Monday, January 29, 2007

Aloha!

Posted by Melanie

Hey People!

I just recently sign up as a contributor in Malaysian Students. My name's Melanie. My real name on my IC :)

Ok, i shall start with a short introductory of myself. I'm born in Kuching and currently still staying in Kuching. And NO, i don't live on trees.Kuching is a city, and it's modern, equipt with five stars hotel. the only thing we do not have here is the gigantic hypermarkets.other than that , we have what the west have too. I have a passion for cooking , and this is my food blog.

I have just completed my form 6, and currently doing a small business as my passtime. I am the youngest in the family , hailed from a four member family. I speak English most of the time , but i do not have a good written english. So, forgive me , if there's grammatical mistakes here. Honestly having a good spoken english is not something i am proud of. It took me a hard time when i switched to arts side in form 6 to get along with those chinese spoken. I got no friends for almost a month because most of my friends are in science side. so , imagine going to school with no friends. i dare not think about it again, it was a nightmare.

Frankly , i didn't know this blog existed. I stumbled upon this blog by accident when i was searching for some local universities. My first impression , I was mesmerized. This is a good blog, and it helps those students in dillema. It is also a good place for us to discuss about new education system being implemented and those who are not sure about it , can get their answer here.

I am still waiting for my STPM result now , so , if you ask me what i can share with you all? well, i'll say i can share with you guys my experience through our Malaysia's public exam (PMR, SPM ,STPM). I know a lot of people think going to form 6 is a waste of time , but trust me guys, when you are in form 6, you will say that is the best time in your secondary years. I can also share with you guys my knowledge about MUET. not only that, i do have an adequate knowledge about our Malaysian Education system.

So , guys, feel free to ask me any questions and i will try my best to answer! and no doubt , i will be commited to this blog!

Cheerios!


► Read more on Aloha!

Monday, January 22, 2007

STPM FAQ II

Posted by BooNBoX

Hi everyone!! Nice to meet you all again so soon!! And dudes!! Let's welcome the latest contributor to this blog, Carrie!! She has a kinda 'different' path taken for her secondary studies compared to most of us. So better ask her if you felt like want to "break out" ... lol... ok.. so let's continue with my main points.

In "STPM - 18 months of sweet and sour ..." (STPM FAQ Part I) and "Letter of Confusion", I've described some of the typical stuff in STPM and below are some add-ons in FAQ style to describe more...

Below is the reply from Shakecrow and the wordings in BLUE COLOR is my answer.

Thank you very much to Boon Ming for all the informations he has given out. I don't really know which is your e-mail address (you seem to have a few...). boonming tinkosong com . Anyway, I still have questions to ask about. Here are my questions:

Q1: How long do I need to wait in order to switch streams?

This really depends on the school you are going to be admitted. Different schools have their own system. Basically most of the school need to check the vacancy of the classes before offering any new students into the stream but anyway if you are really determined you can always approach the KETUA PANITIA TINGKATAN ENAM to ask for advice and persuade her/him since you are so determined to so such stream. You should be able to enter the class within the first two weeks or earlier. (different case if you switch school)

Q2: Must I wait until everyone begin their studies, only then I'm allowed to switch streams?
This question related to the above question.

Q3: Am I allowed to take up to 5 subjects for STPM? (but I would try not take up that much since I'm just average, not that brilliant like many people out there...)
Yea. You are allowed of course. You're 17/18 years old teenager and should be to make up decision like that. But bear in mind STPM is not SPM, it's not a A scoring scheme. Your final CGPA will based on ONLY 4 BEST SUBJECTS, hence take more doesn't mean better. However if you are really interested and determined to do it, GO FOR IT !! Ask your school for advice, if the school prohibited you from taking 5 subjects you can always explain your reason and show proof that you are going to study on your own for the 5th subject (such as tuition classes etc)

Q4: I would like to study Accountancy for STPM but my school doesn't provide and teach the subject. What are my choices/options to overcome this problem?
Taking tuition class will be the ideal way to solve this problem. Easy.

Q5: I would like to enter a degree course in Accounting and Finance. Do I need to study the Accounting subject in STPM in order to qualify me a place in an university degree course?
Depends. For IPTA I would say more or less yes. Please refer to the IPTA Admission guide to see what subjects needed for the course you would like to enroll. You can ask your school counsellor to provide you such guide. I believe there's a copy in every school that offer Form 6. However, Maths foundation will be very important in such case.

Q6: Will I face any problems if I wanted to study Accountancy during Form Six since I'm in the science stream during Form Four and Five and have not taken the Accountancy subject during that period?
Haha.. tough question. There are a lot of succeeded and failure cases. Whatever it is, you will work hard and dp your best is it? So why give up just because something like that? It is unknown! You cannot say you are going to fail because you are a science student before. Like what I've said in my previous post, it's even harder for you to change when you are admitted in university... So think about it...

Q7: Will I face any problems during Form Six in subject like Maths since it's been taught in English? (while I've been studying Maths in Malay since many years ago)
Unless all along these years (from standard 1 to form 5) you never pass your English paper, or else you won't face any trouble at all! Maths will not be testing your language... =.=" English in English will be a trouble but English in Maths is nothing.

Q8: Will I face any problems in my university studies since courses in universities are being taught in English while STPM subjects like Accountancy, Business Studies, and Economics are being taught in Malay?
Believe me. Everyone faces the same problem. You will know after Form 6 and need not to know about this so early...

Sorry for asking you so many questions... Hope you can give me answers to all my questions. These are all I would like to know for now. Thank you to Boon Ming once again and Tiara for giving your opinion...


► Read more on STPM FAQ II

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Contributor 05 KC: Greetings MS-ians!!

Posted by KC

Hello MS readers!

I am your latest addition as a contributor to your site, nice to meet all!



I can’t stop rambling about archis despite what it has done to me- it’s a love hate relationship! In MS site, I am very much inclined in opening up the discussion concerning arts and design education in Malaysia or any other student related issues, since we are all learning together right.

Our webmaster- Chong has mentioned that he will “forward the comments posted on my posts”, so whatever queries you have, just bring it on to my email!

Have a nice day & more post on MS coming soon!

Wishes,
KC


► Read more on Contributor 05 KC: Greetings MS-ians!!

Letter of Confusion

Posted by BooNBoX

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... :-)

From Skarekrow,
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...

Hi Skarekrow,

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.

Regards,
Boon Ming


► Read more on Letter of Confusion

Sunday, January 14, 2007

STPM - 18 months of sweet and sour ...

Posted by BooNBoX

Hi everyone. It's been some time since my last post and now I will give you some info about my personal experience on STPM (after being reminded gently by our blog master.. lol) So you think STPM is hard ?? ...

You're probably correct. It is hard of course. So do A-levels, SAT and other exam in the world. No exam in this world is particularly easy, unless the future for the exam is not that good, you know what I mean. If you work harder, I can assure you to get good results. It is not impossible to score.

Below are some FAQ I might get from you all and you're welcome to ask more question about STPM, A-levels, SAT and some other pre-U exams. I will attend to you as soon as I notice your question!

1. Why did you choose to study Form 6 instead of A Level, Australian Matriculation etc?
Wasting time is the main reason people feel about going to Form 6. Yes I do agree if you are rich and can't wait to spend it on your overseas tertiary programme. And yes again I would say because Form 6 really is for hardworking people (with this sentence, I do not say and mean that I am one of those people...) I choose this path because the option to stay in local university (IPTA) and it is the only way to get into IPTA other than local matriculation. IPTA is real cheap (in either meaning). Futhermore STPM is globally recognised. So with good results you can further your studies in overseas and with excellent results you may even get scholarships!! A-level is another good option but the disadvantage is that you don't have the IPTA as your fall-back. SAM is easy (what I heard from ALL PEOPLE that had taken this exam and it's not my opinion). But SAM is recognised only for most Australian University and few university worldwide.

The scholarships you may apply after STPM. JPA if you managed to get into IPTA, PTPTN as financial assistance, KUOK Foundation for IPTA and Singapore Public University, GIC, GE, Singapore Scholarships, ASEAN, and lots and lots of scholarships that is impossible to mention all of them here. You may need to do some research during your long break before the release of the results. There's magazine titled "Scholarships Guide" or something which will be published near the results releasing days and costs you around RM8-10. It's a nice magazine to hook on. Grab a copy if you see it!


2. What were your 2005 STPM results?
Is it really important to know that? Well, honestly the results for every year is different and depends on various factors such as the difficulty of the papers, the number of candidates, the quality of the candidates and so on... A lot of factors going on and influence the quality of every major exams in the world. Anyway I will tell you my results and so you roughly know how important the weightage and the importance of each paper). I scored A for my Pengajian Am (P1=A, P2=A-), A for my Maths T (P1=A, P2=B+), A for my Biology (P1=A-, P2=A, P3=A) and B+ for my Chemistry (P1=A-, P2=B+, P3=A). My CGPA is 3.83. So you may have some confusion over the results. Let me analyse for you.

For my Pengajian Am paper 1, I am very confident and scored most of the questions hence scored an A while my paper 2 i scored only A-. However, the 100% of the paper 2 will be scaled down to 62.5% hence the 'damage' done by the paper 2 has gone down while my paper 1 has helped me to gain an A in this paper. For my Maths T it seemed unbelievable isn't it? 50% for paper 1 and 50% for paper 2. Then A + B+ should be = A-, right? But what if I tell you that I am super confident that I can get 100% for my paper 1? Hence when both marks added together my paper 1 has helped me very much in pushing the marks up. So my advice, have a very very very strong Volume 1 Maths skill and make sure you can solve all of them!! Well for Biology and Chemistry, very obvious your paper 2 is the key to everything!!!


3. What suggestions would you like to give to the new Form 6 students on how to prepare for STPM since Lower Six?
Honestly one and a half year for everything in STPM isn't enough, but if you manage to distribute your time well, it shouldn't be a big problem. To me, the hardest subject is Chemistry. I face some problem even I was in Form 4. To me Chemistry is fun but I was in trouble when I tried to imagine the concept. Here's the key : You grab the concept for Chemistry and you will score. For physical chemistry it is more testing on your understanding and hence the concepts are very important, it is very different that Organic/Inorganic Chemistry where more memorizing is required. Biology is a subject where you will need to read a lot and your skill to pour everything out on the answer papers during the exam. For Maths T, true understanding and application will be required since sometimes the questions can be very challenging and cannot be solved without the application and derivation of some basic concepts.

4. Did you suffer from the sudden change from Malay to English in Science and Mathematics subjects?
There's not much difference though I think studying in Malay is easier for me. Haha, but I enjoyed the whole session in English and it is very useful especially when you go overseas to study in English. There's nothing much to deal with and obviously you will need to beef up your language to avoid childish and unwanted mistakes. Pick up a newspaper and starting reading!!

5. Did you attend tuition classes? Are they a MUST?
I won't say there are a must-have preparation for STPM. I did not attend tuition much except for the beginning of Lower Six. Then I stopped and tried to study on my own. Near the exam, I attended some seminars and workshop to get more preparations. Tuition isn't a must honestly.

6. How about Malaysian University English Test (MUET)?
I scored band 5 and very few people will get Band 6. (3 people for my year in my school) Language is not something you read and score. It is a language. Constant reading and accurate usage of the language is required. Hence I suggest you all to start speaking in English and watch English movie/TV series from now. At least that's my way...

7. Do you agree that STPM is the toughest examination in the world?
Cramming everything in 1 and a half year and pouring it out in just merely 3 or 4 hours. I would say it is hard because of the candidates. Since the results are binomially-graphed and hence it would add up the challenge and make it more difficult to score if everyone is doign good on a certain paper. I won't say it's the toughest exam in the world since I do not have any experience in other exam paper. SAT is famous for its speed and accuracy test, the questions maybe easy but under limited time, it tests greatly on your accuarcy and your handling when under pressure. Every exam has its unique way to test the candidates. STPM is, undoubtly, one of those tough exams in the world.

8. Could you name a few useful resources to STPM students?
Longman, Pelangi, Fajar Bakti (Oxford), and some other are quite famous but you better checked with your teachers for the most upto dates and relevant references. I would suggest you to visit some forums (such as http://chinese.cari.com.my/myforum/) as there the students will exchange their trial exam papers. It is a good resource and good discussion board.

9. Are co-curricular activities important?
Co-curicular activity is extremely important. I won't say much on this. Just think like this. Everyone can score straight A or getting a first class degree from university, so what element distinguish these excellent candidates in a job interview??? Your leadership, your participation, your passion... and all these will be reflected in your extra curicular activities. So while working your brain out for the exams, do join some activities to add some values in your school certificates.

More questions and answers available on STPM FAQ Part II.


► Read more on STPM - 18 months of sweet and sour ...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bank Cash Awards - Getting Paid for Studying Hard

Posted by Chong

Did the title catch your attention? Do you need a new motivation to study hard? Believe it or not, I did get paid for studying hard! Now I am going to tell you how to do so in this post with the hope that the cash awards offered by a few banks would motivate you to study harder and get better results.

Some of you might have known that there are a few banks in Malaysia depositing money to the account holders who score well in major examinations, namely Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). These banks give “free money” in order to attract new teenage customers. You lose nothing other than a few hours and RM10.00 for opening a new account in these banks. Please bear in mind that the minimum initial deposit for new accounts for most of the banks is RM250.00. Meanwhile, you will receive free money in terms of a few hundred ringgits if you score well in the major examinations.

I did not realize the existence of such opportunities and have missed them for my excellent UPSR and PMR exam results. Otherwise, I will have a few more hundred ringgits in my bank accounts now. I still sigh for this big loss today. :( Few hundred ringgits are something very big to me due to my family’s poor financial background. Laments aside, let us move on.

Basically you need to open a correct type of bank account and be the account holder for more than a year at the official date of the announcement of the exam result to be eligible for the “free money” offer. In addition, you must maintain a minimum amount of money in your bank account throughout the year. For instance, to be eligible for Maybank cash award, I must maintain at least RM500.00 in my Yippie Club Savings account which has been opened for at least a year. In other words, to qualify for these cash awards with your SPM or STPM 2007 examination results, you should have opened the correct type of bank accounts before March this year since the exam results are often announced in March every year.

How to be Eligible for Cash Award?
Bank Acct. Type Min. Deposit (RM) Exam Result Comment
EON Bank Berhad Smart Junior 250.00 Straight As (9A1s or above for SPM) Cash award is eligible once only. If you have won the award for your PMR, you will not be eligible for SPM cash award. SPM - RM400.
Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) Yippie Club Savings
500.00 Straight As The account holders for Kelab Yippie account must be your parent and you. SPM - RM300.
Hong Leong Bank Berhad Junior Savings 250.00 Straight As Update: Cash award is no longer offered. SPM - RM300.

Some banks that I have confirmed for not offering such cash incentives are Public Bank Berhad, CIMB (formerly Bumiputra-Commerce Bank Berhad) and Bank Simpanan Nasional. Please check with the person at the customer service counter before opening a new account. If you find other bank offering such cash incentives but not listed in this post, please share it with us by leaving a comment on this post. Help us help others; this is how Malaysia Students blog works.

Besides the cash incentives by the local banks, I believe your school and state government will pay you for scoring well in the major examinations. Moreover, you might be rewarded by your parents and relatives if you pass these examinations with flying colours. Furthermore, more award and scholarship opportunities such as KUOK Foundation Undergraduate Awards and JPA scholarships will open up to you when your exam results are good. So, start preparing yourselves for the examinations today!


► Read more on Bank Cash Awards - Getting Paid for Studying Hard

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Australian University World Ranking

Posted by TyplotioN

This is an extract from The Times Higher Education Supplement showing Australian's University ranking in the world.

19 University of Melbourne
23 Australian National University
34 Monash University
38 University of Sydney
40 University of New South Wales
40 University of Queensland
67 Macquarie University
80 University of Adelaide
80 University of Western Australia
82 RMIT
87 University of Technology, Sydney
98 La Trobe University
101 Curtin University of Technology


► Read more on Australian University World Ranking

Monday, January 01, 2007

School Calendar 2007

Posted by Chong

Happy New Year! New Year signifies new hopes and new challenges. Have you planned your personal timetable for this year? Have you set your own goals to be achieved this year? If not, you are encouraged to do so.

SPM and STPM 2007 candidates should plan your revision timetable carefully. Lots of chapters to be covered in our schools this year and hence I believe our school teachers would not teach those past topics again. We have to revise all topics ourselves and be prepared for the major examinations!

Usually, students are busily finding tuition classes at the beginning of every year. However, I would strongly advise you to examine your own strength and weakness before deciding whether to enrol in tuition classes for certain subjects. I do not quite agree with the point of view that tuition is necessary; instead I think it acts as the supplement to the school classes. Just for your information, there are top students that do not go for any tuition classes. One of the SPM 2005 top scorers, Chin Shiang Jin (15 A1) from Sekolah Menengah Kian Kok, Kota Kinabalu is a good example.

The school calendar 2007 below is applicable to schools in Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Sabah, Sarawak and Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya. Meanwhile, schools in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu follow a slightly different school calendar – a day earlier for both the ‘start’ and ‘end’ in the calendar below. It is due to the fact that Fridays and Saturdays are weekends for these three states.

School Calendar 2007
School Days/Holidays Start End No. of Weeks No. of Days
First Semester
School Days 03 JAN 09 MAC 10 48
Midsemester Break 10 MAC 18 MAC
9
School Days 19 MAC 25 MAY 10 50
Midyear Break 26 MAY 10 JUN
16
Second Semester
School Days 11 JUN 17 AUG 10 50
Midsemester Break 18 AUG 26 AUG
9
School Days 27 AUG 16 NOV 12 60
Year-end Holidays 17 NOV 02 JAN
47
Total 42 289

Total school days including public holidays: 208 days
Total school holidays: 81 days

Source: Ministry of Education, Malaysia

Public Holidays in Malaysia for 2007
01 Jan (Mon) - New Year's Day
20 Jan (Sat) - Awal Muharram (Maal Hijrah)
01 Feb (Thu) - Federal Territory Day (W.P. Kuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya only)
01 Feb (Thu) - Thaipusam (Johor, N.Sembilan, Perak, Pulau Pinang & Selangor only)
18 & 19 Feb (Sun & Mon) - Chinese New Year (except Kelantan & Terengganu)
31 Mar (Sat) - Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
01 May (Tue) - Labour Day
01 May (Tue) - Wesak Day
02 Jun (Sat) - Birthday of SPB Yang di-Pertuan Agong
31 Aug (Fri) - National Day
13 & 14 Oct (Sat & Sun) - Hari Raya Puasa*
08 Nov (Thu) - Deepavali* (except Sarawak & Federal Territory of Labuan)
20 Dec (Thu) - Hari Raya Qurban*
25 Dec (Tue) - Christmas Day

* Subject to alteration.
Where a holiday falls on a weekly rest day (Fridays or Sundays as the case may be), the following day will be substituted as a Public Holiday; and if such following day is also a Public Holiday, then the next day following it shall be a Public Holiday.

Updated on January 7, 2007 to include the Public Holidays.


► Read more on School Calendar 2007

Recent Posts @ Malaysia Students Blog

Join over 21,000 people who get latest scholarship updates via email!

Free Scholarship Updates:   

Malaysia Scholarship Information Centre

More scholarships available at Malaysia Scholarship Information Centre

Education Malaysia for Students

Student Part Time Jobs

Do Not Miss Any Job Offers! Get Student Part Time Jobs via Email!