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Monday, December 27, 2010

Confirmed: IPTAs Change to Summer Break Academic Term - Four Months Semester Break in 2011

Posted by Chong

Rumour has it that all Malaysia local public universities (IPTA such as UM, USM, UKM, UPM...) will follow the summer break semester system from the next intake (2011/2012) onwards. Tracing the origin of the rumour, which has been circulating for a few months now, often reaches lecturers or officials as the sources. Neither Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has announced this officially nor do any of the IPTA.

Nonetheless, with MOHE's announcement of important dates for next IPTA intake (2011/2012), which is September 3 and 4, 2011 (register on Saturday or Sunday depending which state the university located), it is safe now to say that this has been confirmed. Not all local public universities have updated their academic calendar to reflect this new change, but a few efficient ones like University Utara Malaysia (UUM) and University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) have updated theirs.
UUM Academic Calendar Session 2010/2011:
Second Semester Holidays: Friday, 27 May 2011 – Friday, 9 September 2011 - 15 weeks

UKM Academic Calendar Session 2011/2012:
Pendaftaran Diri Pelajar Baru & Minggu Mesra Pelajar (MMP) / Orientation - 4 Sept - 11 Sept. 2011 - 1 week
Perkuliahan / Lecture commences on 12 Sept 2011
Please take note that first year students will need to attend an one week orientation, which is the reason why their intake registration day is September 3 (Saturday) or 4 (Sunday), 2011 while second year and above will commence their new academic year on September 11 (Sunday) or 12 (Monday), 2011. Also, depending on your IPTA, you will enjoy “summer break” for 15 to 17 weeks!

Note that this unbelievably long (four months!) semester break will only happen in 2011, as the current semester system is adjusting to the newly implemented one for the first time. From that transition onwards, the first semester break in January till February will last for four weeks (one month) and in July till September for 12 weeks (approximately three months).

It is believed that the reason for this change is to attract more international students to further their studies here. By changing the tertiary semester system to be more aligned with the international academic term, it will make local public universities more appealing to international students. Also, this will benefit undergraduates taking programmes with compulsory two months internship during July till September semester break, as now they have a month to rest or recharge themselves before starting their new academic term.

Now, any ideas how will you spend the coming 15 to 17 weeks “summer break”? Internship, part-time, travel, activities, holiday courses? Read our suggestion on how to spend your school holiday wisely.


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Sunday, October 24, 2010

History (Sejarah) an SPM Must-Pass Subject Beginning 2013

Updated 17/12/2010: Those who failed SPM History can retake the subject in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia Ulangan (SPMU) 2014 onwards as SPM History will be a compulsory-to-pass subject beginning 2013
NST Online: HISTORY will be among subjects offered for candidates sitting their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia Ulangan (SPMU) examinations from 2014, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin said the decision was made to give students an opportunity to achieve better results in their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

"Currently, only Bahasa Malaysia and Mathematics are offered to candidates who wish to re-sit their SPM," he told Senator Datuk Dr Yeow Chai Thiam in Dewan Negara yesterday.

Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said the format for the examination would also be revised to provide motivation to students during History lessons in class.

"There will be a number of new initiatives for the History subject when students sit their SPM in 2013, to avoid remaining in the same sphere as before.

"This is to ensure that History will have a more effective impact and not just be based on examination results alone."

In October, the government announced that apart from Bahasa Malaysia, History would also become a compulsory-pass subject for SPM, begining in 2013.

Muhyiddin added that although History would become a must-pass subject by 2013, the ministry would continue to use the same syllabus until 2017 because those in Form One during that time would be sitting their SPM.

"Once the new syllabus starts for Form One students in 2014, they will become the first batch of students to sit for the new History subject in 2018.

"The purpose of the move is to give the ministry time to allow teachers to adjust to the new syllabus."

He said the ministry would also set up a committee to study the new History syllabus to ensure a comprehensive coverage of the subject. -- Bernama
Source: NST Online KUALA LUMPUR: History will become a must-pass subject for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) beginning 2013, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today.

This will give the subject a similar status as Bahasa Malaysia for the SPM exams, he said at the Umno General Assembly here today.

Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president, also announced that the replacement of PMR (Penilaian Menengah Rendah) exams with a school-based assessment system will be brought forward to 2014, instead of 2016 as earlier announced.

A school-based assessment was found to be more suitable for students in Malaysia’s 7,000 secondary schools. Such an assessment, which has been carried out in 550 schools nationwide since 2008, was found to be the preferred choice of many.

These are among the recommendations in a report on the proposal to abolish both examinations. The move is part of the government’s efforts to restructure the education system, which is perceived to be too exam-oriented.

Source: The Star Online KUALA LUMPUR: History will be a must-pass subject in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination from 2013 along with the Bahasa Malaysia subject, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

With the move, students must pass the subject to be able to obtain the SPM certificate, said Muhyiddin, who is the Education Minister.

“We need to give them (students) some time to adjust. We also need time to train teachers and to prepare our students to face the new system," he said in his winding-up speech at the 2010 Umno General Assembly, here Saturday.

He also said that from 2014, history would be made a core subject in primary school under the Primary School Standard Curriculum.

He said the ministry would also make improvement to the subject, with emphasis on enhancing the understanding of the constitution so as to enlighten students about the country's nation-building process.

He also said that the implementation of the school-based assessment system, which would replace the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), would be brought forward from 2016 to 2014 following calls for the assessment system to be expedited.

"The UPSR (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah) examination will be retained but will undergo improvement based on current development. But we still need some time to retrain the teachers and so on," he said.

Muhyiddin said the ministry would also channel RM10mil to fund activities of Yayasan Guru Malaysia Berhad, a foundation set up to take care of the welfare of teachers.

"I've brought up this matter with the prime minister and he agrees that RM10mil be channelled to foundation," he said, adding that another foundation, Yayasan Guru Tun Hussein Onn, would be set up, also to care for the welfare of teachers.

"A total of RM200mil of fund will be channelled to the foundation," he added.

He also said that the ministry would implement the Primary School Standard Curriculum with emphasis on hands-on learning, language ability and fun learning, from next year.

The ministry also planned to increase the intake of vocational students to 81,000 students or 20% by 2015 compared to 40,706 students or 10% at the moment, he said.

"A total of RM340mil will be allocated for this purpose under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP)," he said, adding that four vocational schools would be built during the 10MP (2011-2015).

To enhance competency among vocational teachers, the ministry would train 4,764 teachers to achieve at least Level 3 in the Malaysian Skills Certificate from next year, he added. - Bernama


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ultimate STPM & SPM Tips & Trial Papers

Posted by Chong (Last updated: 15/10/2010)
student at malaysia-students.com
Note: This page will be updated frequently to include links to the latest STPM & SPM tips and trial papers available on the internet. Share this page at Facebook or Twitter / Bookmark to check often.

Got a tip or trial paper to share? Email us and do include the complete answer schema (skema jawapan) if available. If you blog, please link to us and your blog will be listed here.
Thanks: Edward Khoo, @Pop_Wire, @cheejen93 Share

Timetable: STPM and SPM (Jadual Peperiksaan)

SPM Trial Papers (Kertas Soalan Peperiksaan Percubaan SPM)

s: source | p: paper | a: answer | t: tip
s: Perlis
Bahasa Melayu (p1 p2)
English (p1 p2)
English 1119 (p1 p2)
Biology (p1 p2 p3 a1 a2 a3)
Physic (p1 p2 p3 aa)
Chemistry (p1 p2 p3 a1 a2 a3)
Modern Maths (p1 p2)
Add Maths (p1 p2 a1 a2)
EST (p1 p2)
Sejarah (p1 p2 a1)
Pendidikan Islam (p1 p2)
Bahasa Arab Tinggi (p1 p2 a1 a2)
Sains Pertanian (p1 p2)
ICT (pp aa)
Pendidikan Moral (pp aa)

s: Majlis Pengetua Sekolah Malaysia Negeri Pahang
Bahasa Melayu (p1 p2 a1 a2)
English (p1 p2 a1 a2)
Modern Mathematics (p1 p2 a1 a2)
Additional Mathematics (p1 p2 a1 a2)
Physics (p1 p2 p3 a1 a2 a3)
Chemistry (p1 p2 p3 a1 a2 a3)
Biology (p1 p2 p3 a1 a2 a3)
Sejarah (p1 p2 a1 a2a a2b)
Pendidikan Islam (p1 p2 a2)
Science (p1 p2 a1 a2)
Prinsip Akaun (p1 p2 a1 a2)
Geografi (p1 p2 a1 a2)
Perdagangan (p1 p2 a1 a2)
Ekonomi Asas (p1 p2 a1 a2)
Pendidikan Seni Visual (p1 a1)

s:Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM)

s: Sekolah Berasrama Penuh (SBP)
BM (a), BI (a), SJ (a), Math (a), +Math (a), Islam (a), Phy, Che, Bio, EST, Lukisan Kejuruteraan, Teknologi Kejuruteraan, Pendidikan Syariah Islamiah, Pengajian Al-Quaraan dan Sunnah

s: Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri Johor
BM (a), BI (a), SJ (a), Math (a), +Math (a), Phy (a), Che (a), Bio (a), Islam (a), Moral, Prinsip Akaun

s:Times Afterschool Soalan Ulangkaji SPM 2010 (Spot Questions for SPM 2010, Revision Questions, Past Year Question Analysis)

This collection of exam trial papers (koleksi kertas soalan SPM) are found online hosted at different websites.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Warning: Do not rely on these STPM / SPM tips to score. Use these tips to narrow down your final last minute revision before entering the exam hall. Use these tips only if you have already revised all topics and chapters!

SPM Exam tips (tip peperiksaan SPM)

Hot Topics Prediction (Topik / Soalan Ramalan SPM):
s: Isabelle Wong t: Che, Bio
Extra: CASIO fx-570ms scientific calculator guide

STPM Tips and Trial Papers

s: Pahang (p & a)
s: Kelantan (p & a)
Past year: Mathematics T

Hot Trending Topics (Topik / Soalan Ramalan STPM):
s: Isabelle Wong t: Che, Bio

How to download the SPM trial papers successfully?
1. Make sure that you are using broadband Internet service instead of narrowband dialup connection service since some files like SBP and Pahang trial papers are quite large and may take hours to download if you are using narrowband dial-up connection. This is the main reason why some of you fail to download these 2010 SPM and STPM trial papers.
2. Use download manager software to download the trial papers faster.

How to open the downloaded trial papers successfully?
1. To open PDF files, you need to install Adobe Reader.
2. To open zip or rar files, you may need to install 7-Zip.

How to share/upload your trial papers successfully?
1. Upload your trial papers to Scribd.
2. Email the link of the uploaded files to us or submit the link as a comment on this post.

Discuss: If you have taken UPSR, PMR, SPM and STPM exams in previous years, please share if you think it is worthy to purchase those costly SPM Soalan Bocor, Tips Terpilih Hebat SPM, Andrew Choo 100% Kena Tepat Tips or Tips Sure Kena or SPM forecast questions (Soalan Ramalan SPM) online.


► Read more on Ultimate STPM & SPM Tips & Trial Papers

Saturday, October 09, 2010

PMR to Change to School-Based Assessment Examination Beginning 2016

Posted by Chong

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin just announced that Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) will be changed to school based assessment examination from year 2016 onwards. This was the decision made after the committee that was formed to review the relevancy of PMR and UPSR in current school environment concluded that school based assessment was more suitable. The committee also said school based assessment was much preferred by the majority of the public.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, announced that Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) will remain as the national primary school public examination but with its syllabus improved. UPSR will remain in its current format but its syllabus will be revised to increase its effectiveness.

Source: The Star Online


► Read more on PMR to Change to School-Based Assessment Examination Beginning 2016

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Writing Term Papers and Plagiarism

Posted by Josette

We groan and complain when given assignments to do at the beginning of the semester. We’re lucky if we only need to write a minimum of 5 pages. Usually, we have to write around 8 to 12 pages for one assignment but the lazy me always writes the minimum number of pages. Due to my extreme laziness, lack of motivation, and my talent at procrastinating, I ALWAYS end up writing my papers the day before its due date. I hope to change this bad habit starting next semester!

Because I frequently write the minimum number of pages, my grades are only average. I believe that if I wrote more until the maximum number of pages, then I think I *might* get better grades. But in the end, it’s always the quality that counts and not the quantity. It depends on how you put your own ideas in your paper, how you elaborate and argue your points, how you organize them, how relevant they are to the main topic and so on.

In the beginning, I didn’t really understand what a term paper was. Fortunately, my sister lent me a book on writing research papers and after reading it halfway, I got an idea on how to get started. The book guided me on how to research for information, how to write outlines, how to write a bibliography, etc. You can find such books at your library too. I saw some at my university’s library and they’re just as informative. Too bad not many students bother to borrow them. I don’t think they even know that there are such books! But do borrow and read them so you’ll be ready for your next term paper.

Anyway, are you familiar with the word ‘plagiarism’? Look it up in your dictionary. I do hope you know that it’s kind of illegal to ‘copy and paste’ your term papers. Some students are very smart when doing this. They find information from various sources, usually from websites, and they combine them together. They then ‘forget’ to list out the sources in the bibliography section. If you’re using someone else’s work in your paper, it’s always a good idea to cite them to let your lecturer know that it’s not written by you. In fact, you only cite when you want to further prove your points.

Your lecturer wants to read what YOU wrote. They want to know what and how you think, how you argue your points. They want to know what YOU think on the topic given. Unfortunately, some students nowadays don’t write the papers themselves. They plagiarize instead and half of the time, they don’t realize that what they’re doing is wrong. Some even plagiarize for presentations.

Lecturers do warn students about plagiarizing and the consequences if they’re caught. They’ll also know if you do copy other people’s work. Remember, they have been lecturers for many years and have read a lot so they’ll definitely find out if it’s an original piece of work or if it’s been copied.

To be on the safe side, just don’t plagiarize and remember to cite your sources. Start your homework as soon as possible. Start doing your work the day you’re given the assignment. Do a little bit every day and before you know it, you might have completed your paper well before the due date. You’ll actually be given weeks to write your paper. Don’t be like me and most of the other students, cramming to write as much as possible one day before due date!


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to Survive Your Internship

Posted by Josette

The first day of work is just like your first day of school. So not true! You need to realise that you’re on your own and you won’t be spoon-fed. You’ll need your wits, grit, determination and a lot of positive thinking to succeed or at least, do your best to shine at your job internship.

My course mates and I were required to undergo a two-month long practical training after our second year in university. I was terribly nervous on my first day as an intern reporter at a newspaper organisation. Technically, it was my second time working. I had to brace myself to stay confident while meeting new people and learning the ropes of reporting for a major newspaper.

So, to help you prepare for your first, second or third internship, here are some internship survival tips:
  1. Learn as much as you can about the company or organisation where you’ll be working. Do your research on the Internet, the company’s website, newspapers, anywhere in order to have a better understanding of what the company does and expects from their employees. Find out who are their top people. Get to know what your role is when you start working there. Know the location of your workplace and practise getting there.

  2. Prepare yourself. By this, I meant by personal grooming and work ethics. Think about the proper clothes and shoes to wear. Get a haircut or a trim. Make sure you are clean, neat and tidy. Remember, first impressions count. Besides, brush up on your working skills or any other skills needed for work. I wished I had done more preparation before I started my internship but managed to catch up by reading a lot on newspaper reporting and writing, which were relevant to my job.

  3. Smile and be friendly. Even if you do meet some nasty people at work. Just maintain a calm, friendly demeanour and don’t worry if they don’t seem to like you. Try to get along with them but concentrate on doing the best in your job. Don’t fret if your boss seems unpleasant. He or she has a lot of responsibility so don’t be too quick to judge them. Listen to what they say and take note of any advice they give to you. You learn the best from your boss and superiors.

  4. Be alert and learn from your work surroundings. Know what’s happening. Ask questions if you don’t understand anything. There’s nothing wrong with asking. If you feel your workload is too light, you can ask for something extra to do. This shows your initiative and interest in the job. Don’t just sit around chatting on MSN, waiting for something to do. Ask for more.

  5. Give 100% effort in everything you do. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might – as the saying goes. Don’t do things halfheartedly as it sends out a wrong impression on you and it’ll reflect badly on your evaluation. Even if your boss initially sets simple tasks for you, do them well. This will show that you take pride in your work and that you’re ready for more important tasks.
If you perform well during your internship, they will keep you in mind if they have a hiring process later. You can also mention your job stint with the company when you apply for a job (position) there. Remember to put it down in your resume.

The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself when you’re an intern. It’s a great learning opportunity which exposes you to the real deal if you start working at the job full-time. Ask yourself if it’s something you’d like to do every day for the rest of your life after graduation. Make full use of this incredible experience to help you decide what you want to be.


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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Links: OSK Investment Challenge, NESCAFE Kick Start, Chill-Lah Gig & MILO Hidup Bola

The OSK Investment Challenge (Campus Edition) let you play stock trading with a virtual capital of RM100,000 to begin. You’ll learn to invest, polish your trading skills and reap the rewards for your efforts.

Get certificate of participation and win real cash grand prizes: 1st Prize RM25,000 2nd Prize RM10,000 3rd Prize RM5,000 and other attractive prizes.

MILO Hidup Bola easy redemption programme starts from June 1 till August 31, 2010. Just buy any MILO products to accumulate points used to redeem Adidas mini ball and MILO Hidup Bola bag. Just fill up and submit the form which can be download from MILO website to get these limited edition premiums from Adidas delivered to your house!

Join Cadbury: Share the Joy contest to win Wii console, iPod Shuffle, movie vouchers and other great weekly prizes!

Nescafe Chill-Lah Gig: Write the next great jingle and win grand prize RM10,000 plus other awesome prizes up for grabs. Enter now!

Nescafe Kick Start is back, and this time even more dream jobs to be won! Show your stuff and outshine the rest to win a 3-month internship (chance to convert into full-time employment subject to review) in a dream job of your choosing!

The 15 most wanted dream jobs available are travel writer, travel guide, brand custodian, NGO worker, gadget reviewer, party planner, TV host, mystery shopper, talent scout, wedding planner, celebrity PA, concert promoter, events writer, game tester and photo journalist.

Win one when you participate in F&N Juicy Wins Video Submission Contest! Plus, get Free Drinks and Instant rewards at 7Eleven participating outlets.

Have you taken the Treevia? Answer correctly as fast as you can, challenge your friends, and win prizes like iPod!


► Read more on Links: OSK Investment Challenge, NESCAFE Kick Start, Chill-Lah Gig & MILO Hidup Bola

Thursday, June 03, 2010

UPU 2010/2011 STPM-leaver IPTA Intake Application Results

Posted by Chong

The Star Online reported that June 18 is the date from which students can check to see if they are accepted into local public universities, according to Higher Education Department Director General Datuk Radin Umar.

You can check the IPTA intake application result through Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) website http://upu.mohe.gov.my and for STPM students who fail to get a varsity seat, you can do your appeal application (permohonan rayuan kemasukan ke Institut Pengajian Tinggi Awam, IPTA) via https://upu.mohe.gov.my/erayuanstpm/index.php

Please take note that you can appeal only if you ticked no at accepting course out of your eight choices during IPTA application (permohonan IPTA). The appeal results (keputusan rayuan FASA 1) will most probably out within a week before IPTA orientation week commencing on July 4 this year.

Semakan Keputusan Permohonan Kemasukan Ke IPTA Sesi Akademik 2010/2011 can also be done via the following four links, if the official website is unavailable or too slow to load:


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Monday, May 24, 2010

Links: Nokia The Rookie, Youth'10 Festival, NIKE Cup KL, Clean and Clear Top Models

Update: Use the promo code "YS" and get RM50 off the hottest HP Mini 5102, a lightweight mini executive that’s packed with the latest multi-touch touchscreen and touchpad technology.

Football Game: Nike Cup Kuala Lumpur


Nike Cup Kuala Lumpur 2010, 5 vs 5 Street Soccer. The battle begins. Make your move, set the pace, dictate the game! Blah Kalau Goyah! Does your team have what it take to win a football trip to Brazil or an exclusive training program with Brasil Futsal Academy?

Register & receive exclusive passes to watch Nidji, Bunkface, Pesawat & more at the Finals, Dataran Merdeka, 3 July 2010.

Reality Show: Nokia The Rookie


Nokia Malaysia proudly presents to you Malaysian version of "The Apprentice", The Rookie. 12 dynamic individual are battling it out for internships at four hign-profile companies, namely, Nokia, Universal Music, Standard Chartered Bank and 8TV. Armed with just a Nokia E72, Nokia Messaging and their wits, contestants will take on a series of challenges. Of the final four contestants, the ultimate champion will be crowned The Rookie and win a RM10,000 cash prize.

Predict the champion of The Rookie, and you could be one of 2 lucky winners who walk away with Nokia E72 devices.

Reality Show: CLEAN & CLEAR Top Best Friends Models


The CLEAN & CLEAR "Top Best Friends Models" search is here! You and your best friend could be the New Faces of CLEAN & CLEAR! It's so simple to join!

Free Passes: Youth'10 Festival


YOUTH'10, the largest youth lifestyle festival in Malaysia, presents you 3 nights with 3 concerts with awesome performances: 28-30 May, 2010, Putra World Trade Center, Kuala Lumpur.

► Read more on Links: Nokia The Rookie, Youth'10 Festival, NIKE Cup KL, Clean and Clear Top Models

Monday, May 03, 2010

ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship (NTU and NUS)

Posted by elie

For us Malaysian students hoping to study or already studying in one of the public universities in Singapore, there are a few scholarships that we are eligible for; one of them is the ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship.

In this article, I will talk about how to apply for the scholarship and also what goes on behind closed doors for the interview. I hope that this can help anyone who is interested to study in Singapore as this is a bond-free scholarship (you just have to serve 3 years working in Singapore or in a Singapore-owned company as required for the Tuition Grant).

The ASEAN scholarship is open for citizens from ASEAN countries (except for Singapore). The undergraduate scholarship is administered separately by the 2 universities; National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

So how do you apply for these scholarships? For NUS applicants, we are considered as foreign students (for non citizens/PRs). We do not have to apply separately for the scholarship; the school will notify you if you're shortlisted for an interview. For NTU applicants, after you complete your application online, you can apply for the scholarship using a separate online form. It would be good to ask one of your lecturers/teachers to prepare an Appraisal Letter for you, because after you have completed your scholarship application, you can ask your lecturer/teacher to submit his/her appraisal using the Appraisal Form online with your application number and details.

If you are shortlisted for the interview, you will be notified online and you would have to confirmed your attendance online; just follow the instructions in the email. From here on, I would relate my own experience on the interview process for the scholarship at NTU.

In my case, there were 3 interviewers. The interview was conducted in a meeting room, so there was a huge meeting table between me and the 3 interviewers (Not much of a chance to present your portfolio to back up what you're talking about). The one seated in the middle, directly opposite me, is the dean of Admissions, Dr. Lalit Goel. The other 2 interviewers were professors (but I did not take note of their names or faculty, was too nervous haha).

It was more like a friendly chat but these are some of the questions they might ask (from my own experience and others on the same day as me)
1. Compare NUS and NTU. Which one do you prefer and why?
2. Why do you deserve this scholarship?
3. Tell me more about your ...(extra curricular activities)
4. What have you learnt from ...(extra curricular activities)
5. If we award you the scholarship, but you would have to study your 5th choice, would you still accept the offer?
6. Tell me what and how can you contribute to campus life on NTU?

What I did was, I was polite but most of the time, I was just being myself. The most important thing here is to be confident and be natural! The dean is a really funny guy and the professors are quite friendly!

If you get shortlisted for the interview, be confident because if you're not good, they wouldn't have given you a chance to meet and talk to them right? If you don't, don't despair, as interviews are conducted in batches until June. And there's other options like the Tuition Fee Loan scheme and Work Study Scheme (work on campus and earn $10/hour; you can earn up to $400 per month).

Anyway, I hope that this post will be helpful for you guys!

Updated:
I was also invited for the ASEAN scholarship by NUS recently. Potential candidates will be notified by email. You will be required to fill in a CV form and email it back to the official. On the day itself, you must bring a photograph of yourself and a portfolio of your transcript(s), certificates and etc. It would also be better if you bring a hard copy of your own CV for your own reference.

The setting is very much different compared to NTU's interview. For the NTU interview, there was 3 interviewers including the Dean of Admissions. For the NUS interview, there was only one interviewer, the Deputy Director. The interview was held in a rather small room, so it helps if you bring a portfolio of your past achievements/projects or even photos. The questions were more or less the same, like "In your opinion, what do we look for in a scholar?", "Do you have the qualities of the scholar that we are looking for and why?" and things like that.


► Read more on ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship (NTU and NUS)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

SPM Results: 214 Straight A+ Scorers from 7,987 Straight As

Posted by Chong

The SPM 2009 results are out. A total of 465,853 students took Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM or Malaysian Certificate of Education) examination last year. Education director-general, Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom, announced to the press that 7,987 students obtained all As in all the subjects they took. On top of that, 214 of these straight As scorers scored all A+ in all their subjects. In other words, there is a total of 214 straight A+ scorers.

For those who do not who what are these A+ all about, please read the following excerpt taken from wikipedia.
Because the SPM examination is the final nationally standardised examination taken by the majority of Malaysians, a lot of scholarships are awarded based on results. Generally, it is considered that the more A+'s (previously 1A's) you achieve, the better you are. Thus, there is pressure to take as many subjects as possible in order to secure a scholarship. This is especially true of non-bumiputera students, since the government allocates a certain amount of scholarships to bumiputera students. However, things are expected to change as the government decided to take action by limiting the number of subjects, which means students can only take maximum 12 subjects for free in SPM, which has now been put into effect. If a student wish to take more than 12 subjects, he/she has to pay for it and he/she cannot take more than 21 subjects in total.

Starting from 2010, a subject limit of 10 will be imposed on every SPM candidate. The minimum of 8 subjects are lowered to 6 subjects. Students will be able to take 2 additional subjects (comprising Arab, Chinese, Tamil, Iban, Kada­zandusun and Bible Knowledge) that will not be counted in the consideration for federal scholarships if the 10-subject limit is reached.[8] By 2009, SPM will use a new grading system, the grades ranging from A+(which is a grade higher than previous 1A) to G(Gagal or 'Fail' in English'. The table below shows the comparison between previous grade system and the latest one.

Previous Grade System Latest Grade System (2009)

A+
1A A
2A A-
3B B+
4B B
5C C+
6C C
7D D
8E E
9G G
More updates to come. Post your questions regarding tertiary education, scholarship etc on Your Questions Answered to get fast reply.


► Read more on SPM Results: 214 Straight A+ Scorers from 7,987 Straight As

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

STPM and SPM-leavers: Your Questions Answered

Posted by Chong (Last updated: 6 March 2010)

Since STPM 2009 results released last Thursday, some of popular education forums and websites are currently down due to high server load. So, Malaysia Students Blog will be answering all your questions regarding tertiary education (what to do after SPM and STPM). We believe SPM 2009 results will be released in next week.

Director general of education announced that SPM 2009 result will be released on 11 March 2010 (Thursday).
A total of 165,853 sat for the SPM written examination at 3,569 centres in the country between Nov 18 and Dec 16 last year while 6,920 candidates took the STAM examination at 98 centres between Oct 19 and 27, the statement said. - Bernama

Post your questions on this post and we will try to answer them on a daily basis. Do check back often. If you're undergraduates or are knowledgeable in post SPM and STPM, please help us to help our fellow juniors. Do post your answer to the question if you're able to answer any of the questions posted. We appreciate your help. Very much ;-)

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Ask us any questions regarding tertiary education, from application of colleges, universities, scholarships to specific courses!

Recommended reading: Form Six, STPM, MUET


► Read more on STPM and SPM-leavers: Your Questions Answered

Monday, January 25, 2010

MUET Made Easy

Editor's note: Malaysia Students blog is currently undergoing redesign and change. We will now focus on tertiary education besides covering SPM, STPM and education news. Want to get your opinion/tips read by 10,000++ readers? Guest posting by sending your post to student at malaysia-students dot com.
Posted by Nurly

People have been telling me that MUET is JUST MUET. Contaminated by the thought that MUET is EASY, I didn’t put much effort when I sat for the end of 2009 MUET. I perceived MUET as just another English test to sit. I simply thought that as long as I pass the minimum band requirement for my college, it is good enough. I only spent a few hours the night before the test by going through several essay questions to kick-start my brain and that was it. Despite my little effort and much to my astonishment, I scored a Band 6 in MUET. J I am very grateful that Lady Luck was on my side. However, some of my friends weren’t very lucky. They had the same mindset as I did – no need to do preparations, just achieve the minimum band and rejoice. Sadly, quite a number of them had to re-sit the test as they scored below the required band for our college. Hey, MUET IS A HIGHER LEVEL ENGLISH TEST. If you screw it once, you’ll have to pay and re-sit for another. And because I don’t want others to face what my friends faced, I wish to help everyone out there who is eager to perform well in their upcoming MUET. So here are some brief introduction and tips on how to ace MUET based entirely on my experience.

Firstly, there are 4 papers to sit for MUET: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The Speaking test is conducted on one day, while the Listening, Reading and Writing tests are held altogether on a different day.

Speaking Test

What to expect: You’ll be placed into groups of 4 according to your candidate number. 2 sessions will be conducted beginning with Individual Presentation and ensued with Group Discussion. A main topic will be given, for example, ‘There are many ways of obtaining information today’. Each candidate will then receive one suggestion to elaborate on. For instance, ‘the Internet’ for candidate A, ‘the mobile phone’, ‘newspapers’ and ‘radio and television’ for candidates B, C and D respectively. Candidates will be given 2 minutes to prepare their points and another 2 minutes to present their views individually. Once the Individual Presentation session is done, the second session begins. 2 minutes will be given for all candidates to discuss and decide as to which of the four suggestions is the best.

My experience: I was very lucky as I was the fourth candidate and the last to present my points. I had more time to jot down my ideas while other candidates were presenting theirs. I am fluent in English thus I had no problem elaborating my points. As for the Group Discussion session, everyone in my group voiced out different views and hence made the session a lot more interesting. We didn’t fight or debate, we simply said what we believe was right. We also helped each other throughout the session. We were tolerant to one another in which each person had almost equal time to speak. Everyone had their say and none of us conquered the discussion.

Tips: If you are competent in English, there is nothing for you to worry. However, if you are not fluent in this language, I suggest that you practise speaking English with your friends beforehand. It helps if you warm-up your brain before the test by having a discussion with your friends. Use simple words and speak at a normal pace. Speak clearly. Don’t rush your words or mumble. Also, if possible, try to give out-of-the-box views. This test does not only assess your fluency in English. The invigilators will give extra marks for mature, wise and sensible ideas. Furthermore, make full use of the 2 minutes duration time by elaborating in details or giving more suggestions. 2 minutes sounds short, but when you’re out of words it can be very long. Most importantly, avoid saying ‘uhm’, ‘err’, ‘well’ repetitively as this clearly shows how nervous you are.

Reading Test

What to expect: A total of 45 objective questions; 10 are True/False questions. The questions are based on several passages. Duration of 90 minutes.

My experience: Honestly, this paper was the most difficult for me. The passages were difficult to understand as a broad range of vocabulary was in use. The MCQ choices were very tricky and time constraint made it even worse. I didn’t even have the time to recheck my answers.

Tips: Truth be told, you need to practise answering some MUET sample questions as preparation. I didn’t try any questions and oh my, I was so stumped that it took me a long time to understand the passages! The passages are very difficult to comprehend but I suppose that if you’re used to reading newspapers it wouldn’t be a problem. When answering the paper, read the excerpt first (understand the main idea), then go through the questions briefly and finally read the excerpt again. Underline or highlight sentences that are related to the questions. Most importantly, FOCUS! Don’t bother looking at other candidates or build castles in the air. Trust me, the 90 minutes is not enough!

Writing Test

What to expect: 1 summary (comparison) question based on a graphic. The graphic can be tables, graphs, short excerpts or even bar/pie charts. You are required to make comparison based on the graphic provided. Also, 1 essay question; usually argumentative. 90 minutes.

My experience: The night before my MUET, I sat with my roommate and we brainstormed on points for the essay, new words, idioms, quotes and the like. I’ve always loved writing so I wasn’t very worried for this section.

Tips: For the summary question, familiar yourself with comparison words. Use words like ‘better than’, ‘higher’, ‘rise’, ‘elevate’, ‘levelled out’, ‘equal’, ‘reduce’ and ‘lessen’ to give your essay a boost. Concentrate only on the main points as you are to write a very short 200 words summary. You should first compare on the statistics/graphs/etc given, then add 1 or two points based on your understanding of the graphic. Or in other words, write a few lines on your inference on the graphic. As for the argumentative essay, try to memorise a number of bombastic words and idioms to beautify your essay. You shouldn’t simply memorise them but you ought to know how and when to use them. Also, check out a thesaurus to find synonyms for useful words that you may want to use repetitively. For instance, alternatives to ‘thus’ are ‘therefore’, ‘hence’, ‘consequently’ and ‘as a result’. In addition, to defend your stand, use words like ‘justify’, ‘strongly belief’, ‘affirm’, ‘emphasize’ and et cetera. If you are weak in writing, avoid composing a lengthy essay. The longer you write, the more grammatical errors you’ll make. Try to write a short but compact essay.

Listening Test

What to expect: 20 questions consisting of both MCQ and subjective questions. The tape will be repeated twice and extra time will be given for you to answer all the questions.

My experience: I have to say that I am very lucky for MUET. I was seated in the first row and the radio was right in front of my desk. Unlike my friends who sat far behind and could only hear whispers of voices, I could hear loudly and clearly – word by word. Very lucky, weren’t I? *grins*

Tips: Frankly speaking, the questions for listening test are pretty easy and straightforward. You just have to listen attentively and take your time in answering the questions. I have to warn you that the questions are not in sequence with the dialogue so you should first brief through the questions before the session starts. Don’t panic if you missed a point as the tape will be repeated for a second time.

Well, I hope that I’ve made MUET easy for you. May you have a great MUET experience and score one of the high bands. MUET is rather tough if your English isn’t strong but fret not because practice makes perfect. JBuy a MUET exercise/sample papers/past year compilation book to have a better grasp of this test. If I can score a band 6, why can’t you? I am neither a debater nor a public speaker. I speak in my mother tongue (which is not English!) 24/7 at home. So if I can ace a band 6, I’m pretty sure you can too.

Have faith in yourself and all the best, folks! xD

Recommended: Free MUET Tips & 10 Reasons Why You Should Buy This MUET Guide (Panduan MUET) written by MUET teacher & examiner at RM30!


► Read more on MUET Made Easy

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