154,389 students that have passed Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2006 examination are eligible to further their studies at form six level (tingkatan enam). Certainly, the actual number of students that are enrolling into lower six this year will be far less than 154,389 since some of them have chosen to take A-levels or foundation programmes at private colleges, some have been selected to undergo Malaysian Matriculation Programme (Program Matrikulasi Malaysia), some have won Public Service Department (PSD or Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam, JPA) scholarships, Petronas scholarships or other scholarships while some have decided to start working.
SPM 2006 exam takers can visit Ministry of Education Malaysia website from the 10th of May onwards to check the form six 2007 offer details like secondary school name, stream offered and enrolment date. While I could not find the official enrolment date for form six 2007, I guess it will be on the 14th of May (Monday) as last year the date was May 15, 2006 (Monday). Update: The official enrolment date for form six 2007 is May 15, 2007 (Monday). Those who have applied diploma courses at local public universities should enrol into form six while waiting for the application result to be announced some time in June this year. Update: The application result of diploma courses at local public universities have been available in May 2007.
A common dilemma that most of them (would-be sixth formers) will face is the choice of subjects that they are going to take. Stream is not much a problem since SPM art stream students will automatically be streamed into form six art stream while SPM science stream students will be offered either science or art stream based on their SPM results. Usually at the beginning of lower sixth form, there will be a few science stream students applying to change into art stream due to reasons like they have clearer pictures of their future jobs which are related to arts (humanities) or decided that they prefer arts over science. The change from science to arts is possible only if the students have strong reasons to do so. It is very uncommon that a SPM art stream student changing into science stream since he or she did not take Biology, Chemistry and Physics during form four and five.
Since Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) is an open-list examination, sixth formers can choose the combination of minimum four subjects or maximum five subjects including General Studies (Pengajian Am). The schools will offer packages of subjects for students to choose from. Common packages of subjects for science stream that are offered at most schools are General Studies, Mathematics T, Chemistry and Biology or Physics. Meanwhile art stream packages of subjects include Malay language (Bahasa Melayu), History (Sejarah) or Geography (Geografi), Business Studies (Pengajian Perniagaan) or Economics (Ekonomi). There are a few schools offering Further Mathematics T as the fifth subject for science stream and Accountancy (Perakaunan) for art stream.
Similar to SPM, if the subjects that you take are not offered at your school, you have to learn them by yourselves and perhaps attending tuition classes on those subjects. You should always consult your school counsellor or form six teachers (Guru Penyelaras Tingkatan Enam) before you decide to take additional subject or drop the subject offered. It is possible that you replace Malay language with Chinese language (Bahasa Cina) for example, if you are going to take arts. If you take five subjects, only the best four subjects are used in calculating the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) whereas if you take four subjects, all four subjects are used to determine your STPM CGPA.
For science stream, which one is more suitable for you, Physics or Biology? If you plan to do pharmacy, dentistry or any other medical courses during your tertiary education, you should choose Biology. Choose Physics if you have strong interest in civil engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, mechanical engineering etc. If you do not know which of them suit you well, then you might want to take some aptitude, personality or career tests. I am sure that these tests are available at your school counselling room. Schedule a meeting with your experienced school counsellors and take those tests together with your friends to learn more about yourselves.
Being a science stream Physics student, I find that Physics is extremely tough. Unlike SPM, list of formulae will not be provided during the actual examination. In other words, we have to memorize hundreds of formulae! Did I mention that there are a lot of laws, principles and equations in Physics? Biology is also tough as students have to memorize a lot of facts. For Chemistry, students have to digest three thick books – Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry. I would like to mention that the Chemistry, Physics and Biology practicals that you are going to carry out are very different compared to SPM PEKA. You are going to carry out the whole experiments yourselves with a little guidance from your teachers. I am quite sure that arts students are having their hard time like science students in their studies too! This is not joke; it is reality – welcome to form six – a huge leap from SPM.
Be mentally and physically prepared, armed yourselves with your powerful “weapons” like intelligence, dedication and consistency then you will succeed!
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