying to do before asking what you wish to know further. You get the picture. Feeling better? Keep your questions simple and straight to the point. By asking always, I actually knew what to do when I’m on my own during my exams! Glad I asked. Believe me, trying to be stupid to gain extra info is better than trying to be “Mr-Know-It-All”.
You Can Do It
4) Dream BIG & Dream ON!
You got to have something in your mind that you want so badly! In this case, say, “I want straight A+ in SPM!” Now, I got a BIG dream and I must literally ‘dream on’ to keep the spark alive in me. With this, I’ll have just the right push to be successful. Motivation is a very powerful tool to spur one on. No man will be successful doing things that they themselves are not passionate about. To quote it, you must be goal-oriented and optimistic plus a little bit of extra effort. Bon voyage!
Walt Disney if you can dream it you can do it

Narrowing down on how to do well in different subjects…

a) Language Subjects (Bahasa Melayu & English)

How often do you speak Malay Language or English? You might find them a little difficult to score in exams. However, surprisingly, some can write better than they speak. In writing a piece of essay, it’s all about expressing out your ideas. Having good ideas are as important as knowing how to write.
Also:
  • Start practicing your grammars.
  • Try grabbing maximum scores in grammar, comprehension and literature sections.
    • Grammar – Start off easy with building simple sentences to writing complex and compound sentences with beautiful words in it. Here, I’m not stressing on bombastic words but anyhow a handful of beautiful words would definitely suffice to add colours to your essay.
    • Comprehension – Grammatical errors in this section are rarely penalized as this part tests on the ability of a student understanding a passage. As long as you write down the answers that are understandable, you might be in your way to scoring a few marks here.
  • Don’t cheat in your literature sections by just reading the synopsis on everything. This is not going to work.
b) The Sciences (Physics, Chemistry & Biology)

Science subjects are often the far most interesting ones in school, well, at the very least.
  • Start off slowly by doing topical assessments, which includes actual-exams format questions.
    • By doing this, you’ll get to know every topic inside out. (Possible questions, definitions, level of difficulty and most importantly, your mastery of the topics.)
  • Do questions first before memorising facts.
    • Frankly speaking, I can’t memorise facts on the go. Instead, I felt better memorising facts in question form that is a much easier technique. The question and answer are paired. Thus, the moment when you look at questions even if they’re twisted, you’ll still know the answer.
  • Paper 2 is where you need to pay attention to the most.
    • Throw away PMR habit of spending so much time revising objective questions.
    • In exercise books, there are already answers provided in factual form for essay practices. Make them your “reference book”! It is a much easier and convenient way to look at your facts than reading your thick, bulky reference book, which you don’t even know where to start!
c) Math Subjects

Again, all you need is practice, practice and practice.
  • Get yourself familiarize with all types of questions.
  • Use the ‘topical approach' mentioned earlier in (b).
  • In Additional Math Paper 2, you’ll normally find ‘application questions’.
    • Therefore, start practicing with real-exam format questions after understanding the concepts of each topic on the whole.
    • Invest more time on the must-score questions especially in Section A and Section C just to play it safe. The topics involved are still manageable like the ‘Index Numbers’ and ‘Simultaneous Equations’. At least, you can still get a good mark if Section B is too hard.
  • Modern Mathematics should not be a problem compared to Additional Mathematics.
    • Some easier questions do carry a lot of mark such as the ‘Venn diagram’ or the ‘Plane and Elevation’.
    • Again, practise more and you’ll get the hang of it! This subject would be easy if you did your homework back in lower secondary.
Good Luck in Your SPM
d) History and Moral
  • Start early.
    • By doing so, you not only create more time to remember the facts, but also lessening your burden during last-minute study.
  • History
    • Use the ‘topical approach’ to remember facts from each topic without jumbling up everything.
    • Refer and answer questions simultaneously.
    • Slowly after some time, try answering without textbooks. You don’t want ending up being too dependent on textbooks, right?
    • A must-score in Paper 2. Using the same technique, use answers provided at the back of the exercise books as quick notes! They are perfect to use as long as the facts are extracted from the official textbooks.
  • Moral
    • There is nothing much to do but to memorise the definitions first.
    • Easily, you can break down any one of the definitions into key words on the spot. You save all the time memorising definitions alone and then key words another.
    • Last year, there were slight modifications in the format! That was pretty scary. I was thinking whether I should approach the questions like what I used to do before or to use a totally different approach according to the new instructions. Well, I packed in both just to be on the safe side. Quite lengthy answer, though.
Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)

So, what’s the moral of the story? Be flexible! ‘Blend in’, remember?

This year, questions requiring higher order thinking skills (HOTS) might be trending. Anyhow, think out of the box! Remember, you can always apply concepts and formulas that you have learnt in class. The problem is, how can they be applied in a question itself?

Hoe Zhan Hui
I really do hope the techniques shared earlier will come in handy! Those are just my personal opinions and experiences throughout my years in school. I was once an SPM student no more than any of you. Enjoy your secondary school life and hey, WHO SAYS YOU’RE NOT GONNA SCORE!
Make yourself SHINE. Make the people around you PROUD!

Hoe Zhan Hui, 18, has achieved 10A+ in his SPM and also 7As in his PMR. He opted to continue his study in Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas for the IB Diploma Programme under KPM Bursary and is still waiting for the Maybank Scholarship Award scholarship. He is a slow starter but that’s not stopping him to achieve his goals! His life goal? He is interested in tech entrepreneurship and he wished to take up computer engineering course. He dreamt of having all the modern science fiction technology coming to life one day!


► Read more on SPM 2014 Tips: How to Score Straight A+'s in SPM

Friday, August 15, 2014

How to Get Band 9 in IELTS: 10 Practical Tips to Score Perfect IELTS Band

Semakan PLKN Siri 12/2015

PLKN Siri 12/2015 shortlist checking is available since 14 August 2014 at http://apps1.khidmatnegara.gov.my/terpilih. Alternatively, try http://informasi.khidmatnegara.gov.my/perkhidmatan/semakan-pelatih-terpilih/

Band 9 in IELTS?!! No problem!!!

by Nick Chung [Writing Contest 2014 ★ Winner ★]

How to Score Band 9 in IELTS
IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, a standard for English that has been popularly used by the colleges, universities or English-speaking countries to test whether the applicants or migrants are qualified to live in their country or not. (Editor's Note: Read here to know what is IELTS and when are the upcoming IELTS Malaysia test dates 2014.)

So basically, there are 9 band scores, acting as the scale of assessment for IELTS and if a person gets a Band 9 in his/her result, then obviously he/she is an expert user. During the test, there will be 4 parts that a test taker has to go through: speaking, listening, reading and writing. I know, many of you might ask please give us the main tips already, but still, I need to fill in some general information for those who don't really know about IELTS. Getting a Band 9 score may be hard, however, chances are only available to those who made their preparations. Prepared test takers will have a higher chance in gaining a Band 9 score. So, here you go:

IELTS Speaking Tips

Speaking is actually a very simple task for an English speakers and I believe most of our students do communicate in English, at least a little bit. Okay-lah, maybe we do use the "-lo", "-lah" and a bunch of slangs probably only us, the Malaysians will understand. It's no harm using our "Manglish" in our life; after all it is part of our culture-bah, but not in the speaking part. Try to get off the slangs in the IELTS speaking test. To get good grades in this part,

1. You will need to spend some time correcting your English. 
First thing first, ignore the "-lah", "-bah" or whatever it is. Be aware of what you are talking about, and there's one way to correct them. As most of us are using smartphones now, you can actually use the recording media as your "mirror" to "reflect" your voice. Thanks to Alexander Graham Bell! By recording what you have spoken and re-playing them to yourself, you can notice your pronunciation and other errors as well easily. In that way, you might be able to get rid of the slangs.

2. By the way, sitcoms and TV shows that are based on English are quite some great ways to improvise your English.
I love watching sitcoms like "Wizard of the Waverly place", "How I met your mother", "Sonny with a Chance" and many others. I don't care if anyone said them childish or stupid but that actually helps me to improve my English. I used to be very lousy particularly in English and ever since I watched these sitcoms and imitated their way of talking, their accents and pronunciation, I could speak at least a little. So, mimicking the intonation actually helps in accumulating your experience dealing with English indirectly.

3. Speak normal, do not go too fast or too slow. Think carefully before you speak.
Well, the final part for speaking would be the way you talk. It holds the key to your lock. This is the final step of your preparations. You already got your sword forged nicely and all you got to do is to hurl them to your enemies, off with their heads! I'm sorry, haha...Back to the topic, the way you speak is quite crucial, but bear in mind, always be CONFIDENT, ALWAYS. You speak in confidence, do not be afraid of making mistakes, even if you did, don't panic as if you were suffering a heart attack. Speak normal; do not go too fast or too slow. Think carefully before you speak. Most importantly, give your best shot to impress the examiners. Give them some Try exploring books to give you some terrific ideals.

IELTS Listening Tips

Listening could be easy if you could heed my advice. Normally, it will be an Australian speaker or a British accent that was recorded and play for only once. It might be kinky if you missed a small part or the whole thing. Here's how to help alleviate the problem:

4. Listening to more of the samples actually helps you to recognize the difference between accents.
We say "How are you today?" but Australians say "How are you to-dieee?" Australian accents are just slightly different from the normal English, but British accents tend to go heavier on the "a" sound. This may varied to individuals and by listening to the sample tapes or recordings may help you to differentiate and identify some words that are not so familiar with. However, these recordings might need to be bought online or from the nearby IELTS taking centres, so, in order to save money, listening to the radio is a great alternative to prepare for IELTS listening test.

5. Calm down.
First thing is to calm down, find the inner peace in you. Now, there's only two choice to go: Try to re-connect your ear with your brain before you hand in your answer sheet or let it go (only for the worst case scenario). You can somehow remember the missed part, as it is still fresh in your brain, it's just that it would be a bit hard to search them out. Let it go only if you cannot remember it at all. Yeap, you heard me...Just like what Elsa sang in "Frozen": "Let it go, let it go, can't hold it back anymore..." Sometimes holding onto it is not the best option of all as you might be distracted and missed the rest of the part. That's when I called losing EVERYTHING.

IELTS Reading Tips

Sounds like another easy thing to do, but there's a tick here, people: Only people with high reading skills and good observation skills can do very well in this sector. If you're not, need not to be worried because I'm going to talk about tips to improve them.

6. To sharpen your observation skills, one can focus on details.
No matter when you're watching TV programmes, try not to focus on the main character, but concentrate on the background. For example, you're watching your favourite soap opera and somehow a good observant could have noticed that there's no internet connection shown in their computer and yet, they still claimed that they were browsing the internet. It's funny when you saw that moment. I'm not asking you to pinpoint somebody's weaknesses or errors, but it helps you to see things in details and in a shorter period. Hey, don't forget to give yourself some fun while training your observation skills! Remember, all work and no play makes YOU a dull boy/girl! During the practice or test, don't forget to look for keywords and underline the main points. This skim and scan technique ought to help a lot in finding answers.

7. When you are answering the questions, do keep yourself on track so that you won't use up a lot of time in a certain passage.
You won't want to spend about 30 minutes in one passage and spend the remaining half an hour to complete the rest. Oh, and don't forget to read the instructions! They are the utmost important things to do before answering questions as there might be some tricky instructions that requires you to differ between "words" and "phrases" so that you could answer your questions correctly. Answers are often given from one paragraph to another so don't worry that you will need to search your answer in the paragraph prior to your last answer in the previous paragraph. Just be confident and keep up in a normal pace, then a Band 9 score for this section won't be a problem.

IELTS Writing Tips

Finally, the writing part. An hour to write is definitely not enough to express what you want, so you can only write the main points. But, be prepare, my dear friends! Be prepared for you will encounter some of the strangest topics of all. Eg. "To what extent should university courses be geared to the economic needs of society?" Henceforth, it's no surprise that there might be topics that relates both pens and cooking, or whatever strangest and the craziest thing you will see. To counter this area,

8. Read more. Again, the old saying - "Knowledge is the key to everything".
In this context, the statement "Ignorance is bliss" couldn't be applied here. Through reading, one can broaden their horizon and mind...blah...blah...blah...Whatever the old folks were saying. Old, but true. Reading actually fortifies your knowledge fort; concrete knowledge poured into you will strengthen yourself and differs you between those who don't read at all. There's actually a wide selection of reading materials range from books to online reading materials. Instead of sticking your eyes towards Facebook accounts and comments, you can actually do better by reading the articles shared. They are good forms of improving your writing styles as well as the lexical as these are some of the marking criteria that adds up your marks. (Editor's note: 46 IELTS sample model essays)

9. Logical thinking.
It is not enough just by reading. You'll have to think. The essay you're going to write is actually the word-based expressed in your thinking. By thinking logically, one can almost relate anything together. For instance, the above strange topic that I have said: pen and cooking. By asking who, when, which, what, where and how is actually a great foundation in building up your logical thinking. Who use pen to talk about cooking? Critics do. How, where, when and what? They give remarks about the food, the surrounding and the atmosphere of a restaurant whenever they went to a fine restaurant or eateries. TripAdvisor is actually one of the most-trusted guides to find restaurants for travelers who want to have an unforgettable meal in a foreign place. These are just some random ideas, but it leads me to think critically. There is a lot of ways to train to think logically and chess playing is one of them.

10. Practice makes perfect.
Most of the people said that because it is a fact. Through intensive writing, your ability to express yourself in words will grow stronger. The discipline of writing more enables you to target topics in different areas effectively as it accumulates as experiences in you. You would probably use the word "upset" instead of "angry". The vocabularies in you won't be limited as your lexical database continues to expand. While doing the writing task in IELTS test, focus more on your writing task 2 as it has a greater weightage than the task 1. You will be given an hour to complete both tasks. You can buy some sample question papers from the IELTS test centres or download them online, depending on your financial ability. Frequent your practice, try to do at least three sets of writing tasks every week the month before you take your test.

I think that's all for the tips. Nothing is impossible, if you start earlier, then there would a greater chance you might get good grades in IELTS. All you need to do is to action now. Although I cannot guarantee you can have a Band 9 score after you read this article, and if anything that I have written offends you, criticises are more than welcome to be made as long as it is subjected to the above topic. Should you have any typical tips in scoring Band 9 in IELTS, please don't hesitate to share them to me! After all, we are learning together to improve our English. All the best for IELTS takers! Happy test taking!

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Nick, Nicky, or Nickie, whatever you call... 19, Tawau, Sabah. He has completed his SPM last year and is currently studying HELP Foundation in Science in ISM, Tawau. A wide range of hobbies, writing becomes one of them and had not been writing for months. Love to swim, no matter in sunny or rainy day, as long as the Cumulonimbus clouds are not on top of him then he will continue swimming! He really hopes to be an entrepreneur, who sells fast food franchises like Colonel Sanders did! He believes to be a successful entrepreneur, one must be able to endure all sorts of hardship, from poverty to risk handling... whatever it is, you name it!


► Read more on How to Get Band 9 in IELTS: 10 Practical Tips to Score Perfect IELTS Band

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

IELTS Malaysia Test Dates 2014

IELTS Malaysia Test Dates 2014 2015 2016

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s proven English language test.

IELTS was one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing over 25 years ago, and continues to set the standard for English language testing today.

IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by over 9,000 organisations worldwide. Last year, more than 2.2 million tests were taken globally. IELTS is recognised as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true-to-life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation.

IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment through more than 900 test centres and locations in over 130 countries.

Free IELTS Tips to Help Your Test Preparation

Want to get our exclusive 10 practical tips to score band 9 in IELTS sent to your email? Enter your email address into the form below to join 26,000+ students who get all the latest English improvement tips and blog updates via email. You cannot afford to miss them! Join our email subscription list now!

Test Center: IDP Education

IDP Education Malaysia IELTS

Testing fee : RM 630 (payable in either cash,cheque or credit card via Paypal) to IDP Education Pty Ltd. Both AC and GT are available on the dates in Red.
 2014

Kuala Lumpur  / Subang Jaya  / Penang  /  Johor Bahru 




Kuching

 January   11 Sat  18 Sat 25 Sat   11 Sat  18 Sat
 February 01 Sat 15 Sat 22 Sat 15 Sat 22 Sat
 March 01 Sat 08 Sat 15 Sat 08 Sat 15 Sat
 April 05 Sat  12 Sat 26 Sat 12 Sat 26 Sat
 May  10 Sat 17 Sat 24 Sat 17 Sat 24 Sat
 June 07 Sat 21 Sat 28 Sat 21 Sat 28 Sat
 July 12 Sat  19 Sat 26 Sat 12 Sat 19 Sat 
 August 02 Sat 09 Sat 16 Sat 09 Sat 16 Sat
 September 06 Sat 20 Sat 27 Sat 20 Sat 27 Sat
 October  11 Sat 18 Sat 25 Sat 11 Sat 18 Sat
 November  01 Sat  08 Sat 22 Sat 08 Sat 22 Sat
 December 06 Sat 13 Sat 20 Sat 13 Sat 20 Sat

Your listening, reading and writing tests will be completed on the same day. Your speaking test may be conducted on the same day or up to a week before or after your main test day. You will be informed in advance if your speaking test is on a different day to your main test day.

Test Center: British Council

British Council Malaysia IELTS

Testing fee : The fee for an IELTS test is RM630 (there may be an additional fee if booked through a registration agent). Places are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so we strongly recommend that you register at least two months before the test date.

The British Council offers IELTS tests in 9 states across Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Johor Bahru, Melaka, Perak, Terengganu, Sarawak & Sabah. Registrations are handled by the British Council in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

Your listening, reading and writing tests will be completed on the same day. Your speaking test may be conducted on the same day or up to a week before or after your main test day. You will be informed in advance if your speaking test is on a different day to your main test day.

Kuala Lumpur IELTS test dates and venues

Test dates Test module
Saturday 26 July 2014 Academic
Saturday 2 August 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 9 August 2014 Academic
Saturday 16 August 2014 Academic and General Training
Thursday 21 August 2014 Academic
Saturday 6 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 20 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 27 September 2014 Academic
Saturday 11 October 2014 Academic
Saturday 18 October 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 1 November 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 8 November 2014 Academic
Saturday 22 November 2014 Academic and General Training
Thursday 4 December 2014 Academic
Saturday 6 December 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 13 December 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 20 December 2014 Academic

The listening, reading and writing tests will be conducted at British Council Examination Hall Level 2 South Block in Wisma Selangor Dredging, Jalan Ampang and Parkroyal Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail. The speaking test will be conducted at British Council Examination Hall.

Petaling Jaya IELTS test dates and venue

Test dates Test modules
Saturday 16 August 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 September 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 20 September 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 11 October 2014  Academic
Saturday 18 October 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 1 November 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 22 November 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 December 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 13 December 2014  Academic and General Training

The listening, reading and writing tests will be conducted at Stamford College Jalan 222 Petaling Jaya. The speaking test will be conducted at British Council Examination Hall.

Malacca IELTS test dates and venue

Test dates Test modules
Saturday 20 September 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 December 2014  Academic and General Training

The listening, reading, writing and speaking tests will be conducted at International College of Yayasan Melaka (ICYM).

Johor Bahru IELTS test dates and venues

Sunway College test dates and modules
Test dates Test modules
Saturday 20 September 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 18 October 2014  Academic and General Training
Saturday 8 November 2014  Academic
Saturday 6 December 2014  Academic and General Training

Kuala Terengganu IELTS test dates and venue

Test dates Test dates
Saturday 6 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 December 2014 Academic and General Training
The listening, reading, writing and speaking tests will be conducted at UCSI University.

Penang IELTS test dates and venues

Test dates Test modules
Saturday 2 August 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 16 August 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 27 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 11 October 2014 Academic
Saturday 18 October 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 8 November 2014 Academic
Saturday 22 November 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 December 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 20 December 2014 Academic and General Training

The listening, reading and writing tests will be conducted at Cititel Hotel. The speaking test will be conducted at Cititel Hotel or British Council Penang centre.

The speaking test will be conducted at Sentral College Penang or British Council Penang centre.

Ipoh IELTS test dates and venue

Test dates Test modules
Saturday 26 July 2014 Academic 
Saturday 20 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 1 November 2014 Academic and General Training

The listening, reading, writing and speaking tests will be conducted at:
Asia Metropolitan International School ( AMETIS )

Kota Kinabalu IELTS test dates and venue

Test dates Test modules
Saturday 2 August 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 16 August 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 20 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 11 October 2014 Academic 
Saturday 18 October 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 8 November 2014 Academic 
Saturday 22 November 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 December 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 13 December 2014 Academic and General Training

The listening, reading, writing and speaking tests will be conducted at Palace Hotel.

Tawau IELTS test dates and venue

Test dates Test modules
Saturday 13 December 2014 Academic and General Training

The listening, reading and writing speaking tests will be conducted at Marco Polo Hotel.

Kuching IELTS test dates and venues

Test dates Test modules
Saturday 2 August 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 16 August 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 20 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 11 October 2014 Academic 
Saturday 18 October 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 1 November 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 22 November 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 December 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 13 December 2014 Academic and General Training

The listening, reading, writing and speaking tests will be conducted at Chung Hua Middle School No 1, Kuching.

Sibu IELTS test dates and venue

Test dates Test modules
Saturday 16 August 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 13 December 2014 Academic and General Training

The listening, reading, writing and speaking tests will be conducted at RH Hotel, Sibu.

Miri IELTS test dates and venue

Test dates Test modules
Saturday 6 September 2014 Academic and General Training
Saturday 6 December 2014 Academic and General Training

The listening, reading, writing and speaking tests will be conducted at Imperial Hotel, Miri.


► Read more on IELTS Malaysia Test Dates 2014

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

What is it like studying abroad in Cambridge University? Awesome first-year experience shared

Study Overseas or Local?

Share with us your amazing experiences and key learnings! Submit a guest post. Your guest post will be published here and be read by 25,000 real students like you! Get some inspiration and ideas:

Keputusan Permohonan Kemasukan Ke IPTA 2014/2015

Kemasukan BPKP JPT/UPU: Keputusan Permohonan Kemasukan Ke IPTA bagi Lepasan STPM/Setaraf Sesi Akademik 2014/2015 akan diumumkan pada 12 OGOS 2014 (Selasa). Semakan Online/SMS.

Scholarships

US & UK full scholarships for Malaysian students

One Year in Cambridge University

Posted by Celine Wan

This post is to recount the events that have happened to me during my first year in the UK, and maybe some musings, after reflecting my time in Cambridge.

Forgive the grammar because I did not put in much effort in proof reading and I have not been writing for a long time. 95% of my time in university is to do maths or some science-y thing. The other 5% is—drawing and writing things in simple English.

Matriculation as an official Cantabrigian
Matriculation as an official Cantabrigian

Michaelmas Term 2013

This is my very first term of formal education after two and a half years of leaving college. All in all I am surprised that I could fit in quite easily, maybe because I took a month off just to refresh my mind in Physics and Chemistry. Maths was something I didn’t really “abandoned” so there was no need for a major revision session.

The first term was obviously the adjustment period. Michaelmas was essentially the best and worst time in UK because everything was completely new from settling down to getting used to the weather and academic system. Best also because that's the time when you're pumped with excitement from the new environment and awed by the beauty of Cambridge. Even though it was a steep learning curve to settle down (I kept getting lost from cycling in Cambs because I HAVE A BAD SENSE OF DIRECTION), the privilege to be studying in one of the best universities in the world overrides them all. I was that happy girl with an unbroken spirit.

I think I was a little bit obsessed with the academic gown.
I think I was a little bit obsessed with the academic gown.

PS – The skinniest moment before right when I entered UK.

Winter Break 2013/2014

I had my first trip to a European country.  This was a one-week trip to Italy: Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome, and Vatican City. It was an unforgettable memory indeed, and so far, I find this my best trip ever in my first year in the UK. After all, the places I've visited there feel like a dream come true since the places are like the background scenes I see in movies. Winter break was also a very, very stressful time because I took my mocks exam very seriously. Christmas and New Year in London was amazing too. Words cannot describe the first time feeling of truly celebrating and enjoying oneself overseas.

A winter night in Florence/ Firenze.
A winter night in Florence/ Firenze.

Lent Term 2014

The first part of Lent was really cold because it's below 5 degrees on average, and can go down to negative 1 or 2 degrees. I don't like it because I need to cycle everywhere-- imagine waking up and seeing ice crystals on your bicycle seats! It was depressingly gloomy since sun sets at 4pm. Easter was harder because I had theatrical plays to juggle with and had a lot of humbling lessons to learn along the way.

The last part of spring felt very cheery because sun sets at a much later time and colourful flowers started popping up! The weather got a bit warmer and I cannot help but to smile when I walk outside. All in all I got much more used to the Cambridge system and know what to expect out of myself.

Easter Break 2014

I went to Portugal: Porto and Lisbon with my Singaporean friends. I revised the whole Michaelmas and Lent but at a much more relaxed pace than last winter. Sort of regret it to be honest. Spent most of my time in London and watched the Game of Thrones. Generally happier than Winter Break but the intensity of happiness last winter was much, much higher due to the novelty of living overseas during a festive season.

Easter Term 2014

Stressful times. This is my exam period time and definitely the MOST DEPRESSING AND STRESSFUL term. This is the time when I cursed my fate of being in Cambs. My exam started the last and also ended the last compared to everyone across universities and courses. Weather was much better though I started skipping lectures to revise. Imagine having to force-feed new information while having your finals exams like 10 days later? Now that I've survived Easter Term, something tells me that Michaelmas in my second year would be much smoother. Easter in general is the hardest term.
End of Easter is obviously the best. That's the time you box everything up, attend May Balls, and generally have nothing to be stressed about! By then the first thing I wanted to do was GET OUT OF CAMBRIDGE. By the time I finished exams, I had a temporary existential crisis while spending my first day of holidays watching two movies: Maleficent and X Men.

That feeling of freedom CANNOT be forgotten. It tasted too good.

Privileged to attend the St John's MayBall 2014: Lost Worlds. MayBalls in Cambs have been regarded as one of the top ten best parties in the world!
Privileged to attend the St John's MayBall 2014: Lost Worlds. MayBalls in Cambs have been regarded as one of the top ten best parties in the world!

Summer Break 2014

3 months and this is still the present. I'm in Malaysia now and I still haven't eaten everything I missed! Even the food I've eaten is only once? That's not enough! This is partly because I'm interning and I previously travelled to Prague before coming back. I only have a month to travel and totally relax before going back to UK in October! I notice that I've changed and the people around me too. How a year can change people and surroundings rather significantly. Ever since I started travelling around Europe, I plan to travel around Malaysia for a bit, starting this September.

Prague. I'm finally able to wear short sleeved clothes again. Notice the weight difference from first term.
Prague. I'm finally able to wear short sleeved clothes again. Notice the weight difference from first term.

My one year in the UK so far was a total eye opening adventure: bittersweet but delicious all the same. After having some time off reading my personal diary, I really shouldn't be complaining about how stressed I've chosen my life path to be: I do it because I can. I am really lucky and fortunate to be who I am right now and I thank God for that. I'm going to relax this summer and enjoy the journey that lies ahead as a second year Chemical Engineering student in Cambridge come this October!


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Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Key Benefits of Being Able to Speak English

The Key Benefits of Being Able to Speak English

Guest post written by Helen Wallis

Writer's note: The research for this piece was conducted alongside Tti English language school in London.

Even today, English is still considered to be the language of global business. It is thought that the number of people that speak English as a second language far exceeds those that call it their mother tongue. Those who are thinking of moving to England or an English speaking country like the United States will need to learn how to speak English in order to make communicating with others easy. Whilst many people can speak a little English, not everyone is able to read or write in English. Being able to do all three can improve an individual’s employment prospects and give them an advantage over those who can only speak one language. In this article we will provide the key benefits of being able to write, read and speak the English language.

Individuals that can speak English as a second language will have the opportunity to broaden their career prospects.
Individuals that can speak English as a second language will have the opportunity to broaden their career prospects. / PicCredit

Professional / employment opportunities

Learning to speak English can dramatically broaden an individual’s employment opportunities. This is due to the fact that the English language is commonly used in business. It is sort of seen as mutual ground as many people speak it as their second language.

Even if a person does not intend on moving to England or an English speaking country, learning to speak English can make them more of an asset to the company they currently work for. If they are one of the only people at their company that can communicate in English, then they will have great value to their employer as they will be able to communicate with English speaking business contacts and customers on behalf of their company. This may help them to zoom up the career ladder and earn more money.

It can also give individuals a unique competitive edge when it comes to applying for new job roles. If a candidate has exactly the same qualifications and experience as another candidate, but they also happened to speak English, it is very likely that the employer would choose to hire the candidate that could speak English. This is due to the fact that it adds value to the person as a candidate and means that the business would be able to use them to conduct international business meetings and deal with English-speaking customer queries.

Being able to speak English can also improve the career prospects for individuals wanting to work in travel or even translation. There is a lot of money to be made in both sectors. Those wanting to work for a Government agency like law enforcement or healthcare in the UK or the US will also need to be able to speak English as they will be dealing with members of the general public. It does not matter how skilled they are, if they cannot speak English, they will struggle to gain employment in these sectors.

Being able to read English will greatly help when it comes to shopping in England and America.
Being able to read English will greatly help when it comes to shopping in England and America. / PicCredit

Visiting English speaking countries

Those intending on visiting England or an English speaking country for a holiday or for work, will greatly benefit from learning how to read, write and speak English. It is a known fact that those from English speaking countries are far less likely to be able to speak a second language. This could be down to the fact that schools in England are not as dedicated to teaching foreign languages as countries based elsewhere in Europe are at teaching English, however the point is that individuals will need to be able to speak English in order to make communication easy.

Speaking English will enable individuals to communicate with locals, which can make their experience, whether for leisure or business a whole lot better. They will be able to learn all about the culture and history of the place they are staying and will have an all-round better experience.

Even if someone is planning on visiting a European country other than England, they will find it beneficial if they can speak English. As we mentioned before, many European countries teach English as a second language, so even if a person cannot speak German, French, Italian or Spanish (for example) they may be able to communicate with them in their second tongue.

Educational opportunities

It is a known fact that England and America are home to some of the best universities in the world. People travel from all over the globe in order to study as international students at top English universities. Those who want to stand a chance at studying at an English or American university as an international student will need to make sure that they can read, write and speak English. Not only will it aid them in their studies, but it will also help them to make friends and socialise with others, which is all part of a normal college or university experience.

Since the 6th April 2012, all international students wanting to study at degree level in the UK must be able to speak English at an ‘upper intermediate’ level. Information can be obtained from the UK Border Agency about the various different English language tests international students need to take and the grades they need to achieve.

International students can only study in the UK and America if they can speak English.
International students can only study in the UK and America if they can speak English. / PicCredit

Information, research and media

English is the main language used in everything from books and newspapers to academic journals, advertisements and even pop music. It is also true that the majority of internet content is delivered in English. Whilst individuals have access to translation technology today, sometimes this technology loses the meaning of a text or provides inaccurate answers. It is much more beneficial to be able to read and write in English, particularly if a person is studying a research article or academic text.

Many books and academic texts are published in English.
Many books and academic texts are published in English. / PicCredit

How to learn English

There is no such thing as being too old to learn a new language. Not only can it benefit individuals in terms of education, employment and socialising, but it will also enable them to feel a real sense of achievement.

English schools

Individuals no longer have to be of school age in order to attend English classes. Today there are many schools which specialise in teaching English as a second language. These schools are based in England and offer comprehensive programmes aimed at international students. Examples of some of the classes students can take include: general English, conversation, pronunciation and business English.

Whilst learning in traditional classrooms, students can benefit from being able to practice their language skills in English shops, restaurants and bars. Some English language schools also help international students obtain work experience placements, which will enable them to get a better idea of what it is like to work in England and also gives them the opportunity to test out the language skills they have learnt in class. Individuals considering joining an English language school should look for one that is accredited by the relevant industry bodies.

Online courses

Alternatively students can learn to read, write and speak English using online programmes. Obviously these do not have the same benefits of learning English at an English language school, but they do allow students to pick up the basics from the comfort of their own homes.

Helen Wallis, based in leafy Hertfordshire, UK, is a keen blogger/writer for years and regular reader of Malaysia Students blog. Send us your writing to be featured here and get read by 25000+ students in Malaysia.


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Friday, July 25, 2014

UK & US Full Scholarships for Malaysian Students

Overseas Scholarships

Posted by Celine Wan

Hello all,

It has been a long time since I last posted about education or anything serious, mainly because I was in university. Now that it is summer break, let me just update you all with stuff pertaining to education.

This post will be about overseas scholarships to fund your studies to the UK or US. Based on my observation, most corporate scholarships provide funding to UK and/or US because most “top 10 universities” tend to be from these countries. Please note the emphasis on “most, not all.”

Anyway the purpose of this post is because I noticed that it’s quite difficult to find all available scholarships that fully fund students abroad for their undergraduate studies. Weird, because even though there are many main websites that give you these, they are in a website that gives about hundreds of other different kinds of academic funding: some may just be partial scholarships; some are actually locals; some are to countries or courses you are not familiar with; some have already passed their deadlines or haven’t opened; and some may no longer exist such as Axiata. I don’t blame these service websites because it is only politically correct to list all available scholarships in Malaysia. In any case, if you intend to find the conventional “full scholarship to top university with Asian-approved course scholarship,” you’re in luck because I just shortlisted some of the most popular scholarships for you to apply to!
UK & US Full Scholarships for Malaysian Students
UK & US Full Scholarships for Malaysian Students / PicCredit

Below is my own version when it comes to full scholarship compilations based on popular scholarships that students tend to choose (disclaimer: popular country and popular course doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you). I have included the most updated scholarships available to my own knowledge, so there may be a few more scholarships that fully fund students abroad. Below are the scholarships that I actually see Malaysian students in the UK (namely London) actually hold— from year one till graduation—so it’s a very credible indicator that students actually go abroad fully funded by them. I excluded university-specific sponsorships and partial bursaries because students who really need financial assistance tend to look out for the services provided by the scholarship bodies as compiled by me.

Name of Scholarship
Website
Bond
Deadline (Based on 2014)
Course
Other Details
Khazanah Scholarship
Yes
March
Almost any course
Various Courses accepted
Shell Overseas Scholarship
No
February
Engineering (not limited)
Various Courses accepted
Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) Scholarship
Yes
July
Any Course
Application period for 7 days
Petronas Education Sponsorship Programme
Yes
June
Engineering (not limited)
Various Courses accepted
Bank Negara Malaysia Sponsorship Programme
Yes
March
Economics or Law
Application period for 7 days
Maybank Foundation Scholarship Award
Yes
March
Social Sciences & Technology
Various Courses accepted
Sime Darby Foundation Education Scholarship Programme
Yes
NA
Almost any Course
Usually Pre U sponsored first
Education Sponsorship Programme (ESP)
Yes
July
Social Sciences & Technology
Various Courses accepted
Maxis Undergraduate Scholarship
Yes
May
Social Sciences & Technology
For Maxis customers
Astro Scholarship Award
Yes
April
Not specified
For Astro customers
UEM Scholarship
Yes
April
Economics or Engineering
Application from Pre U only
Tenaga National Berhad Scholarship
Yes
March
Engineering
Civil, Mechanical, Electrical only
Securities Commission
Yes
April
Economics or Law
Various Courses accepted
Bank Pembagunan Scholarship
Yes
July
Social Sciences & Technology
Various Courses accepted
MyBrainSc Scholarship
Yes
January
Science or Maths
Degree, Masters, or PhD
Jeffrey Cheah Foundation-Sunway Group Scholarship
Yes
NA
Social Sciences & Technology
Various Courses accepted
Gamuda Scholarship Award
Yes
April
Engineering
Civil, Mechanical, Electrical only
MARA Scholarship
No
March
Any Course
Bumiputera only
Note: There are many, many more scholarships available for Malaysian students who want to study abroad but I have filtered them according to the criteria that students tend to auto-shortlist when it comes to studying in the UK, the most popular scholars’ destination. Note that the lucrative offers given in these scholarships mean they are on the more competitive side as well.

Criteria of my filter: UK or US (most common countries to be sponsored); courses varies based on company’s need but they tend to be the conventional “Asian-approved” courses if you get what I mean (e.g Maths, Science, Econs, Law, Finance, Engineering, Medicine).

Lastly, it is worth to note the flexibility of these scholarship providers. There are many, many cases where these scholarship bodies fund students outside of the intended course they prefer to sponsor. For example there are a few students sponsored by BNM to study engineering, including me. Country of sponsorship is also something you can possibly alter. I am in no position to talk about other popular study destinations such as Australia, Canada, or Singapore because this is my own experience when dwelling in the scholarship-mania.


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