Skarekrow has left an email to me while I was 'idioting' around with me Physics tutorials, I tried to replied but couldn't reach to his mailbox. So why don't I post it out so that all of you can benefit from it and at the same time I can hope that he can read my reply... :-)
I've just completed my SPM in 2006. While waiting for the results which will be out this March 2007, I've been wondering whether I should opt for a college foundation programme or maybe A Level. Or maybe I should go to Form Six. And if I really go to Form Six, should I switch to Arts stream (since I'm in Science stream during Form Four and Five) because many people have told me that Science stream in Form Six is not easy... I would like to switch stream but will it consume a lot of time and will it affect my studies especially the beginning of Lower Six when the most important thing I have grasp is the basics? Thank you very much... =)
So below are my long-winded reply... hehe...
Ok first. Many people (here I mean HELL LOTS of people do have the same situation and perhaps same thought like you now) thinks like you when they want to transfer from SPM to a higher level. Which pre-U course shall I take? Which stream shall I opt for? Which is easier? Is it hard to shift my stream now? Lots and tones of questions… All these milestone questions need extra attention and of course it will make people worry. No worry, life’s like that…
So I will first advise… or just give some opinion on what shall we go after SPM. Basically there are too many choices that we can go after SPM. Especially when Malaysia is open to foreign education system and lots of private sectors have invested into education area. STPM is the most conventional and it is offered by the government (the other is MATRIKULASI which only 10% of seats are open to non-native), while private institutions offer large variety of courses include: A-LEVEL, AMERICAN TRANSFER DEGREE, SAM, UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION, etc… Ok, here comes the main question, which one is easier? Honestly there’s no easy route. It only depends on your financial status and the suitability of the course to your interest and of course the next route you want to take. Why? I would suggest STPM for those average and below average income family since when you graduate from STPM, you will still have many choices including IPTA as your fallback. And if you are excellent, you may get a scholarship to further your studies overseas. Do explore more of these options during your studies. For other pre-U course, I can’t provide much opinion since I didn’t go through the process myself but I can tell that if your financial status is limited, stay in STPM. It maybe hard but it is worth it if you study well and score it.
For other courses, you will need to prepare to fall into traps. I won’t say those private institutions are bad, but since it is one of the commercialize tools to earn money for the share holders. Its quality may not be as good as those prestigious public institutions. (I didn’t mention IPTA here) Those paths are expensive but of course there are opportunities where you can get scholarships to further your studies. So I would say each way has their pros and cons. But be reminded that you shall check and make sure that the course you are taking matched with your future interest. I won’t suggest SAM if you are not going to AUS or private institutions and not FOUNDATION programs if you are not prepared to set your future into certain disciplines or certain institutions since foundations are meant for those who are kinda sure want to further their studies in the mentioned institutions which recognized the foundations. (which is limited) So be careful with your choices!! Some asked me whether they can further their studies in Singapore Public University with their SAM results. I heard from the professor, you ought to be very excellent or else it is very slight chance you can get through… … So bear in mind.
Then, let’s talk about changing stream. For me, I was studying Biology in Form 6. Now I’m studying Materials Science and Engineering. The shifting from Biology to Physics really needs a lot of hard work!! (I was doing Physics tutorials before I type this out!) It was quite hard. So I would suggest that you better change to something you are interested in during your pre-U studies or else it would be harder for you to change later in tertiary institutions. The life in university is hectic and the pace is very fast. What you have studied in Form 6 needed to be covered in 1 year and sometimes half year. So it requires more energy and attention than your pre-U level. But don’t be afraid, everything is going to be fine when you come into university. So why not now change to something you are really interested in and you would be happy to work with it for the rest of your life!! It requires energy for your pre-U but it won’t be more than that if you shift in university. Sometimes it depends on individual pace, some can suit to the change fast, some not. So if you still haven’t got anything in mind, choose something you ‘might’ like and try to stick on it.
I would suggest you to view art stream subjects’ materials. Check it out in libraries/bookstores to see whether you really like it or not. Sometimes what you hear from others may distract you from your own perspective. So do check the career prospects, future vision and blah blah to see whether you are made for that discipline. Better regret now than after! Remember one thing, your results in lower and upper six won’t be reflected in your C.V. The thing that matters is your academic transcript from your university. So you ought to do better in university than your secondary school!!!
Well seemed like I crap a lot and I could write a book if I continue crapping. So do email me if you have any doubts and I would be highly delighted to help you in the progress. Nice to meet you by the way. More details about me you can find it on either Malaysia Students or Tinkosong.com . So do email me if you have any problem. Hope that helps.
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