Monday, April 30, 2007

Lower Sixth Form Dilemma – Choosing Stream and Subjects

Posted by Chong

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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Saturday, April 14, 2007

SAT De-solved

Posted by BooNBoX

Quite a number of students took SAT to further their opportunity of studying overseas in USA. Have no idea of what SAT is? Type "SAT" in Yahoo! or Google or any other search engine and it will return more than 30 millions results for you. Still no idea of what is it about? Well, to simplify the whole thing - it is like any other pre-U tests in the world including A-level, STPM, AUSMAT, etc. However, SAT is only acceptable in most USA universities and colleges (same level with university). Of course there are also other universities in other parts of the world but let concentrate on the most common matter.

Go to http://www.collegeboard.com/ and you can find out even more details on SAT. Here will give you a brief idea of what SAT is? What does it test? Why students taking SAT ? blah blah blah...

First thing - what is SAT ? " The SAT is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is administered by the public College Board in the United States and is developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS)." (Wikipedia.org)

There are basically 2 papers for SAT. There is no compulsory paper as you may take any one of the papers (however, it is most likely that a student take both papers since it would be the entrance requirement for most colleges). SAT I is now called SAT Reasoning Test. SAT II is now changed its name to SAT Subject Tests.

For SAT I (it means Reasoning Test from now onwards), a student will be tested on Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing , with a specific number of questions related to content. For more details on the test you may refer to the website. For SAT II (Subject Tests), you may sign up for at least 1 Subject and at most 3 subjects. So when you sign up for SAT II (you may only take SAT I or SAT II at one examination time), you will need to indicate which subject tests you are taking. For example, last time I took Chemistry, Biology and Maths Level 2. You may do the subject tests in any order when you are in the exam hall.

So that's for the papers. Well to sign up in Malaysia for the test you can either mail your money order/cheque or pay a visit to MACEE. However I do not encourage this method as you will be charged (quite heavily) according to the exchange rate set by MACEE (plus administration fees.. omg). You can just sign up for an account on collegeboard.com and sign up for the test online. (Pay online as well) You need to indicate your exam venue as well when you sign up. It will let you to choose from a list. I'm not sure where are the locations available but last time I took it in Metropolitan College in KL. SAT I will cost around 250++ while SAT II's costs will depends on the number of subjects you are taking. I took 3 subjects and pay around 230+. (All quoted in Malaysian Ringgit)

Well for the preparation of SAT, I think they might be college that offer tuitions on this. Do ask around but I'm not very sure about this. However, in Malaysia most students taking SAT are those already studying for SPM/STPM/O-level/A-level/AUSMAT or other near pre-U level. Since you are studying the same thing, your mind will still have fresh memory on what you have studied and it will make SAT II easier. SAT I is a tough test, honestly. You will need hardwork on this paper. I can say SAT I is the crucial paper as most prestigious colleges will require this paper in high marks.

I guess that's all for now. So this is also one of the opportunities for students in Malaysia. If you scored well, you won't waste your money. As SAT is the golden ticket to USA tertiary education. So what is American Degree Transfer Program ? Is SAT same with that ? I'll cover more on this after my exam. Wish best of luck!


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Friday, April 13, 2007

How to Score in SPM Pendidikan Moral

Posted by pianolover

Well, this is my first post in MS blog other than my self introduction one. I will mainly talk about Pendidikan Moral in this and also coming soon post as i got an A1 in my Pendidikan Moral and I also attended tuition class on Pendidikan Moral.

So...How to Score in SPM Pendidikan Moral

Some of my friends tell me that the subject Pendidikan Moral is hard for them. But it is easy IF you have a good memory and can think and analysis things logically.

Firstly, let’s go through about the format of Pendidikan Moral for SPM 2006/2007 (and I believe it will not change for these years.)

Generally, that’s TWO papers for Pendidikan Moral.
  1. Paper 1 is the questions you had to attempt while SPM
  2. Paper 2 is the project you need to do or they call Folio you need to do when you are in form 4 and form 5!
Just for your information, as I know from some markers that they said that Paper 2 usually will takes 10% of the marks in SPM! This one I don’t know it is actually true or not!

Before we go to Paper 1, the main topic in this post, I just comment on some tips and something you can do to get maximum marks in Paper 2!
  • Get a good relationship with YOUR Moral teacher.
  • Ask the teacher what he or she wants in your folio. (There are certain words that you MUST use in each article. Ask your teacher for more information on it!)
  • Do everything he or she asks in your folio. (e.g.: Number of photo, format of essay and use computer or handwrite……)
  • Behave as a “good boy” or “good girl” in moral class. (Supposed to be in school or all the time!)
Like my classmate, we cooperate with our teacher and ALL of us get full mark for Paper 2!

Then, for Paper 1, there are 2 sections:
  1. Section A is structure question.
  2. Section B is essay question.

You are provided 2 ½ hours that I consider it is very long time for you to do double check and triple check.

Make sure you had memorized all the Moral Values (“Nilai”), Definitions (“definasi”) and Key words (“kata kunci”) before you go to any moral test and SPM!

*I will mention again some tips or methods that you can use to memorize Moral Values (“Nilai”), Definitions (“definasi”) and Key words (“kata kunci”) easily.

For section A:
  • You MUST answer ALL questions!
  • Questions consist of moral values, definitions and KBKK (That means reasoning or logic.)
  • Answer ALL questions in FULL SENTENCES and NOT in point form!
  • Don’t separate your answer. (That means don’t separate one point into two sentences.)
  • Don’t use those words in below that shows something uncertain:
    • “iaitu”
    • “sesuatu”
    • “seseorang”

For section B:
  • Answer ALL questions although it requires you to answer 2 only!
  • Answer the essay question in only ONE (1) paragraph only!
  • Answer in format below for each moral value.
    • Name the Moral Valuev Give 2 keywords (“kata kunci”)
    • Give your elaborations. (1 elaboration for 1 keyword.)
    • Give THREE (3) moral values for each question! DON’T GIVE ONLY TWO!
For memorizing the Moral Values (“Nilai”) , Definitions (“definasi”) and Key words (“kata kunci”), you can use any method that suits you. For those have no idea on how to start, you can memorize one moral value everyday. I’m sure you can do it from today till the day you sit for SPM!

You can also make your own pocket notes that contain every Moral Values, Definitions and Key words or even some notes on answering SPM question. You can bring it along wherever you go and take it out and have a look when you are free. It is a good idea on how you spend your free time well!

Well, this post only gives you a general idea on how you can do your Moral question. I will be giving more details and examples on the coming post!

Any question or if I say anything wrong feel free to ask or correct me by posting a comment here!


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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hi All, joshuatly is here!

Posted by pianolover

Hi to all readers of Malaysia Students Blog.

I’m a new contributor of this blog. So let me make a simple self introduction about myself.

My name is Joshua Tee. If you see any Internet identity with nickname “joshuatly” or “pianolover”, it will definitely be me! Well I live in Bentong Pahang. For me, computer if my life. I like to blogging, surfing the Internet, download stuff from Internet...All to do about computer! Other than that, I also like to play music instruments. For now, I’m leaning piano only. After this, if got chances, maybe I’m going to learn drum, DJ mixer or many others.

I own a blog. If you are free, you may go to my blog (http://joshuatly-blog.blogspot.com). My blog is currently messy as I had no time to manage it too much so I just categorize it using tags. Generally, what you can find out from my blog are all topics about tech, computer, music and also SPM and STPM tips and trial papers’ download link. Well, please go to my blog and comment on it as support given to me and my blog. Anything more you want to see in my blog, just leave a comment on any post. I will do research on it and put those information there.

I just get my SPM result as I’m a SPM 2006 student. Don’t ask about my SPM felt as it consider very bad. I actually speak Chinese at home .My English standard also not very good. So if anyone saw there are grammatically or spelling errors, please tell me immediately! I will be doing my form 6 soon in SMK Sulaiman in Bentong also.

Well, I start become a reader of MS blog from last year before SPM. I feel that Chong give a good start to this blog and I like this blog so much. I hope I can share more for you all about SPM and STPM so I apply to become a contributor of MS blog.

So to all readers of MS blog, just continue support this blog by leave a comment on any of the post and promote it to keep it going! Hope you all will like the article I will post on MS blog soon!


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Monday, April 09, 2007

GCE A-level in Malaysia

Posted by elie

Students today are spoilt for choices after completing their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) as there are many institutions offering post-SPM courses, such as GCE A-level, South Australian Matriculation (SAM), and American Degree Programs (ADP), to name a few.

Currently in Malaysia, there are two boards offering GCE A-level, mainly the Cambridge board, and the London board. For those who are unfamiliar with GCE A-Level, A-level is like Form 6 in the United Kingdom but it is currently taken in many Commonwealth countries due to its world wide recognition.

The Cambridge board A-level is available in private institutions such as Taylor’s, INTI, Nilai and KDU while the London board A-level is available in HELP and UCSI. These two boards offer similar, but not identical syllabuses and their examinations method differ from one another.

The Cambridge A-level examinations are conducted in two phrases, Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced Two (A2) respectively. For example, for Mathematics, you can have a choice to take either Mechanics 1 and Statistics 1 for AS and A2, or Mechanics 1 and Mechanics 2, or Statistics 1 and Statistics 2, depending on the course that you want to take in the future.

Meanwhile, for the London A-level, examinations are conducted in units for every subject. Students sit for 2 units for every subject at a time during their examinations and at the end of the course, grades will be based on the average mark of all the units added up together.

Both boards limit the minimum of subjects to be taken at 3, and the maximum at 4 subjects. Subjects offered at different colleges vary from one another, thus, it is up to the students to decide which college is most suitable to them.


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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Of local and overseas qualifications

Posted by Alphonso Tan

Aha… A case that attracted me, and which also encourages me to blog about this.

Let’s start about our local tax first. An individual will be entitled to a RM4,000 tax relief if he/she has a child who is above 18, unmarried and studying in local institution, diploma and above, OR, he/she has a child who is above 18, unmarried and studying in overseas institution, degree and above.

See the difference? For your parents who want to obtain a RM4,000 tax relief, you have to be studying in a local institution, minimum diploma level. But for your parents who want to obtain a RM4,000 tax relief, you have to be studying in an oversea institution, minimum a degree level. Why?

Aiyahh… Malaysia is like that one lah…”

There’s a case which happened recently. It was published in the GuangMing Daily's headline, and also some Chinese presses, but not even a short note in the English and Malay presses.

Apparently, the case is like this:

A boy from Raub, he has an ambition since he was a small kid. He wants to be a policeman when he grow up. So later, later, he pursued his Diploma in TARC, Advance Diploma in TARC, then obtained a Campbell University’s Bachelor Degree in Science. So, 4 years ago, he submitted his job request for an inspector post for the PDRM Submission after submission. He has submitted his requests for 3 times. But his hard work failed. So, he was very sad, he went to DAP office and lodged a complained. Later, the DAP Assistant Publicity Secretary, Lau Weng San accompanied him to go to the GuangMing’s office to make-big-the-issue.

Now, for your information, to be a sarjan, you must at least, be a diploma level holder. To be a higher rank (I’m not sure what post), you ascend the education level.

And now, for your another information, a BSc (Hons) from overseas, is equivalent to local’s BSc only. Overseas BSc, is only equivalent to local’s General Degree from Public Institution of Higher Learning … Everything from overseas, you have to reduce one level lower in order to equivalent the to the local tertiary education level. Don’t ask me why. It is like that. This is mend to reduce the unemployment rate in Malaysia, and it is also another way to reduce the outflow of the smart students from Malaysia, and it is also another way to self-comfort us to think that the local tertiary education level is definitely higher than overseas!!

So, with this 2 information combine, plus the unemployment rate in Malaysia, I still believe that no matter how he stands on his ground, no matter whether the qualification is being recognized by LAN, MOHE or JPA, he will mst likely won't be chosen as an inspector for the PDRM.

And here’s my advice to all the readers, if you have the money and plan to get qualifications from oversea institutions, think again. If you wish to work in overseas, and you think you are able to do that, just go for it. But for students who wish to get qualifications from oversea institutions, and wish to work in Malaysia for some purposes (miss your parents, loyal towards the country), think again.

Last but not least, IMHO, professional qualification is still the best =P The status will not change, and it will be recognized by nearly everywhere around the world =D

Once again, if I’ve made any error or mistake, kindly feel free to correct me. Thanks ya…


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