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Saturday, November 01, 2014

SPM is worth every bit of your hard work

SPM 2014 Tips and Trial Papers

SPM is worth every bit of your hard work

by M&A [Writing Contest 2014 ★ Winner ★]

I was appalled when my friends shared the viral article ‘Why I Regret Getting Straight A1 in SPM’ on Facebook and commented that an impressive SPM result is just not worth the sacrifices. In that article, the blogger noted that in vying for stellar academic results, he had lost friends and family, suffered severe sleep deprivation, and mentioned other reasons that all pointed to the direction of ‘It’s just not worth the effort.’

What my friends didn’t recognise is that this case is an extreme one. Anyone who is pursuing for the extreme will usually not end up well, often suffering from emotional or financial distress. One of the main rules in life is not to get obsessed with any earthly things. Fortunately, you don’t need to be the best SPM scorer in the nation to receive the exact same rewards as the nation’s best: getting a scholarship (preferably overseas) and the perks that associate with it. The fact is that there is more than just the gold-medal winner in this competition. There are thousands of scholarships available to top scorers. You just need to be one of the selected thousands to receive a scholarship.

Let’s remind ourselves what are the benefits of receiving a scholarship. At its core, it helps your family to save tens of thousands to possibly hundreds of thousands of ringgit. If you are studying in London for example, JPA gives an allowance of 1045 pounds every month- that’s more than RM 5000 per month. If you are going to overseas, you will receive a world-class education and most probably a world-wide recognised degree. Education aside, you get to immerse yourself in a foreign culture, full of its quirks and niceties. You get to travel to new places and meet new people from around the globe. Many working adults save their hard-earned money just to travel for several days in one of the Western countries and you are spending years in their dreamland. An overseas education could transform you into a more independent, self-reliable and resourceful adult. And best of all, at the end of your degree, you are most likely guaranteed a job (let’s not forget the bonding). If you are an aspiring chemical engineer, getting a Shell or Petronas scholarship would certainly put you ahead of the competition in securing a good prospect job with a competitive salary.

Guess what? The best chance of you enjoying all these privileges is by scoring the best you can in SPM. With the recent announcement by the Ministry of Education, every student who scores 9A+ and above will have his pre-u education (either A-level, IB, STPM or matriculation) sponsored fully, with monthly allowances at the school of his choice. Upon receiving an offer from any top 50 recognised universities in the world (or top 20 for the 2013 SPM top scorers batch as according to unofficial announcements) JPA would sponsor his degree fully. Working hard for your SPM has the impact of changing your life forever. By investing your effort, it’s one of the best bets that you could ever make in your life.

I have witnessed many of my friends who are forced to change their course from A-level to STPM because of financial reasons. There are a few aspiring doctors whom I know who had to stay away from the medicine career path simply because they couldn’t obtain a scholarship. Whether you like it or not, the truth is that your SPM result could determine the future of your life, for good or bad.

I have also seen many of my slightly above average friends in SPM who went on to score 5 As in STPM, a tremendous feat which demands respect. It is not uncommon for STPM top scorers to sleep less than 5 hours a day to cope with their studies. The point is that if they had put in such dedication earlier in Form 5 (there is no doubt in their potential and ability), they probably wouldn’t end up in STPM and had to suffer the hardship to prove themselves. Had they scored 9 A+ and above, they would have been in college studying A-level, much bearable compared to STPM and possibly heading to overseas for their degrees with a JPA scholarship.

It’s all about self-motivation, discipline and time-management in preparing for your SPM. Your 1 or 2 years of total concentrated effort in upper secondary is worth it. There is no need to stress yourself to the limits, put your health in jeopardy and ignore those important relationships during this time. Managing your priorities is the key to better time management. It is unwise, for example, to spend a substantial amount of time in co-curricular activities in the last 3 months before your SPM trials. Adulthood is all about being shrewd in prioritising and juggling several important priorities at the same time. Preparing for exams with the right attitude would go a long way to help you be stronger in life.

There is no guarantee in life. Life is full of uncertainties. You might not get the 9 A+ you want even if you have worked hard for it. But what is life without trying and taking risks? Life is more meaningful if you have goals in mind, both short-term and long term. For the same reason that we respect Olympians for their determination, perseverance and discipline, those who are working hard to score in SPM deserve our praises too.

Keep Calm and Study Well for SPM
Keep Calm and Study Well for SPM

Work hard for your SPM. It is one of the best investments that you can make in life- the investment in yourself. If the investment turns out to be successful, the rewards could last a lifetime. It is more than worth it.

The writer, 20, has just completed his pre-u course and intends to study in the UK. In his spare time, he enjoys reading. He is grateful for God’s love and how far God has guided him in his life. He would like to thank his family and his best friend for making life wonderful for him.
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  1. In fact, mid-term and trial results are very important to all Form 5 students. Make sure you study hard and smart and be well prepared so you are able to obtain a scholarship. Make sure to look out for scholarships and apply them when you get your mid-term/trial results. As for SPM, aim for straight A's with A+ and A. Try to avoid A- because the amount of scholarship offered to you will be significantly reduced. SPM is worth your hard work because about half or more of the syllabus is repeated in foundation programmes and it's best to master them before SPM and apply them in your foundation programme. You may think getting a scholarship is pressurizing but it motivates you to do better in college. As you all know PMR/PT3 to SPM is a big step and change. SPM to college is different too. Prepare yourself for college by studying hard during SPM so that you are able to develop good habits and skills required for college.


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