Thursday, May 31, 2007

What Should You Expect in Form Six / STPM?

Posted by Chong

I think all lower sixth formers had gone through their orientation week since enrolled into form six on the 15th of May, 2007 and have been streamed into their chosen streams and classes before the midyear break which commenced on the last Saturday. Being the vice president of my school form six student council, I myself have had a busy yet satisfied week organizing activities for lower sixth formers. While it was fun to meet new friends and play games with them, I found that majority of them are not well prepared themselves to meet the upcoming challenges in form six – the main challenge will be to successfully enrol into local public university and get the chosen course after form six.

Some of them, sad to tell, were still in the holiday mood while a few had their hair dyed in fancy colours (maroon seems to be the most popular colour) on their form six registration day. Did they expect form six to be free of any school rules especially rules on proper attire and pleasant appearance? In this post, I am going to write on what you should and at the same time shouldn't expect in form six.
  • Lax school rules – I notice that the administrators of school usually treat sixth formers more lenient compared to form one to five students. While Ministry of Education of Malaysia does not grant permission for governmental schools to allow students to bring mobile phones to school, schools usually ignore this regulation when it comes to sixth formers.

    While the school may not be promoting the sixth formers to bring mobile phones to school, administrators usually close their eyes to it, as long as sixth formers do not violate the rules too obviously. In other words, do not use their handphones during the teaching and learning process, show off them to form one to five students or use them to play songs or music in front of their teachers.

    The same lax school rules apply to attire. The days when the discipline teachers pull you out during the assembly to humiliate you because your hair (for male only) are longer than permitted or you have a fashionable hair style are gone! However, I would like to stress that while some school administrators choose to shut their eyes on sixth formers, you should always follow the rules and regulations. Bear in mind that we live in a world governed by laws and regulations and hence we could never run away from them. We should train ourselves to adhere to the rules instead of breaking them.

  • No textbooks; reference books are used instead – Yes, you don’t have official textbooks for all STPM subjects. Hence you don’t have to apply Textbook Loan Scheme (Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks, SPBT). Instead, you could buy any reference books and use them in your class as textbooks. While some teachers will recommend certain reference books for you, it is your decision to buy which reference books from which publishers for your STPM subjects.

    Thanks to the salesmen, teachers will often have many sample copies of reference books from different publishers. I would suggest you to borrow the sample copies of your teachers to compare them and perhaps make the right decision of which reference books suit you best and which to buy.

    For your information, it is illegal to make a pirated copy of the original reference book as it infringes the copyright laws. So I highly recommend you to buy the original reference books from the local bookstores. If you do not afford to buy them, why don’t you apply Biasiswa Kelas Persediaan Universiti (BKPU) Sastera or Sains offered by federal government? For your information, you will get RM90 per month if you are granted BKPU (Sastera) while RM110 per month for BKPU (Sains). You can apply for this scholarship during the first month of your lower sixth; enquire your teacher-in-change for more information.

  • Teachers guide you instead of feeding you – The teacher will act more like a lecturer lecturing the students using transparency and visuals from compact discs (CD) prepared by Ministry of Education. Do not expect your teachers to be feeding you with comprehensive notes and detailed explanations like they used to in your secondary education. The teachers will regard you as young adults instead of ignorant teenagers since you are now completing your pre-tertiary education. Self-learning is a keyword for your success in form six. You are just one step away from the university!

  • A lot of assignments, presentations, projects and practicals – You should expect your form six life to be very hectic with many homework assignments, presentations, projects and Science practicals to complete. You should learn how to search for information online, create presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint and complete projects if you are not familiar with them. A little computer skills will surely make your life easier.

  • Quizzes, tests and exams – Quizzes to test your understanding of certain topics; monthly tests to force you to revise what you have learnt so far; midyear exams, final year exams and trial exams which challenge you to do better and do your best in the actual Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examinations. Not to forget Malaysian University English Test (MUET) that you are going to take once, twice or even thrice to get your desirable results or bands. Mind you that you have to get Band 3 or above to qualify yourselves to enrol into degree level courses offered at local public universities.

  • Learn Mathematics and Science subjects in English – Since you (SPM 2006) are the last batch of students studying SPM Science and Mathematics subjects in Malay, you are going to experience the drastic change in medium of learning. Like it or not, you have to adapt yourselves to learn these subjects in English. Personally, once I have overcome the obstacles to learn in English, I find learning Mathematics and Science subjects in English very enjoyable. Since English is the international language and most resources and information available on the internet are in English, learning these subjects in English is certainly an advantage.

  • Leader of club, society and uniform body – Sixth formers are usually elected to hold the crucial positions in most clubs, societies and uniform bodies since members are confident that sixth formers have valuable experiences in leading an organization or carrying out an activity. This is not true, however, if you come to another secondary school to study your form six as your former secondary school does not offer form six. In that case, members tend to choose form five popular students or former students from that secondary school instead of “strangers” (sixth formers) to hold crucial positions. Read more about assessment of co-curricular activity participation.

Form six is very meaningful to most of the people that have gone through it. One of our blog contributors, Melanie wrote “Form 6, [n]o regrets” at the end of her STPM Blues post and I totally agree with her on this. Do you have other expectations for your form six? What do you expect in your form six life? Do comment to share them with us.


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Thursday, May 24, 2007

What does one do after SPM anyway?

Posted by Snow

When the invigilator announced the end of my final paper, I heaved a sigh of relief and put down my pen. A few blissful weeks passed after I had completed my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations – weeks where I spent half the time hanging out with my friends and the other half basically lazing around.

As time passed, I gradually turned my thoughts to the burning question every post-SPM student eventually asks: “What will I do after this?”

Examine your options.

You don’t really have to pay for those expensive, flashy motivational/ guidance packages. All you need is to be more self-reliant and take the initiative to attend the free education fairs / career talks that are constantly being held. Ask yourself questions, look up informative books or magazines or newspaper articles and do some online research. Personally, an education fair proved to be very informative and certainly provided me with sufficient details, allowing me to actually make decisions. I wandered around the huge education fair aimlessly, accepting every leaflet that was offered to me and filled every single form available requesting for further details of different courses. Different institutions of tertiary education may proffer different information pertaining to the same course, so it would be useful if you ‘did your homework’ and left no leaf unturned.

I didn’t know what I want to do, but I knew what I didn’t want to do, so naturally I eliminated anything that involved Mathematics in excessive amounts, because I hate Math. Nevertheless, I briefly toyed with the idea of doing Engineering before dismissing it due to the fact I’m one of the rare, weird people that likes Physics and detests Maths.

Talking to the lecturers/ counsellors that were sometimes present at the different booths really helped too. Each of them provided useful insight into the course available:
  • Required skills
  • The course syllabus – how does it prepare you for your future career?
  • Available career options upon completion of course.
  • What does each career entail – how would your daily life be like?
One will undoubtedly gain a deeper understanding of a particular career in addition to the above points. Ask questions, don’t be afraid! Consider tuition fees, location of academies offering a certain course – there are many things a prospective student of tertiary education needs to ponder about.

Do allocate some time for your investigation. I spent two days wandering about in an education fair. Technically, I had already made up my mind on the first day and the second day was spent doing in-depth research on my chosen career and the course available. It was time well-spent for I may now state my future ambition with unshakeable conviction whereas I never knew what to tell people my ambition was previously due to uncertainty.

Some scholars opt to take Diploma course immediately whereas some would prefer a pre-university course. It is really all up to you and no one can tell you what you should do. Your future is involved, so do open up your eyes and ears, be prepared to embark upon lengthy debates with anyone who is able to provide advice. Make your choice wisely. It will definitely be worth studying your options carefully before making a hasty decision you may regret.


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Monday, May 21, 2007

Hello.

Posted by Snow

Hi!

My name is Michelle, but I usually go by the name Snow or Snow Firefly in the Internet world. Snow Firefly is in a way, my real name too, though I suppose it would be unnecessary to go into details.

I’m an eccentric sixteen year old from Kuala Lumpur and I’m currently in my second semester of A Levels at TAR College, having completed my SPM only last year. Despite the fact I have always been a science stream student, I take an active interest in certain arts-related subjects, namely linguistics. I am an avid fan of languages and I find it amusing when people think I am only skilled in one language whereas I am fluent in several, give or take a couple of dialects. As much as I take pride in my linguistic skills, I have to admit that I am completely hopeless when it comes to Mathematics. All I can do is stare miserably at the simplest equations and turn on my famous puppy-eyes but alas, my lecturer never falls for the trick and I am always the unfortunate recipient of his wrath. My classmates merely stare at me incredulously whenever I confess my inability to solve what they think of as the easiest equations ever. I just don’t have an aptitude for Mathematics. Strangely enough, my favourite science is Physics.

My friends told me I looked like a sweet, soft-spoken and well-mannered gentle little damsel when they first approached me. Hence the saying, “Do not judge a book by its cover.” Quite contrary to the flattering depiction related to me by my friends, I’m clumsy and forgetful. My books, files and anything that is unfortunate enough to have me for an owner are forever sliding unto the floor and I have, on several occasions left behind items that were of importance to me. Tripping down the stairs is a very common occurrence for me and I apparently manage to maintain a record of an average of a cut or a bruise every single day. I am definitely not an introvert though circumstances sometimes forces me take up hermitage and I am also prone to sudden shy bouts. Acquaintances of mine have problems getting me to shut up because I talk way too much and way too loud. I haven’t yet refined the art of coating my words with honey, so be forewarned – you may not like what you hear. On the plus side, you can get free, honest opinions from yours sincerely. Besides that, I’m a little strange and am often the recipient of weird eyeballs. Did I mention that I’m rather temperamental and random? No? Well now you know it.

Here is where I spill some of the insanity juices:
http://meticulousmusings.blogspot.com/

I enjoy frequenting guidance forums – perhaps it is in my nature to want to make a difference in someone's life! It is a little unusual admittedly, but I take pleasure in helping others and by contributing to this blog, I'd gain a lot of happiness and satisfaction in knowing my posts may have helped someone out there. I’m a pretty good listener actually and I love listening to the problems of others and attempting to help them.
(As well as getting people to read my ramblings! XD I've been told many times that I talk too much. Apparently, I "contaminate" the atmosphere with my voice, or so my classmates say. So I guess I'd have to commit some of those thoughts to blogs.)

My hobbies include: Reading, writing, ice-skating, banging on the piano, and socialising (talking nonsense).

I shall try to provide more information on…well, everything I’ve read up on and also share some of my experiences. I shall also shut up for now. Thank you for bearing with me and actually reading all of this. :P


► Read more on Hello.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Now you can check your form 6 offer online!

Posted by pianolover

Now, the hottest news for those who want to enrol into form 6 (tingkatan enam bawah) is whether you get the offer or not. Most of you are waiting for the offer letter (surat tawaran). If you get it, congratulation. If you haven't get the letter, you can now check it online.

http://apps.emoe.gov.my/semakform6

Just enter your IC number and the result will come out. If you get the offer, you will get something like this:

TAHNIAH!

Anda terpilih untuk mengikuti pengajian ke Tingkatan 6 Bawah

Berikut adalah maklumat terperinci mengenai tawaran tersebut :-


No. Kad Pengenalan

::

XXXXXXXXXXXX

Angka Giliran

::

XXXXXXXX

Nama

::

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sekolah Asal

::

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Aliran

::

XXXXXXXX

Sekolah di tawarkan

::

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tarikh Mendaftar

::

15 Mei 2007


Happy to know that WE CAN START TO GO TO SCHOOL AGAIN!!


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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How to Score in SPM Pendidikan Moral Part 2 – Section A

Posted by pianolover

In this post, I will talk about how to answer SPM Pendidikan Moral Section A in much more detail.

Paper 1 Section A:
  • Structure Questions
  • 8 Questions
  • 80 Marks of Paper 1
  • Usually 10 marks for each question.
  • Questions consist of moral values, definitions and KBKK (That means reasoning or logic.)
So, HOW you can actually score the Paper 1 Section A?

Here is an example taken from SPM Pendidikan Moral 2005 Section 1 Question 1.

One more extra information for you all, starting from SPM 205, for most of the papers in SPM, there will be around 40% or more pictures in each of your question paper.

Berdasarkan gambar di atas:

(a) Nyatakan satu nilai yang dapat diinterpretasikan daripada situasi itu. [1 markah]

(b) Berikan definisi bagi nilai yang telah dinyatakan dalam jawapan di (a). [2 markah]

(c) Nyatakan empat kepentingan amalan di atas. [4 markah]

(d) Namakan tiga aktiviti lain yang boleh diadakan oleh sesebuah keluarga supaya setiap anggotanya dapat berkumpul bersama-sama. [3 markah]

Note that there are questions consist of
  • moral values - Question (a)
  • definitions - Question (b)
  • KBKK - Question (c) and (d)
And when you go through more exam questions, you will know that the marks of each question are the same most of the time.
  • moral values - 1 mark @ answer
  • definitions - 2 marks @ answer
  • KBKK - 1 marks @ answer
From above, you can know that memorizing the definitions and the moral values correctly is important. If you manage to memorize all the moral values and definitions, it will be not too hard to get a Bs’or Cs’ for your Pendidikan Moral.

Let’s look at the question.

At the beginning there, they mentioned Berdasarkan gambar di atas. That means ALL your answer must be relevant with the picture above. And what you can get from the picture is a family having their dinner at Chinese New Year.

So the question (a) asked for ONE moral value that you can get from the picture above.

Always remember,
  • When they ask ONE, you can give two BUT NOT THREE!
  • Always place the answer that you most satisfied with in the front.
  • Always answer in FULL sentences.
So your answer should be:

Nilai mengekalkan tradisi kekeluargaan dan kasih sayang terhadap keluarga diamalkan.

In this kind of case, it is most suitable if you answer only Nilai Berkaitan Dengan Kekeluargaan but not from the others.

Note that if your alternative answers (…kasih sayang terhadap keluarga…) is wrong, you can also get the full mark of the question (1 markah)

In question (b), they want for the definition for the moral value you provided in (a). So don’t go and write something else others than the definition you written on (a) or else you are WRONG!

So your answer should be:

Definisi untuk nilai mengekalkan tradisi kekeluargaan ialah Menerima, menghormati dan mengamalkan sesuatu kebiasaan, adat dan kepercayaan yang diwarisi secara turun-temurun dalam keluarga.Definisi untuk nilai kasih sayang terhadap keluarga ialah perasaan cinta, kasih dan sayang yang mendalam dan berkekalan terhadap keluarga.

This will give you the full mark if the question: 2 markah.

Here we come to question (c). Question c is KBKK question. That means on the marking scheme, there is no definite answer. Your answer will be accepted as well as it makes sense. For KBKK question also, as I said for question (a), you may answer one MORE answer, that means the fifth answer is also accepted if one of your answer in between wrong.

So, this question wants for the importance of the activity in the picture.

You may answer like this:

Hubungan di antara keluarga boleh dieratkan. Ahli keluarga boleh duduk bersama dan mengemukakan masalah yang dihadapi dan menyelesaikan masaah bersama.Selain itu, aktiviti ini juga membolehkan ahli keluarga lebih memahami antara satu sama lain. Generasi akan datang juga tidak melupakan adat ini.

Four of the answers are correct. So this answer will be given full marks of 4. Thus, you are advised to give FIVE answers instead of four.

The last question, question (d), is also a KBKK question.

They asked for THREE other activities that you can do with your family members together.

If I answer like this:

Aktiviti-aktiviti tersebut ialah berkelah, melancong, makan bersama dan gotong-royong.

As you all see, I provided FOUR answers.

But actually got one of my answers is NOT acceptable in the marking scheme that one is makan bersama. This is because they want for OTHER activity (Namakan tiga activiti yang lain...) so the answer is repeating the activity of the picture.

Although I got one answer is wrong, I will be given full marks of 3. This is because I give FOUR answer and the forth answer is correct.

So, always name the maximum (number they want +1)

Sometimes they will also ask some question based on general knowledge.

As an example: (SPM 2005 Section A Question 3(c) )

Apakah perkara yang dilakukan oleh Dato’ Abdul Malik Mydin dan Datuk Azhar Mansor dalam menaikkan imej negara di persada antarabangsa?

You will not able to answer this question if you do not know.

The correct answer will be:

Mereka berenang merentasi selat Inggeris.

And I think question about Akta will be asked this year SPM. So, you may want to read more about it.

Do more questions or SPM model papers that you can found at bookshop or ask from your teacher. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Any question, you may ask me by post a comment down here.

My next post will be writing about section B, the essay question part, the hardest part for some of the students but it actually quite easy for me.

Update: pianolover is no longer the contributor of Malaysia Students blog.


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Thursday, May 03, 2007

If college/poly/uni life is a game, these are the rules

Posted by elie

Don't you think the first day of your college/polytechnic/university life is quite daunting? Especially if you're all alone and you know nobody. No worries, cause this post will help you kick off a great start to your post-sec education life.

1. Orientation!
Orientation is always been thought of as a waste of time. Actually, orientation is a great chance for you to find your way to the institution and a great chance for you to explore the campus. You might think that those ice-breaking games they make you play are quite childish, but it helps you a lot to get to know your classmates and your course mates. My advice to you is, be sure to be there for the orientation, it might suck but it always helps you to adapt.

2. Contacts, contacts..
Get your hands on all the contacts that you can. Seniors, classmates, lecturers, tutors, anyone that's somehow related to you or your course. Ask them whether they have MSN or Yahoo! too; even my Engineering Maths lecturer had a MSN account. That way, you can contact any of them easily if the need arises such as to inform your tutor that you will be absent.

3. Smile!
It's good to keep a smile on your face all the time because people form first impressions of you during the first few minutes or even few seconds that they see you. You wouldn't want people to think of you as someone who is unapproachable right?

Any other tips/advice that you have in mind? Please share them!


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