Most students find it challenging when deciding what they want to study and what they plan to pursue in college. This is because:
a) most do not have a specific interest
b) they face financial issues
c)are still unclear on the courses that are offered by the colleges.
To overcome this issue, one should :
1. Identify your strengths
The most common question post-SPM students get is “What do you plan to study after SPM?” Questions like, “What do you like to do?” or “What are your hobbies?” are questions that are general and sometimes, us, students don’t have hobbies that lead us directly into jobs. It is well-noted for a fact that your interests and hobbies are not necessarily something you are good at but, something you enjoy doing. Hence, to get a better measurement of your actual skills, start by looking at your previous exam results. You can also look at the entire year of exam results to get an accurate measurement of your skills according to the consistency of your results. The subjects that you thrive in are your strengths.
2. Reflect and study offered options
Some questions to ask yourself :
1. Do you prefer a 100% exam based course (like SPM), 50% exam 50% coursework (quizzes, projects, short test) or 70% coursework 30% exam?
2. Do you plan to pursue your studies overseas?
3. Are you still unsure of what you intend to study hence, you want a course that offers broader options and admission into a different college/uni?
If your answer is :
100% exam based course – you should go for A-levels.
50% exam 50% coursework-Foundation programmes
70% coursework 30% exam- Canadian Pre-U programmes
Going overseas to study- you should do A levels/American Degree Programme/AUSMAT/SAM
Unsure of what to study but want broad options- A-levels/AUSMAT/SAM
Want to study locally- Foundation Programmes/STPM/ Malaysian Matriculation/AUSMAT/SAM/A-Levels
Already know a specific course you want to take up-Diploma
3. Make lists
Although you are clueless or unable to decide which course to take up, you would know what job you would want or would not want to do. Cross out the unpreferred jobs. This leaves only the jobs you want to do and enables you to choose which course to take up in college according to your preferences.
4. Work from the end to the front
The best solution is to know what degree you want to study before entering a Pre-U programme. Work from the end by finding the right university that offers you the desired course and you can choose whether to join the Pre-U programme offered by the same college/uni or, choose another one whereby you can transfer to that course. All in all, look for courses that suit you and your needs/interests. An example will be subjects offered by the college.
5. Consider the time factor
Consider the duration of the programme you have chosen. Look at the intake of the Pre-U programme and the intake of the desired degree. Let’s say the intake for your foundation programme is in January and it ends in December. The intake for your degree is in February. This leaves you two months of break before heading back into your studies. Another situation would be if you choose to go for the March intake for your foundation programme. The intake for your degree is either in March or August for the following year. Hence, you’re only left to choose August as your option. What then are you going to do in the 5 months of your break? All these options need to be put into consideration so that you make the right decision.
6. Visit the Admission Office
There are counsellors in various colleges and universities who are willing to help you. I would suggest that you visit the respective college/university’s website and do some research of your own before visiting the Admission Office. This is because, you would be clearer on what you’re going into and you would be able to make decisions faster and easier. Don’t rush it, though. Take time to think carefully because it’s the place you’re going to be studying for the next four years. Don’t stress out too much either. College/university is just a ticket to getting your job and to provide you with the skills and knowledge required for your job.
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