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Elaine, a JPA scholar, shares her JPA scholarship 2006 (SPM 2005) interview experience with Malaysia Students Blog readers.
Hmmm……how should I begin this post? Should I write it in a formal way? Let’s just be short (Though it’s quite long) and simple, or treat it as a friend telling you a “story”. (Though it might be quite boring..;p)
Should I introduce myself? Never mind, I am just a super ordinary student, currently taking a 2-year-A level course in UiTM campus in Shah Alam since July 2006. There are still other colleges or universities allocated by the government for JPA scholars such as Taylor’s University College and UCSI. Some of you may wonder why the A-level course provided takes 2-year-period instead of the usual 1 and a half year. For your information, the A-level which I am taking now is from London Board, which is slightly different from the Cambridge Board that takes 1-and a half year- period.
Since I am being invited to tell you guys something about my previous JPA’s scholarship application and interview, I shall begin by recalling back to 2006. I graduated from my secondary school in 2005 after sitting for my SPM and received the result in 2006 (around March). Soon I received the result, I applied for the JPA scholarship via internet, I remembered a friend urged me to apply it quickly as the closing date is very soon after the result has been released. The procedures were quite simple, a thing to note is that remember to choose a course and country that you preferred.
There is another way to mention here, after I succeed in getting the scholarship and entered the university which I am still studying now, a student told me that he purposely choose those countries that are less preferred by the majority (he has chosen the France) in order to have higher chance to get the scholarship and eventually he got it! This might be an alternative way but it does not mean that you are guaranteed to get the country you have chosen if you follow the same route. (Sounds meaningless right?..;p) Countries like UK, US, Australia are some of the countries which are most preferred by the majority. You can check through the internet of your application’s result after some time. (I forgot how long it took for the result to be released) If you are selected for your interview, congratulations! You are one step further from your target.
Now let’s talk about my interview process, I need some time to recall the details as it happened 2 years ago (bear with me ya, I have short-term memory…;p). Regarding on the dress code, formal wear is a must, you can also go for baju kurung as my friend did last time. We were grouped in 5-6 (forgotten...) persons and are directed into a room.
I was having cold feet that time, looking others that dressed smartly and having the genius’s look really feared me off. However, I worked hard to be calm and confident. Since nobody could help me but myself, I tried to look “cool” and was thinking what would be the question later. Ooops! I am out of the point. Let’s stick back to the topic which is the interview process.
There were 3 interviewers in the room; they told us that we need to introduce ourselves and we would be given topics to be discussed. If I am not mistaken, we were given 1 minute to jot down the points in the draft paper given. (Remember to bring in your own stationery) The topic being asked is different for different groups, for mine, the topic is “The Reading Habit in Malaysia”. We were required to speak for about 2 minutes. After the discussion session, the interviewer would reconfirm our name and they asked each of the candidates for the country which we preferred the most.
After the interview, I got to know from my friends who went for the interview that my interview was slightly different from others as we were being asked for only one question and must answer in English but the others were being asked for 2 questions and they were required to answer 1 in BM and another in English. Guess this should be the more proper way. Here are some of the questions being asked for my year (from different states):
1) Patriotism among youths
2) Hukuman rotan
3) The Advantages of Reading
4) Math and Science in English
I noticed that the topics were related to the current issues that time. Therefore it would be a benefit for the future applicants to keep themselves updated with the latest happenings in our country.
Wow, I am writing more than I have planned. To end my writing here, I would like to wish all the students who want to apply for the JPA scholarship a very good luck for their future undertakings. Hope my post can at least give you guys a clearer image on how the system works. Stay confident and you can do it!
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