Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why The Monthly Tests Should Not Be Abolished?

First of all, i am going to introduce myself. My name is Ong Ru Shan and. I am 17 years old and I am a student who is studying in secondary school. I am going to sit for SPM examinations in this coming November. My hometown is at Alor Star, Kedah. I am interested in studying biology and chemistry. Today, I am planning cautiously for what am I going to study after SPM examinations and what am I going to be in future. Thank you.

Why The Monthly Tests Should Not Be Abolished?

by Ong Ru Shan for Writing Contest 2008

Mentioning "tests" this word to any student and instantly you will get irritated response. Does anyone of us think before why nowadays student detest tests so much? To them, tests are a source of endless worries, anxiety and stress. Students feel that tests disrupt their comfortable and enjoying life. Besides, parents and teachers place a tremendous amount of pressure on them to excel. They have no choice, as a result, they heed the advice that the parents and teachers give in order to success in future. For students who are poor in academics, they do not have any alternative except to score with flying colours. It is not surprising for they have to spend torturing and yet sleepless night burning the midnight oil at eleventh hour. They are worried about the penalty that would greet them if they fail in the examinations. Some students are so miserable when they fail that they even resort to commit suicide. Despite of all these adverse effects of tests, I still strongly of the opinion that the examinations should not be abolished because its advantages far outweighs its disadvantages.

Monthly tests are very useful to teachers who use it to pinpoint the weaker students in the class. The absence of monthly tests makes the teachers not be able to differentiate the standard of pupils in academics. The teacher would then pay more attention to the students who did not do well in the class. At the same time, teachers would be able to help them to keep abreast with the rest of the class. This way, no one is left behind. Every teacher is helpful and kind, teachers will ensure their job is done by transferring their knowledges to students and help students to improve in their tests.

Besides, parents use the monthly tests to measure their academic progress at school. If parents see any decline in the marks, parents would immediately take proactive actions to nip the problem in the bud. This is done by parents in order to stop the decline before it is too late. This way, parents can always be assured that their child always do well and do not misbehave in school.

Contrary to common belief, monthly tests are beneficial to students themselves. Monthly tests make students study hard constantly and not to do the preparation for the examinations at the last minutes. Monthly tests help students to revise the works easier and will not be so nervous to face the public examinations. Though consistent studying, the students would not do poorly in school.

Based on the reasons mentioned above, it is clear that monthly tests should not be abolished. These tests are invaluable to teachers, parents and most importantly, students themselves. Last but not least, if we do not hope to see our educational level drop in a sudden in future, we should not abolish monthly test.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Should form 6 examination be replaced with a better pre-u examination?

Age: 18
Location:Butterworth,Pulau Pinang,Malaysia.
Current school: SMK St.Mark
Qualification: lower 6 student
Hobby: travel,play computer game,read book and listen to music

Should form 6 examination be replaced with a better pre-u examination?

by Ang Meow Ning for Writing Contest 2008

In today's competitive world where a good education is fundamental to success.Many parents would persuade their children to go for tertiary education although some of them resist to continue to study.Though Malaysia now boasts of a heap number of universities,there are still limited number of places for form 6 students whereas matriculation students are more qualified to enter local university.In my opinion,i agree with the above statement that in order for every student to get chance to enter local unversity,it is vital for form 6 examination be replaced with a better Pre-U examination to meet the standards of international tertiary level such as A-level,South Australian Maticulation(SAM) or other international foundation programmes.There are some changes that should be made on the form 6 that are better Pre-U are study period,schooling system,abolish spoon-feed learning and toughness of examination.

The first challenge that should be made on the form 6 result to better Pre-U is the study period.In Malaysia,there are two main feeder programmes or pathways to enter local universities are the form 6 and the matriculation.The study period of form 6 is same as secondary school nowadays whereas the study period of matriculation is long,starting from 8am until 5pm,In my opinion,an international standard Pre-U study period should not be as long as 24 hours,the maximum should be around 3 to 4 hours per day,students are not a robot and they need rest too.Besides,their mind may become tired if they study long hours and sleepy.Club activities or exercise should be cultivated by every Pre-U students to have a healthy body and clearer mind.For example,a student who fall sick will be unable to attend class due to tension in studies and fewer will lag behind compared to other students.

Furthermore,schooling system for a better Pre-U should be revamped to produce more knowledgeable and intellegent students.Form 6 practises terminal examination system whereas matriculation was the modular system.What does terminal examination and modular examination mean?A terminal examination is held at the end of the study period whereas modular examination is conducted throughout the programme.To produce knowledgeable angd intellegent students,terminal examination should be used in Pre-U courses.There are many pros than cons for terminal examination.Students will be able to revise easily for the first year in the university and have stronger memories.Besides these,teachers should encourage students to do more research so that they will be able to catch up with the latest news.For example,a student will be unable to answer exam questions due to lack of knowing latest news and information.

In addition,to form a better Pre-U satndard,spoon-fed learning should be abolished.Pre-U students should be more independent,diligent and preserver in their studies,they should be able to manage their timetable well if compared to primary school students,their mind has not fully developed.How spoon-fe learning can be abolished?When a teacher gives a question and students are unable to answer,the teacher should not give out the answers instead of giving the answers immediately.By this way,students will not be spoon-fed.For example,when a student enters into the university,they would be able to complete the assignment requested by their own effort and not waiting to be spoon-fed by the lecturer.
Other than that,Pre-U courses should come up with a tough examination system so that it can stand still with other private Pre-U and the quality of Pre-U will be respected by malaysians or even foreigners.Therefore,the Pre-U examination format should be reformated to make it tougher.This will produce more challenges and competitive among the students in order to catch up when they are in their firsr year in the university.For example,medical students would find theis courses interesting and easier when come to first year in university.

In conclusion,form 6 examination should be replaced with a better Pre-U examination by shortening the study period,terminal schooling system is made,abolishment spoon-fed learning and increasing the level of difficulties in examination.Allof thesewill be able to prepare Pre-U students to take challenges with confidence and independence.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Analysis of Art and Science Subjects (Emphasis on A-Levels)

Posted by Snow

First of all, I’d like to offer my sincere apologies for my recent inactivity, as I’ve been really busy due to my studies. As I’ve been to both worlds, I believe I should summarise all Cambridge A-Levels subjects I've been exposed to in the simplest way possible, to help confused juniors choose the path they should embark upon after high school (I use this term tentatively). The summary of these subjects are not necessarily merely restricted to A-Levels, of course.

Cambridge A-Levels is a pure English-based exam, pre-tertiary course that can be completed within one to two years, depending on the institution you attend. It is divided into two portions – Advanced Subsidary (AS) and Advanced Level (A2). The Cambridge Examinations will be held twice a year, during May/June or October/November. You may choose to take AS and A2 at separate times, or take both at the same time. The basic requirements for entry to Degree level would be two principal passes, though some universities may require better results for up to four subjects. Many students opt to take four subjects at AS level, then drop down to three for A2. Contrary to popular belief, A-Levels is not easy for much discipline and determination is required to score well in the exams.

Onward to the subjects' analysis:

General Paper (AS only): If you have a flair for English and can write well, this is the paper for you. Try to impress the examiners – but only within your limits. I found it really helpful to correlate a related event to the question itself and elaborate on it.

Sciences (As you must have already taken Science previously to take these subjects, it won’t be necessary to delve into the mysteries of Science.)

Biology: You are given the fact that Red + Blue = Purple. Memorise it.

Chemistry: One of the more important subjects in the Science Stream. The equation Red + Blue = Purple may be given to you, but it may not. You are nevertheless informed about all the colours individually and you are aware that theoretically, purple consists of a little red and a little blue so with a little bit of logic, you’ll arrive at the conclusion.

Physics: You are informed about all the colours individually and you are aware that theoretically, purple consists of a little red and a little blue so with a little bit of logic, you’ll arrive at the conclusion.

Mathematics: You are given all the different ways of arriving at the colour Purple and expected to know them all. Practice makes perfect.

Further Mathematics: Only, and only if you’re a Mathematical genius. If you don’t love Mathematics, this paper is not for you.


Business: You are given the fact that Red + Blue = Purple. If you logically argue that given the varying shades of red and blue, the answer is actually Violet, you’re still great.

Economics: It’s little like Physics. You are given a little information about individual colours and told that there is no specific answer, like Literature or Law. Nevertheless, if the answer you give is not the same as the answer examiners have in mind, it is inaccurate, no matter how irrefutable and logical your reasons are. Red + Blue will always be purple, never violet or lilac, despite the fact that you were not informed that it was purple in the first place. Personally, I found it a little annoying. There are also many graphs and calculations involved, though nowhere as much as in Accounts or Mathematics. On the bright side, however, this is a paper that requires one to practice on past year questions as they are more or less the same and you will probably get good grades if you analyse those past year questions.

Sociology: See Economics. It doesn’t have as many mathematical aspects as Economics, but the answers are even more specific here. “Red + Blue = Purple” is not the same as “Purple = Blue + Red” and you might not get marks for writing the latter. Despite the fact that you are not even informed in the first place about the answer to Red + Blue. As in the above, past year questions would be the key.

Mathematics: See the elaboration on Mathematics in Sciences. It’s not a subject I’d recommend if you received anything below A for Additional Mathematics at SPM level.

Accounts: See the elaboration on Mathematics in Sciences. It is not as difficult as Mathematics though, and if you are a meticulous person who enjoys calculations, this subject is for you.

Literature: There is no specific answer. As long as you come up with a beautiful argument that makes perfect sense, Red + Blue = Yellow, for all you know.

Law: Law is not as boring as people believe. I enjoyed Law because I’m naturally a fierce little temperamental fire that enjoys debating the rights and wrongs of a particular subject. You are not required to memorise long boring law cases – as you long as you don’t get the name wrong and you understand the gist of the case, you’ve had it made. Law gives you an opportunity to quibble over words, over the rights and wrongs of it all. As in Literature, as long as you come up with a beautiful argument that makes perfect sense, Red + Blue may be Yellow and you might even get brownie points for coming up with a brand new perspective. Provided of course, that the perspective is backed up with valid reasoning. (My blog, Legalese Legacy provides full details of significant Law cases if anyone needs help with the subject.)

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why do public school students discriminate private school students?

Hello I'm Richmond but friends call me Rich. I'm 19 this year and have just completed my A Levels course. While waiting for my results I've decided to write since i have plenty of spare time. I'm fascinated with a lot of things but nothing really in particular interest me.

Why do public school students discriminate private school students?

by Richmond for Writing Contest 2008

Throughout my entire schooling life, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to attend private institutions. Since primary till secondary, I’ve been to two different private institutions. Beside the point it’s obvious whenever I go for tuition, or now in college, students from government schools tend to discriminate us. Even my tuition teacher use phrases like ‘just because you’re from a private school doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your homework! ‘

I admit I took such comments rather personally because I did come from a private school after all. I’m not proud of it but neither am I ashamed of it. It is merely a fact that makes me who I am. Do we really think that we’re so much better than them? I’ll admit that some of us are pretty spoiled. We’re all from fairly well-off families and some of us are downright filthy rich. We can make misleading first impressions, with our exuberance and forthrightness coming off as arrogance. And yes, we can be pretty obnoxious.

But to hear that most public school students dislike us as a whole? That everyone thinks we’re a bunch of snobs? I was hurt. I tried to come to the defense of private school students everywhere but often a time, I couldn’t think of anything to retaliate. I can’t deny that some of us have superiority complex. After all, our Principals and teachers have been drilling into our heads that we are better than government schools. At least that was how it was in my school. It’s no wonder we think that other schools are beneath us.

To be fair to private school students, there are public school students who portray themselves in a really bad way. For instance, while gang fights are very rare in private institutions because the number of students is controllable, gang fights occur in public schools rampantly. Also, because there are students from public schools who come from not so well to do families and hence are lesser educated, they tend underestimate the importance of education. Many a time news reports also identify students from public schools are those that are involved in vice activities such as thefts, smoking and drugs.

However, one cannot help but notice that there are some really intelligent public school students too. The ones that receive scholarships, win debate competitions and score straight A’s in public examinations. In private schools too there are a minority that don’t give two hoots about their education as their family wealth could last them a few generations.

I guess my conclusion is it only takes a few bad apples to poison the name and reputation of a whole tree. It’s human nature to assume that everyone from that background is like that or in my case, everyone from that school is this way. It is not always true but it is always difficult or nearly impossible to change a majority’s perception of things.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Are students entitled for the substance commonly known as Health?

This article is written by a blogger commonly known as 3POINT8. 3POINT8 is a 23yr old proud kid who graduated from UNSW (aus) in the field of engineering. 3POINT8 is a former recipient of TARC scholarship, and the highly competitive Golden Jubilee Scholarship offered by the best engineering course institute in Australia, UNSW.

Are students entitled for the substance commonly known as Health?

by 3POINT8 for Writing Contest 2008

Now that you are reading this, my guess is that you are highly intellectual and incredibly healthy. After all, you are in a fit condition to use the internet and you are intellectual enough to read.

If you are a Malaysian student planning or currently studying in tertiary education centre, chances are that you've been through primary school and secondary school or even a high school. My guess is that education and school defines your entire life. Being in an education centre, you are expected to study, go through exams and pass them with flying colours.

Coming from parents, from friends, from teacher and even your dog...These expectations, since when were we compelled to fulfill them? Since when was it a rule to say that we must live up to them? I do not recall anyone signing a contract saying that they have to score 80+ for their exams. I do not recall anyone promising to a legal entity saying that they have to sacrifice their sleep to finish their soon-to-due assignments.

Reflect back on your past grades. Do you remember skipping 38 meals and 44 nights of sleep to study for a major exam like SPM? Maybe that kind of figure was a bit of an exaggeration, but I'm pretty sure you would have sacrificed at least a night's sleep for an exam. Was the sleep deprivation worth the grade?

Think about it. A deprived sleep could impair your brain cells. And from what I heard, brain cells do not regenerate. (Yes, that is something to be afraid of)

Let look at a bigger picture. Do you care much about your past kindergarten grades, or your UPSR grades? Do you even care about the more recent ones, PMR, SPM and STPM grades? Or a more recent ones like college and university grades. Does it really matter 30 years down the road that you got a distinction for a subject?

So as long as you got the certificate at the end, does it really matter if you score a few hundred 'A's? I'd say: Intentionally killing your brain cells to trade for grades is a very bad trade. Your brain cells serve will serve you until you are six feet under but your grades can only do you good for up to a maximum of 2 years.

Chasing after perfect grades is an admirable act, but not at the expense of health. While most students chase after grades, friends, and new experiences, they often neglect the thing that is most important to them: HEALTH.

We are no superhuman, we do not have super-genes. In fact, we are all fragile humans vulnerable to diseases and unhealthy health habits. Sleeping late, skipping meal, smoking, drinking booze... those are the stuff that damages the body more than making a mockery of this article. In fact, mocking this article and the author is healthy as it stimulates your brain cell and encourages activity in the brain.

It is an unfortunate consequence of our civilization history that HEALTH is rarely given rational consideration by students, trapped by their perception of health being the least important factor in their life. I'd say it's time to turn the tide around. If you are reading this article 12am early in the morning, perhaps it's time to skip to the credit section, read the last bit and go to bed.

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