Thursday, April 24, 2014

What Being "The Leader" Taught Me

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Be one of the ten people to win RM100 cash** from us by submitting a post/essay/article on any topics relevant to education or students in Malaysia to our writing contest!

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Pre-University & Undergraduate Scholarship Offers

  1. 25 April 2014: PIDM Undergraduate Scholarship Programme
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  5. 30 April 2014: GAMUDA Scholarship Awards
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  8. 16 May 2014: Maxis Scholarship for Excellence Awards
  9. 18 May 2014: The Google Anita Borg Memorial Undergraduate & Postgraduate Scholarship: Asia Pacific
  10. 15 June 2014: Education Ministry Bursaries (Bursary Pelajar Cemerlang SPM Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia)
  11. 20 August 2014: Yaw Teck Seng (YTS) Foundation Scholarship Awards (Previously known as Samling Scholarships)

What Being "The Leader" Taught Me

Guest post written by Esther Ling
The Pencil Box
“Leadership, it’s not for me.” “Let someone else be the leader.” “I think I want to be a leader, but I’m not sure where to start.”

Sounds familiar?

We have all been there. Leadership is a scary word for people just starting out, for example, when we first became president of a club or the organizing-chairperson of an event.

Here are some things that being in a leadership position taught me.

It taught me to think on my feet
I was the chair of an organization at my university last year. Throughout the year, I experienced firsthand that events do not always go according to plan. Unforeseen circumstances cause you to change plans and come up with an immediate decision. When I was the leader, people naturally came to me reporting unexpected situations and looked up to me to make the call.

Independent But Not Alone

Here’s what I wrote a year ago recalling the tension while organizing a big event:
“I realize stress comes from not being in control. You have many uncertainties laid out in front of you – which call for effective problem solving. Sometimes, you lack the luxury of time and of the whole team coming together to decide on the best course of action. Plans are dynamic. The frustration comes because there are open ended options, and plans keep changing.”

One example I remember was a Project Demo-Day that had a few objectives. Last minute occurrences made it impossible to meet all of them. Holding a quick discussion with my main team, I saw that having multiple objectives was part of our wanting to kill a few birds with one stone, but to make the event a success we had to decide on our most important objective and compromise on the fringe ones. This real-time simulation gave me a firsthand experience of thinking on my feet.

It taught me to be brave to make decisions
I have never enjoyed making decisions that would have an effect on others. It meant you would be susceptible to blame later, should the decision bring about a negative effect. It is always easier to sit on the fence and wait for someone else to make the call.

be brave to make decisions

But then I became the Project Leader of a community project two years ago. It put me in a position to analyze situations and make the decision while everyone else sat back and waited for me to make the decision. It didn’t mean I would have the perfect solution, but stepping out to say “OK, let’s do this and not that,” taught me about being responsible and accountable for the team.

It taught me to direct attention in a group of people
I once read an online comic about introverts. “Q: How do you kill an introvert?” “A: At a large party, put poison in his drink and place the magic potion across the room.”

Direct Attention

Yes, I’m an introvert and I prefer to stay out of crowds, much less have attention on me in a crowd. So how did I manage when I became the leader? I found out that I did have the capacity to speak and direct attention when I was needed. For example, I once led a team of students to run a programming workshop in a secondary school. There were a few instances when I had to get a message across to the whole team, and I naturally spoke up assertively to the crowd to get the message out. Once again, it was the act of doing so that stretched my boundaries and caused me to grow.

Conclusion
Don’t shy away from being a leader. I once mentioned in an article that university is a great place to learn, experiment and make mistakes. If you are afraid, it means you are stepping out of the comfort zone, and that is good because it will bring growth. If there is a takeaway from this article, it is these three words: “Have a go.” So, step out and have a go at being the leader!

Esther Ling
Esther Ling is a final year electrical power engineering student at Curtin Sarawak. She founded The Pencil Box in 2013, which has since been featured on The Ant Daily. The Pencil Box helps students accelerate their learning curve at university, by providing articles on self-development, leadership and creative learning. The Pencil Box website: www.jclathepencilbox.org


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Win RM100 in 30 minutes or less* - here's how

Posted by Chong

Be one of the ten people to win RM100 cash** from us by submitting a post/essay/article on any topics relevant to education or students in Malaysia to our writing contest!

Do you know, Malaysia Students Blog by students for students, the most popular education blog in Malaysia***, is still alive and kicking in our 9th year this year since established in 2006! In fact, our readership has been growing strongly year over year. Over the past eight years, many similar student blogs were started but eventually became inactive or even disappeared completely as the bloggers moved on to focus on other commitments in their lives. To remind you that we are not dead yet and see no sign of dying, we now announce the exciting writing contest!

Okay, that's a lame excuse for a writing contest. The truth is, we did organise one writing contest back in 2008 to reward our talented readers and it went very well even though we had a very small readership then. The 13 entries that we received were insightful and covered a variety of topics. After that successful writing contest, we wanted to organise another one the following years but due to blah~ blah~ haze, water crisis blah~ [insert lame excuses here], finally, we are here to announce our writing contest today!

This writing contest will not be possible without the support from our distinguished sponsors, Hotcourses and EasyUni!


Hotcourses provides extensive info on undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses for Malaysian students in Malaysia and overseas. Do not wait, visit Hotcourses today to plan for your further studies!

What we really like about Hotcourses are the helpful student guides on applying to university, visa guides, student finances, career prospects and other relevant topics, offering free and practical advices to those going for undergrad and postgrad studies.


EasyUni, the Asia's largest university and college portal, offers comprehensive info of thousands of courses, from 1959 universities and colleges in 27 countries for FREE. You are really lucky that EasyUni exists today as you can get all education info in one portal. We wish we had EasyUni last time.

What we really like about EasyUni is the info on tuition fee, which is really critical for many of us during the decision making on whether it is the right and affordable university for us or not.

Writing Contest on Education, Examination and Experience

The steps are as simple as 1-2-3 below:
  1. Understand the rules. Deadline for submission is 18th May 2014 (Sunday) 11:59PM. Result announcement: end of May 2014.

    This writing contest is open to all students in Malaysia (including international students) and those who have been students in Malaysia (can be working now or currently further studying abroad).

    Your writing must be original (never published before) and is written for this writing contest. Do not submit your school essay or modify your old blog post and send to us.

    90% on the usefulness/insightfulness/practicalness etc. of your content or idea and 10% on English grammar, spelling, sentence structure etc. Unlike most writing contests, our writing contest is not about your English language or your essay writing skills. The main criteria to win is your contents or ideas add the greatest value to our readers who are mostly SPM, pre-university students and undergraduates in Malaysia.

    Update: No minimum length, no length limit, all writing styles are welcomed (formal, informal, :sarcasm:, emoticons, hashtags...). As long as your writing can convey your message clearly and concisely, any length will do.

    By submitting your post/article/essay, you have given full permission and all rights for us to publish it on Malaysia Students Blog, regardless winning or not. We reserve the rights to edit your submission for clarity, change the title, insert links to other relevant posts on our blog, correct spelling or grammatical errors before we publish.

    You may submit more than one entry but one person can only win maximum one of the ten cash prizes of RM100. Cash will be deposited to your personal account with Malaysia's major banks.

    Malaysia Students Blog will decide the winners based on the criteria we set and we have the final say on who are the winners. Call us dictator or whatever, no questions on why this entry does not win or why that entry wins will be entertained.
     
  2. Write a post/article/essay on any topics relevant to education or students in Malaysia. Your topic may be general (e.g. 10 simple ways to improve your english) or specific (e.g. how to score MUET). You may write on your insightful and thought-provoking opinions on specific education issues (e.g. who ever said that matrix was easy, don't go to university for the sake of it), share your extraordinary student life or education experiences (e.g. life at matrikulasi, why I regret getting straight A1 in SPM) or offer practical advices and helpful tips to fellow junior students (e.g. how to score straight A+'s in SPM, 5 habits of successful college students).

    Let's share with you 10 examples of topics we managed to brainstorm in less than five minutes:
    1. Apa lagi student mahu? What we really want from our education system
    2. Healthy diet for students - more nutritional than just kangkung and ayam
    3. How Ultraman inspired me to be an ethical student
    4. How I earned RM5,000 a month while I was still a student
    5. How I get Band 9 in IELTS - 10 simple tips and tricks
    6. How to master SPM Additional Mathematics? 10 little-known effective ways
    7. Should students buy SPM exam tips? Why and why not
    8. My amazing internship experience that you won't believe is true
    9. 10 mobile apps that help me tremendously in my study
    10. Save money guide for students - 20 creative ways to save money

    Browse through our blog archives for inspiration or ideas. If you are still in doubt whether your topic is considered relevant or not, feel free to check with us by email before you start writing. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
     
  3. Submit your entries in doc or docx format with creative title to us through email with the subject 'Writing Contest'. If you use photos, pictures in your writing, state the original source of the images. Include a short paragraph of your intro, for example your nickname or real name, age, education background, hobbies etc. Optionally, include a photo of yourself (selfie is perfect!), a link to your Twitter or blog. Our email address is shown at the top of the blog.

    Check our blog often for writing contest updates and winner announcement. Recommended: subscribe to our mailing list to receive latest news on winner announcement and read all great writing contest entries we will publish by email.
Questions? Leave us a comment below and we will get back to you. Good luck!

* It took us on average 30 minutes to write a post on this blog.
** A big thank you to 44 readers who responded to our ongoing survey. For this writing contest, we make the decision to award ten winners each with RM100 instead of five winners each with RM200 based on the survey result.
*** Based on our own observation of Malaysian blogs focusing mainly on education. Blogs that cover many different topics other than education such as entertainment news, politics are not included in our definition of education blog. According to our blog statistics, Malaysia Students Blog was visited by more than 100,000 unique visitors in February 2014 and has 19,000 subscribers.


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

5 Habits of Successful College Students who Become Successful Adults (#2 will surprise you)

Guest post written by Lu Wee
The Pencil Box
Getting good grades in college is a status symbol. You have the privilege of being seen as one of the smart ones. You receive accolades and commendations from your peers and professors alike. After being recognized as a successful college student, you think, ‘I’m ready for the world.’

But are you really? Does getting good grades prepare you for the real world?

The answer, unsurprisingly, is no.

New studies have found that a wholly academic college experience handicaps young adults for the real world. Too much focus on passing exams leaves little room for developing the skills that the real world would pay for.

More and more college students graduate to find themselves unemployable. How can you be different? What habits differentiate successful college students who go on to become successful adults?

#1 They participate in activities which helps them develop their leadership skills
Participate in Activities

Reading books and articles about good leaders is great. But being a leader in practice will make you an even better leader. In order to do this, you need to actively seek out opportunities where you can exercise leadership. The leadership skills that you develop in college will be useful in your college projects as well as future career.

How to start: Ask around to see if there are any open opportunities to be a leader in an already established group that you are interested in on campus. If no such group exists, you are welcome to start you own.

#2 They have fun with their friends
Networking with Friends

Socializing with your friends isn’t a waste of time. The social skills you develop right now will help you connect with people you work with in the future. These social skills will help you network with people of influence and propel your career after college.

How to start: Plan regular outings with friends you’ve known for a while and friends you’ve just met. Outings can vary from simple lunches to meet-ups on subject interests (programming, books, anime are just a few examples of subject interests that are currently popular among college students).

#3 They exercise regularly
Do Regular Exercise

No matter how busy you get at your assignments, projects and exams, carve out time to exercise. Not only does it help you keep fit and look good, research has shown exercise to be key in stress reduction. Exercise helps you relax your brain and ready it for the next studying session.

How to start: Find an activity you enjoy and get some friends to do it with you. Doing things in groups usually keeps it going much longer than going at it alone.

#4 They experiment with projects that excite them but aren’t necessarily related to their academics
Experiment with Projects

Sometimes you go into a field of study because your parents or teachers thought it was a good idea. ‘You’re smart, you should be a doctor!’ ‘You’re good in Physics, you should be an engineer’. If you secretly think you would be happier if you could bake cakes your entire life, you just might want to give baking every weekend a shot!

How to start: Ask yourself this: What’s one thing I wish I could keep doing my entire life? Once you’ve identified that, plan the interest into your schedule. If it’s writing, you might want to start writing a couple of articles a week.

#5 They find mentors to guide them
Mentor' Roles

What do professional basketball stars and golf players have in common? That’s right, they have a coach. Think about it. Why do professionals need coaches? Professionals need coaches because they want to be even better than they are now. Like how professionals need coaches, you need mentors. Coaches and mentors are people who can see the problems you don’t.

How to start: Email somebody you admire and add value to them. The more value you can add to their life the more they will want to connect with you. Never, though, start a first interaction with an ask for help!

Lu Wee teaches young college students and recent college graduates how to break mental barriers and start their own business or projects on her blog. She believes that everyone should be able to spend their life working on things they they enjoy and things that are meaningful to them. Lu Wee is also the founder of Entrepreneur campfire - a community which connects aspiring entrepreneurs with young entrepreneurs. She started this community as a way to connect and to connect like-minded people together. Whenever she can, she goes around campuses in Malaysia to talk about entrepreneurship as a really cool way to spend time, make money and do things that might change the world. She is always looking to connect with young entrepreneurs or anyone who enjoys starting projects. Feel free to leave her a message at talk@luweetang.com


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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Students to Own University Student (Campus) Election Commission

Written by Marcus Lee, Law Student of University of Malaya
Universiti Malaya (UM) Dewan Tunku Canselor
Universiti Malaya (UM) Dewan Tunku Canselor

Annually, the University Student Election (Campus election) is organized in every single Malaysia public university concurrently, or around the same time. The elected students will form a body, namely Student Representative Council, representing the students and channel their opinions to the university level, somehow it is just like the Members of Parliament elected by the people to lead, care and defend the rights of the people. However, is that so in reality?

Allow me to share my experience and some humble opinion on the campus election of the University of Malaya (UM), top university in Malaysia (I hope UM is still in the “Top 200” list in QS ranking). Well, the election in UM was organized by the university authorities, by forming a committee similar to the “Election Commission” to handle the campus election.

The students from Pro-Mahasiswa party (anti-establishment) were skeptical towards the independence of the “election commission”, whether the organizer was biased towards the Pro-HEP party (pro-establishment). E-voting system was used by the university, and the students casted their votes online using the computers prepared beforehand by the authority in the residential colleges and faculties. Compared to manual voting method, the E-voting is not flawless, and its reliability is often questioned by the students. For instance, the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), a public university, experienced a glitch following an emergence of phantom voters during its campus election in 2012, and a re-election was held.

Some of the students were reluctant to vote for the anti-establishment candidates, because they believed that their votes can be traced in the system. One said: “If the system can identify who has casted their vote and who hasn’t, then the system might be able to trace which candidate we have voted”. Especially to the students who were staying in the residential colleges in UM, they were afraid that if they vote for the anti-establishment, they will not be able to renew their tenancy.

Apparently, rumours were spreading like wildfire; some of them chose to believe the “hidden meaning” behind the placing the voting centres in their residential colleges. Mind that, students’ matric numbers (nombor kad matrik) were used to generate a code for the students to log in and cast their votes, so they are not convinced even the authorities assured the secrecy of the election. Whether the data in the system can be captured when it was sent to be kept in the database due to the advancement of technology remains another question.

Apart from the voting method, let’s look at the Student Representative Council (Majlis Perwakilan Mahasiswa, MPM), the elected members of the council, are they involved directly in the development of the university? The answer is NO. The name of the council explains it well, they are merely representatives, they have no power and thus their positions as students’ representatives are very much ceremonial. Look at the top western universities, they have Students’ Union (University of Malaya once had a Students’ Union too) that fight for the rights of the university students. For example, the Cambridge University Students’ Union fought against tuition fees and fee rises, they fought for equality and diversity as well as environmental sustainability.

In UM, the Student Representative Council organizes the graduation ceremony, giving multiple suggestions to the Students’ Affair Division (Hal Ehwal Pelajar, HEP) of the university, and nothing more than that. The existence of University and University Colleges Act 1971 (AUKU) and the rules of UM have very much restricted the freedom of assembly and expression of the students. Recently, some of the representatives fought for hidden fees (every students staying in the residential colleges are compulsory to pay RM120 for the colleges’ dinner at the end of the year), suggestion made to the university for making the event to optional instead of compulsory because the rising of living cost burdened the students’ family.

The suggestions were ignored, no solution has been decided, and nothing else is heard after that meeting. Thus, compared to the Students’ Union that we once had, the current council is only ceremonial, and helping the students only at a very minimal level.

The education aimed to produce students who can think out of the box and of most important, empowering students. The question here is why the campus elections are not in the hand of the students? Let the students grow by allowing them to organize the election, allow them to form their own “election commission” and carry out the election with integrity and full maturity. The committee will be more independent, and they can bring in improvements to the campus election, such as changing the election from E-voting to manual voting.

Besides, this can raise the awareness of the students of their rights of voting as the major stakeholder of the university (at least the university and the residential colleges can save the money of buying free food for the voters). It is not stated in the AUKU that campus election must be organized by the university authority. Through organizing an election in UM, I believe the students can earn valuable experience without compromising the integrity of the organizing committee.

In conclusion, the university authorities or the Students Affair Division have no reason to take care of everything, they have to allow the students to be involved in the development of university and organizing committee for campus election will be a perfect platform for the students to grow.

Notice: University of Malaya (UM) Campus Election of Student Representatives


The article was first published at HarakahDaily on 29 March 2014.


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

7 Tips for Surviving College

Guest post written by Daniel Oon Wei Rhen

College can be incredibly stressful at times. This is especially true during exam periods and as deadlines for assignments and projects draw near. Here are 7 ways to help make these stressful periods more manageable.

1. Don’t stress out!
I know this is easier said than done but stressing out about stuff would not make things easier and all it does is it sucks the fun out of your studies, which makes it even harder to find the motivation to study.
Stressed College Student

2. Prioritize
It can be overwhelming having to deal with multiple assignments and exams all at once. When one is in such a situation, it is generally a good idea to try tackling the more difficult tasks. Why? Because the more demanding tasks require a lot more concentration and effort, and hence, by hunkering down and hacking away at challenging tasks first, we are able to achieve more. We tend to be more motivated and mentally fresh in the beginning of the day, and as the day draws on, we get tired and lose our mental concentration. If we were to tackle the easier ones first, then we lose momentum by the time we get to the more difficult tasks.
Prioritize: First Thing First

3. Set daily targets
Setting a reasonable target for each class AND writing it down goes a long way in keeping you motivated. Study the syllabus carefully and try to get a good idea of what is expected of you for each class. Talk to the professor in the beginning of the semester to get a ‘feel’ for the class. Writing goals down is important because it makes the goals tangible. As humans, we forget easily. Writing goals down and placing it where you can see them every morning before you head to class helps you to stay focus throughout the semester.
Set Daily Targets

4. Count your losses
If things get to the point where you have to choose between tasks, then you have to pick the more important task and abandon the rest. Part of being human is that we can’t always achieve every single thing we want to. For example, say, I have to finish a problem set for my Mechanics class that is due 8am the following day and I have to submit a paper due at the same time. The Mechanics problem set, however, would only account for less than 5% of my final grade while the paper would account for 35% of my final grade. In this instance, I would have to forgo my problem set and use my remaining time to work on my paper. This advice applies to your working life as well. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we have to make a decision on the spot. The right decision is not always perfect but it is the one with minimal losses.

5. Go to office hours
Try to read your lecture notes before each class and if you find yourself confused about the material even after sitting in on the lecture and re-reading some of your notes, then it is crucial for you to get help as soon as possible. Do not wait until a couple of days before a big exam. And do not feel too proud to ask for help. Professors are there to facilitate the learning process.

6. Stay motivated
How? By constantly asking yourself why getting a good grade in a particular class is important to you. Try to go beyond generic answers like “I need to pass this class in order to graduate”. Search deep and really ask yourself what you want to get out of a particular class and how will the materials learned in said class help you in attaining some of your long-term goals. Attaching meaning to a seemingly boring and abstruse class can do wonders in motivating you to ace the class.

Stay Calm College Student Tips

7. Stay calm
What do you do when you are on the verge of having a mental breakdown? When you find yourself in such a situation, you need to find some quiet time to unwind and take a step back from everything and just relax. Meditate, pray; get more sleep…find whatever works for you. Personally, I find that picturing myself lying in a hammock on a beach on a deserted island helps me relax.

Remember, if you do your best and still don’t do as well as you expected, know that it is ok. It is not the end of the world. You will survive this. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Assess your mistakes and move on.

Daniel is a first-year student at Curtin Sarawak who has a penchant for all things related to Sociology, Government and Analytical Philosophy. He spent two years in a boarding school in India and four years in America. Daniel has traveled widely and is always down for a spontaneous trip to an obscure part of the world. He loves cooking and treasures the company of good friends. Daniel enjoys writing and has contributed to The Pencil Box, a community of high performing college students who are interested in spending their time away from classes to develop world-changing ideas.


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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

8 Simple Ways to Make Money While Studying

Written by Shumie - Write a guest post and get featured here

Parents giving us money during school time, RM3 to RM5 a day, well, not anymore when you’re a college or university student. PTPTN is there to help you, or any sort of loan, but trust me, they are never enough. So what can you do part time in college or university to save up some cash for yourself? Here are eight simple ways to make money while studying.

So here we go:
1. Student cab Service
Prerequisite: A car
Think about it, not many students are fortunate as you and owns a car, therefore why not make a business out of it. At most parts of Malaysia, the public transport (bus) is ineffective and private transports (taxi) will cut throat like nobody’s business, so doesn’t this sound like an opportunity to you? Lower your charges, be more efficient and friendly, that’s the key to the business. Don’t worry about someone already doing it or competition, there are always competition. And be smart, if you can’t beat them, join them.

Ways to Make Money While Studying

2. Bakery in the room
Okay, chill out, I am not asking you to open a bakery in the room. But for those of you at the hostel, you must’ve experienced the crazy hunger pang in the middle of the night and you have no food left. Now, a microwave is not that expensive. Neither is some bread and some breadspread. There, idea. Simple food, but due to hunger, anything and everything becomes delicious. And why would people want to buy from you, you might ask? Well let’s see, some people are not that keen on walking a distance, some are bored of their room food and some just want something new for supper. Makes sense?  As an additional idea, microwave can even cook burger meat. Now I’ve said too much..

3. Room tidying for lecturers
Ever walked into a lecturer’s room and worry for the safety of your life due to the stacks and stacks of books in their room? Yeah, trust me, they want a clean room too, just that they do not have the time to tidy it up. What they do have is resources (money) but unfortunately, no one has this kind of offer, to clean up a lecturer’s room. So… is the story good enough yet? Be resourceful, be smart and you can build your business around this simple act of tidying up.

4. Printing and scanning
Well, I am not asking you to own all these machines, but hey, guess what, the three in one printer that comes with all these features helps you to make money as well. Not everyone owns a printer in their hostel room and if you have one, then start up your printing service by printing their assignments, or notes, or what they need. Trust me, some of them will be so desperate to print out their assignments during the midnight hour or some are even lazy to go to the printing shop located outside their colleges or universities. And so, here comes your chance to earn some bucks!

5. Sell up your creativity
Chill out people! Selling your creativity here means doing something out of your creativity and selling them. For example, you can create hand-made greeting cards and sell them during Valentine day, or even Graduation day for your seniors and friends. People just tend to appreciate these kind of hand-made things and there is some sentimental touch in your creativity.. Use your creativity to earn some bucks!

6. Editing and Proofreading Service
You have a good command of language? Grammar and good sentence structures are at your finger tips? Then this would be a good chance for you to earn some bucks. Offer and promote that you are doing editing service for resume, assignments and thesis because many students out there always have problems for grammar errors. You can offer to do it for the language you are keen on. Perhaps one buck per page and just imagine how many pages are there for a thesis or assignment. This can be a great part time job for you if you enjoy doing it.

7. Henna / Mehendi Service
You have talent in drawing henna? Lots of people love decorating their hands during events or any functions. Some of them would even like a temporary tattoo on their hands or legs and this would be a good opportunity for you to earn some bucks. Promote your service through social network in your campus and open up booth when there are events in your college/campus. People will definitely visit your booth and you may start drawing henna on your new customers hand.

8. Nail Polish ~ Manicure
Girls and nail polish can never be separated. If you are an expertise in this field, why not give out a try and offer this service for a cheaper price compared to those manicure outlets. Promote the service and designs you offer especially during some upcoming events or functions in your campus or college and those girls will start lining up to get your service. This will help you to earn a little bit for your daily needs perhaps. It is not easy to start up something at the initial stage, but it will definitely pay a good price at the end of the day.
So people, sit back, relax and think what you can do to make some money out there while studying. Life is all about exploring new stuff and learning new things.


Shumeenabuvani Chandresh or simply known as Shumie is currently 22 and she is studying in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), doing a degree in B.A. Hons English For Professionals (second year currently). She did my SPM in Science stream and moved on STPM in arts stream. Her hobbies are basically writing, reading materials, and surfing the net. She is also a debater in her uni and a part time tuition teacher as well.


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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Taylor's University is in a Stray Dog Crisis (Updated with Official Response)

Posted by Chong

Update 4 April 2014: Taylor's official response:
Taylor's University is appalled to learn about the treatment by the external contractor hired on recommendation of Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya (MPSJ) on one of the stray dogs. We regret that this incident took place as it is something we do not condone. We have since ceased the services of this contractor, who was engaged after efforts carried out by MPSJ to address this issue was met with no success.

Taylor’s is committed to providing a safe environment for our family. The decision to remove the stray dogs comes after numerous complaints from our students, parents and staff. We are now seeking to involve our community to come up with measures to help solve the problem of stray dogs within the Lakeside Campus.
According to a video (see below) that went viral on Facebook, Puspa Pani, the founder of Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue, claimed she received a report from Shivany SenthilNathan who witnessed this incident at Taylor's University Lakeside Campus.

Taylor's University is in real PR crisis now, with some of the Facebook comments like "Taylor university .. shame on you" and "Taylors college u [sic] are a disgrace" getting high number of likes. One person even left a comment calling for a protest outside the campus "If you guys really care, should make some signs and protest outside of Taylor university to stop this cruelty. Make it a big deal because it is a big deal, let the media point out the ugliness behind this university!" At the time of posting, this video post has been shared 2,195 times on Facebook. Will dog lovers still want to enrol in a university with an environment like this?

We've reached out to Taylor's University for comment and will update if we get a reply.

In the meantime, Shivany SenthilNathan just posted the message below. Any dog lovers out there?
Taylor's University in a Dog Crisis
Another stray dog gets caught / Facebook


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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Breaking: UM's Big Reorg Reportedly Set for September 2014, All 12 Faculties to Merge into 6

Remember, you read this news first on Malaysia Students Blog. Last year, we were the first to break the news that UM implemented a drastic change to its undergraduate degree programme entry requirement by making interview compulsory for all programmes and setting CGPA 4.0 as the minimum entry requirement for high-demand courses (MBBS, BDS and Pharmacy). Malaysia Students Blog was also the first to report IPTAs changed to summer break academic term, IPTA Deepavali break and other exclusive education news. Enter your email to subscribe so that you are the first to receive all upcoming & breaking education news!

Breaking: University of Malaya (UM) to Restructure Organisation to Cut OPEX, Merging 12 Faculties into 6 Effective September 2014

Posted by Chong

According to a news reported by Chinese newspaper Oriental News yesterday, University of Malaya (Universiti Malaya, UM), the country's most prestigious local public university, is expected to merge its current 12 faculties, 2 academies and 3 centres into 6 faculties in order to cut operating expenditure (OPEX) effective next semester term commencing in September this year.

All 12 affected faculties are Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Faculty of Business & Accountancy, Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Economics & Administration, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Languages & Linguistics, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Built Environment; 2 academies are Academy of Islamic Studies and Academy of Malay Studies; and 3 centres are Cultural Centre, Sports Centre and Centre for Foundation Studies in Science.

Note that there are actually one more centre — University of Malaya Centre of Continuing Education (UMCCed) — and five institutes — Asia-Europe Institute, International Institute of Public Policy & Management (INPUMA), Institute of Educational Leadership, Institute of Graduate Studies and Institute of Research Management & Monitoring — which might not be affected by the reorganisation plan.

According to the sources, the new organisation structure will see the merger of Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Faculty of Education and Faculty of Languages & Linguistics; Faculty of Business & Accountancy, Faculty of Economics & Administration and Faculty of Law; Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology and Faculty of Science; Academy of Islamic Studies and Academy of Malay Studies. No information on the merger of the remaining faculties is available for the time being.

Sources said the strategic plan was already in the work since the previous Vice-Chancellor (VC) Tan Sri Ghauth Jasmon's term, according to Oriental News. Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin was then appointed to replace him as the new VC since November last year. The main drive for the restructuring move is aimed at reducing overhead costs due to change in cost structure — from the current 30% assumed by university, 70% by federal government subsidies to 70% borne by university, 30% by government subsidies — effective 2015. Officials claimed the merger to be beneficial to the academic development of the university, in addition to promoting cross-sectorial and cross-academic collaborations and exchanges, according to sources familiar with the matter. Moreover, the decision of this substantial change of the country's number one tertiary institution according to recent QS world university ranking has already passed the university's internal review and will be implemented beginning next academic term. The university has not made any official internal or public announcement on the decision.
University of Malaya (Universiti Malaya, UM)
UM, Malaysia's oldest and top public research university in Malaysia, is situated on a 750 acre (309 hectare) campus in the southwest of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. It was established on 8th October 1949 in Singapore with the merger of the King Edward VII College of Medicine (founded in 1905) and Raffles College (founded in 1928). The growth of the University was very rapid during the first decade of its establishment and this resulted in the setting up of two autonomous Divisions on 15 January 1959, one located in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. In 1960, the government of the two territories indicated their desire to change the status of the Divisions into that of a national university. Legislation was passed in 1961 and the University of Malaya was established on 1st January 1962. On June 16th 1962, University of Malaya celebrated the installation of its first Chancellor, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, who was also the country's first prime minister.

One of the expected outcomes of the merger of Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Faculty of Education and Faculty of Languages & Linguistics, although yet to be officially confirmed, is the incorporation of the existing Department of Chinese Studies (established since 1963), Department of Indian Studies, Department of History and others as new units under Department of Humanities & Regional Research. This has generated much heated discussion among the Chinese community since the news report was published, many view it as a downgrade or shrunken in size from 'Department' status to 'Unit'. Prominent alumni of UM's Bachelor of Arts (Chinese Studies) include politicians former Transport Minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy and former Deputy Higher Education Minister Dr Hou Kok Chung.

Currently, Department of Chinese Studies under Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences offers Chinese Studies degree (Sarjana Muda Sastera - Pengajian Tionghua) for both undergraduate and postgraduate levels while Department of Malaysian Languages and Applied Linguistics under Faculty of Languages & Linguistics offers Chinese language and linguistic (Sarjana Muda Bahasa & Linguistik - Bahasa Cina) degree. These two programmes are expected to fall under the same unit in the Department of Humanities & Regional Research after the merger of the faculties. Bachelor of Arts (Chinese Studies) focuses on the language, literature, society, culture and studies on the Chinese community (including the history of China) whereas Bachelor of Languages and Linguistics (Chinese) focuses on the form, meaning and context aspects of Chinese language.


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Friday, March 28, 2014

How to Spend Your 2 Months Holiday After STPM Semester 1?

Written by Kerri C - Submit a guest post and get featured here

Well, let's be frank, who will want their two months precious holiday to be spent in tuition centres and study room just to do the ordinary student-have-to-do-chores: S-t-u-d-y. But dear Sixth formers, please do not just waste your holiday doing nothing. You have to do something useful for the coming Upper six because my experience told me that Upper six is completely different from the previous Lower six in every aspects!

After the hectic Semester 1 in Form 6, I really learnt a lot of things. From being really discipline in studies to acquiring new skills on how to organize an event in the school. As we Form six being the 'oldest in the school' have to be responsible of many school events, for example we have to in charge of the price giving ceremony during Sports day or any state competitions being held in the school. Okay, let's get back to the topic. Knowing how to spend your two months holiday wisely is really important as it will 'indirectly' affects your Upper six next year. Below are only my suggestions for reference.

1. Look back
Well, this may sound weird as it is more of a mental approach. This is because personally I think Form 6 is not easy for both Science and Arts Stream. Try to look back your Lower six , what kind of attitude that you have displayed in Lower six? Were you hardworking enough? Did you always procrastinate every time a task is assigned to you? If you are the latter, it is time for you to ponder upon your mistakes and change for the better. If you are the diligent kind of students, well done! All you have to do is keep up that spirit and ready for semester two and three to come. Having a positive mindset can guide and steer you through all the hardships in Form Six. If you feel like you have not been doing very well in all the exams in semester one, IT'S COMPLETELY FINE. There are still two semesters to go. All you need to do is work extra hard from now on.

2. Check out what really PBS is all about
By now, you should have heard of PBS, which is the School Base Assessment/ Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah. This is more like a medium-size project that will make you run here and there in the upcoming semester because you have to travel and go on field trips especially for the subject Pengajian Am. So, it is always better to get a general view of what is PBS at first. You will have to understand how does PBS work, the weightage, the format (which you can ask your teachers/ seniors/ search at the MPM official website). If you already know the topic (MPM will announce in their website in December) start researching on the topics given, find relevant information online. There will be 2 topics to choose from for Pengajian Am, choose the one that you are more comfortable and confident with.

3. Do 'Pre-study'
Pre-study means looking into the syllabus of the new semester. It is crucial because the syllabus for every semester in the new STPM Modular System is very different from each other. You don't have to really start studying or go into details. You just need to download the syllabus form MPM website and print it out. Browse through the topics that you are going to study in semester 2. Trust me, it helps. Getting an overall view of the topics can help you get to know your study scope and you can be more focus while studying the subject.

4. Take up part time jobs
It is always good to earn your own pocket money. If you are able to find a job which you only have to work on weekends, go for it! You will definitely learn many things while you engage in any part time jobs. This experience is very valuable and useful for Sixth formers as you can include your working experience while writing your resume or personal statement in the future. Part time jobs will make you tough both physically and mentally!

5. Research
It is time to think about what course that you want to take up and which university that you want to enter after Pre-U (STPM). Some of you may think that it is too earlier to do so BUT if you want to apply for scholarships and study abroad, you must start researching now about the application procedures and processes especially for those who want to pursue undergraduate studies in the UK (Apply through UCAS). You don't have to worry about the qualification recognition part as STPM is internationally recognised by many countries even after MPM has introduced the new modular system.

6. Work out
Want to look good and study smart at the same time? Solution is exercise. Don't get me wrong. You don't have to spend in order to sign up or become a member at the gym to look fit. All you have to do is jogging or walking. Jogging here means jog everyday at the nearby park or (if you really are a 'lazy bone', opt for walking but walk at a faster pace). I don't think you want to hear me bragging about the advantages of exercise on studies, I guess you have heard enough before this. Just allocate some time for working out, you will see the difference for sure. You will feel good about yourself. Confidence level up!

7. Reading
Reading is essential. Sixth formers have to read materials that are related to the global. Start reading BBC, CNN and local news by whatever methods (Phone Apps, recommended: Flipboard; Newspaper; Magazines; TV News). If you find it a little boring to keep reading all these, spice up your reading list with some novels (in English). The language and vocabularies used in novels can really help you in scoring MUET.

8. Relax
Last but not least, relax. But before that you must make sure you have done what you need to do as a Sixth former. (Refer back to the suggestions above). Spare and treat yourself to some entertainment and do the things you enjoy the most. Just watch some k-dramas or some reality shows which will make you laugh to release stress like Running Man or We Got Married etc before you kickstart your STPM semester 2.


Before we meet again in the next post, I wish you all the best in your STPM Semester 1 result. No pain, No Gain @ Preparation makes perfect.

Kerri C was born in KL breed in Klang. A person that is fond of music and poetry. Dedicated in guiding all the Form Six juniors out there through their one and a half-year Form Six life. She just got her STPM 2013 overall results in March this year.


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Friday, March 21, 2014

Education News Updates: PT3 Replaces PMR, SPM & STPM Results Announcement and Analysis

PT3 replaces PMR for Form Three students

KUALA LUMPUR: From this year, Form Three students would be tested via Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3 or Form 3 Assessment) which replaces the Penilaian Menengah Rendah.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said PT3 would be held at the school level.

“This means there is no centralised examination for Form Three students as in previous years,” he told reporters when announcing the changes made to the school-based assessment (PBS) after a meeting with teaching unions.

The PMR, which was introduced in 1993 to replace the Sijil Rendah Pelajaran examination, was held for the last time in 2013. The PBS system was introduced in primary schools, starting with Year One pupils in 2011 and in secondary schools with Form One students in 2012.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said students would be assessed via written and oral tests for Bahasa Melayu and English.

Science, Mathematics, Islamic Studies, Living Skills, Arabic, Chinese, Tamil, Iban and Kadazanusun would be assessed via a written test while History and Geography would be assessed via assignments, practical tests, projects, field study and case studies. The written tests would be held in October while History and Geography would be assessed throughout the year.

Muhyiddin stressed that schools would administer, assess and score the assessments based on standardised guidelines prepared by the Educa­tion Ministry’s Examinations Syndicate.

“The Examinations Syndicate will prepare questions with different levels of difficulty from easy, moderate to hard and place them in a question bank. Schools can then choose these questions and use them when they are assessing the students via the written tests,” he said.

He said the syndicate would monitor schools to ensure they chose the questions which reflected the levels of difficulty and that no school chose questions that were all considered easy.

Unlike in previous years when the ministry would announce the results of the PMR in November, Muhyiddin said it was up to the individual schools to decide when to release the results of the PT3.

He said the Examinations Syndi­cate and a team of outside assessors would moderate and verify the results.

“This is to ensure there is consistency among marks given while verification is to ensure students get the marks they deserve,” he said.

Muhyiddin said students and their parents could approach the schools to see their performance in the PT3 and to obtain a results slip, which would be used for entry to Form Four as well as for applications into fully residential schools, religious secondary schools, Mara Junior Science College, technical secondary schools and vocational colleges.

Psychometric tests, he added, would also be used for entry into the residential schools to ensure students are placed according to their interests and capability. - The Star Online



STPM 2013: 53,422 pass, eight obtain 5As

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 53,422 or 96.75 per cent of the candidates scored a full pass in at least one subject in last year's Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examination, compared to 47,910 or 92.67 per cent in 2012.

Malaysian Examination Council (MEC) chairman Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin said, of the total, 1,898 candidates or 3.44 percent passed all five subjects, 32,763 candidates (59.34 percent) passed four subjects, 9,717 candidates (17.60 percent) passed three subjects, 5,234 candidates (9.48 percent) passed two subjects and 3,810 candidates (6.90 percent) passed only one subject.

"The number of candidates who scored full passes in five and four subjects increased by 10,155 to 34,661 last year from only 24,506 in the previous year," he said when announcing the 2013 STPM results here on Wednesday.

He said, in general, the performance of candidates last year was better compared to the previous year, in which the national Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) rose to 2.55 from 2.24 in 2012.

A total of 492 candidates obtained a CGPA of 4.00 last year compared to 442 candidates in 2012.

Mohd Noh said the number of candidates who obtained A in all subjects had increased to 497 from 450 candidates the year before, but only eight obtained 5As last year compared to 18 in 2012.

From the aspect of school performance, he said the number of candidates in government schools who obtained full passes in five and four subjects had also increased to 34,318 from 23,698 in 2012.

Ten subjects recorded better pass rate, namely Communicative Malay Literature (19.87 percent), Usuluddin (18.53 percent), Sport Sciences (17.45 percent), Business Studies (16.87 percent), Arabic Language (16.89 percent), History (15.69 percent), Mathematics M (15.27 percent), Accounting (13.32 percent), Syariah (12.36 percent) and Bahasa Malaysia (12.04 percent).

Meanwhile, two subjects recorded relatively small changes in their pass rates, namely Literature in English (+1.04 percent) and Physics (-0.59 percent), compared to SPTM 2012.

The performance of candidates in Further Mathematics showed the lowest decline at -28.57 percent as only seven candidates sat for the paper last year, despite the fact that 11 candidates registered.

Mohd Noh said the gap between the performance of urban and rural candidates remained significant as with 1,189 urban candidates obtained 5As, 4As and 3As compared to only 156 rural candidates.

"A total of 473 or 12.23 per cent urban science stream candidates scored 5As, 4As and 3As compared with only 14 (0.51 per cent) for rural candidates, while for the urban art stream, 716 candidates (10.02 per cent) obtained 3As and above compared to 142 (1.99 per cent) rural candidates," he said.

A total of 55,214 candidates sat for the examination last year, compared to 51,697 candidates in 2012.

On the performance of 72,101 students in the November 2013 session of the Malaysian University English Test (MUET), Mohd Noh said 33.15 per cent of the candidates had obtained Band 3 or better, as compared to 28.52 per cent recorded in the July session last year.

In SEREMBAN, State Education Director Datuk Kalsom Khalid said 20 students obtained a CGPA of 4.00 in their STPM examination last year.

She said they comprised five science stream candidates and 15 art stream candidates.

In KUALA TERENGGANU, State Education deputy director Hashim Mohd Zin said, overall, the last year's STPM result for candidates in Terengganu was better than the year before.

"The number of candidates who scored full passes in four subjects last year had also increased by 17.07 per cent to 1,757 candidates or 58.53 per cent compared to 1,236 candidates in the previous year," he told reporters.

In MELAKA, 940 or 61.56 per cent of the candidates in the state managed to score full passes in four subjects last year, an increase of 9.5 per cent from the previous year's result.

State Education director Md Rashid Hussin said 1,505 candidates scored a full pass in at least one subject last year, compared to 1,198 candidates in 2012.

In KUANTAN, the performance of candidates in last year's STPM examination in Pahang also saw an improvement in terms of the pass rate.

State Education director Rosdi Ismail said a total of 2,893 or 97.97 per cent of the candidates obtained full passes in at least one subject.

In PENANG, 61 out of 3,208 candidates in government schools in the state obtained a CGPA of 4.00.

Penang Education director Datuk Ahmad Tarmizi Kamaruddin said the number was an increase of 0.06 per cent from the previous year's result, which saw 42 candidates obtained a CGPA of 4.00.

"Fourteen schools in the state also achieved a 100 per cent pas rate as all of their candidates obtained full passes in all subjects," he told a press conference.

In KOTA BAHARU, 23 schools scored a 100 per cent pass rate, with 15 candidates named as Best Students for STPM 2013, compared to only four candidates in 2012.

Each of the 15 students scored an A in all subjects and obtained a CGPA of 4.00, said the State Education director Hussain Awang.

In IPOH, 69 out of 5,276 candidates in government schools in Perak managed to get full passes in at least one subject in last year's STPM examination.

Acting State Education director Mohd Idris Mohd Ramli said it was an increase of 0.09 per cent from the previous year's result of 51 candidates.

In JOHOR BAHARU, State Education deputy director Hasidin Zaini said 70 candidates in the state obtained a CGPA of 4.00 in last year's STPM examination.

Thirty-eight of them were science stream candidates, while the remaining were art stream candidates.

In KANGAR, Perlis Education director Dun Kasa said the performance of candidates in last year's STPM examination had improved compared to 2012.

He said 618 or 96.71 per cent of the candidates scored full passes in at least one subject, a 0.89 per cent increase from the previous year's percentage of 95.82 per cent.

In ALOR SETAR, 3,983 or 98.22 per cent of candidates in the state scored full passes in at least one subject in the STPM examination last year compared to 3,431 candidates or 93.79 per cent in 2012.

State Education director Datuk Mansor Lat said 33 schools also obtained 100 per cent pass rate, including 17 schools in rural areas.

In KUCHING, 39 out of 6,142 candidates in government schools excelled in last year's STPM examination as they obtained a CGPA of 4.00, compared to only 20 candidates in 2012's examination.

State Education director Datuk Abdillah Adam said a total of 1,360 candidates obtained a CGPA of 3.00 and above compared to 981 candidates in the previous year.

In KOTA KINABALU, 35 schools in Sabah achieved a 100 per cent pass rate with 15 of the candidates obtained a CGPA of 4.00.

Sabah Education director Datuk Jame Alip said 7,213 or 95.98 per cent of last year's candidates also obtained full passes in at least one subject.

Meanwhile, Labuan Education director Mistirine Radin said of the 199 candidates who sat for the examination in Labuan last year, 155 obtained full passes in at least one subject, compared to only 84 candidates in the year before.

In SHAH ALAM, Selangor Education director Datuk Mahmud Karim said 96.53 per cent of the 5,749 candidates in the state scored full passes in at least one subject in last year's STPM.

He said it was an increase of 1.68 per cent from the previous year's result.

Ninety-nine of the candidates obtained full passes in all five subjects.

"For 2013 STPM, there is one candidate who scored 5As, while 59 others scored 4As with a CGPA of 4.00," he told Bernama here.

The said the state CGPA was also increased to 2.52 from 2.35 recorded in the year before.

Mahmud said five schools were also named Best Schools for STPM 2013, namely Kolej Islam Sultan Alam Shah; Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) Katholik, Petaling Jaya; SMJK Yoke Kuan, Sekinchan; SMK Kepong; and SMK Batu 8, Puchong. - Astro Awani
Ministry of Education Malaysia (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia)

13,970 Students Obtain Grade A In All Subjects In SPM 2013 Exam

PUTRAJAYA, March 20 (Bernama) -- A total of 13,970 candidates obtained grade A (distinction) in all the subjects they sat for in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination last year compared to 13,720 in 2012, an increase of 0.05 per cent.

Education director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said the number of candidates from Education Ministry schools scoring Grade A in all subjects also increased from 11,648 in 2012 to 11,892 last year while that of non-government schools rose from 2,072 to 2,078.

A total of 405 candidates, including 366 from schools under the ministry scored Grade A+ (super distinction) in all the subjects, he told a news conference when announcing the analysis of the SPM results here Thursday.

He said 442,588 candidates for the examination last year.

He said 883 of the candidates were students with special needs, including those having visual or hearing impairments.

Eight of them scored at least Grade A- (distinction) in all subjects, thus proving that all candidates regardless of their background have the opportunity to excel in the SPM, he added.

Khair said the overall performance of the candidates in 2013 was better that that of the previous year based on the National Average Grade (GPN).

"SPM 2013 candidates scored GPN of 4.93 points compared with 5.08 in 2012, an improvement of 0.15 points. A smaller GPN indicates better results," he said.

"He said urban candidates also fared better by scoring GPN of 4.68 points in 2013 compared with 4.83 in 2013, an improvement of 0.15 points.

Khair said better results were registered in six of the seven core subjects, namely Bahasa Melayu, English Language, Islamic Studies, Moral Education, History and Science.

However, the Mathematics results declined by 0.08 point from GPN of 4.91 in 2012 to 4.99 points in 2013, he added.

For elective subjects, he said a better performance was recorded in 55 out of 101 subjects, including Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Additional Science, and Applied Science.

He said starting last year, History was made a compulsory subject to pass in the SPM, apart from Bahasa Melayu.

"A total of 378,490 candidates from Education Ministry and non-ministry schools qualified for SPM 2013 certificates compared to 402,859 candidates in 2012," he said.

In KUALA LUMPUR, Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur education director Abdullah Mad Yunus said 994 candidates in the capital scored distinction in all subjects.

"A total of 12,823 (64.48 per cent) of the candidates passed all subjects while 126 (0.63%) failed in all subjects," he said.

In SEREMBAN, State education director Datuk Kalsom Khalid said 27 government school candidates in Negeri Sembilan obtained Grade A+ (super distinction) in all subjects.

"A total of 693 candidates (3.93 per cent) scored Grades A+, A and A- in all subjects," she said.

In KUALA TERENGGANU, State education director Zakaria Hussin said the SPM 2013 results were Terengganu's best ever results in 10 years based on the Average Grade.

"The State Average Grade improved by 0.11 to 4.90 compared to 5.01 the previous year, surpassing the National Average Grade at 4.93. Five out of 22,480 candidates scored Grade A+," he said.

In IPOH, Perak acting education director Mohd Idris Mohd Ramli said the State Average Grade's achievement in SPM 2013 was the best in five years and 43,288 candidates sat for the examination.

"Based on the GPN, the gap between rural and urban candidates had been narrowed by 0.41 points with rural candidates scoring 5.34 against urban candidates at 4.93," he said.

In KUANTAN, 401 candidates in Pahang obtained Grade A in all subjects last year compared to 413 the previous year, a reduction of 0.32 per cent.

Pahang education deputy director Rashidah Mat Aris said 18,596 of 24,753 were qualified to get certificates last year, a drop of 7.22 per cent from the previous year.

In MELAKA, State education director Md Rashid Hussin said six students scored Grade A+ (super distinction) for all subjects last year, a drop of 15 from 2012.

"The percentage of students qualified to obtain certificates were 11,913 out of 13,650 candidates, decreased by 5.9 per cent compared to the previous year," he said.

In GEORGE TOWN, Penang education director Datuk Ahmad Tarmizi Kamaruddin said the state's GPN rose to 4.73 last year from 4.87 in 2012.

In KOTA BHARU, 24 schools, including four government-aided religious schools recorded 100 per cent passes last year compared to 21 school in 2012.

Kelantan education director Hussain Awang said the number of outstanding schools in 2013 remained at six.

In KANGAR, Perlis education director Dun Kasa said the state's average grade improved to 5.26 points last year from 5.46 the previous year.

In JOHOR BAHRU, State deputy education director Hasidin Zaini said the state average grade also improved by registering 4.87 points last year from 4.99 the previous year.

"A total of 1,582 government school candidates obtained Grade A in all subjects last year compared to 1,391 the previous year, an increase of 0.30 per cent," he said.

In SHAH ALAM, Selangor education Datuk Mahmud Karim said 2,606 of 71,801 candidates scored distinction in all subjects last year compared with 2,616 in 2012.

He said 78 of them obtained Grade A+ (super distinction) in all subjects compared to 99 the previous year.

In ALOR SETAR, Kedah education director Datuk Mansor Lat said the state's GPN improved by 0.19 points to 5.04 while 662 of 32,881 government school students scored Grade A in all subjects last year compared to 690 in 2012, a drop of 0.10 per cent.

In KUCHING, Sarawak's GPN at 5.31 last year was the best in 10 years.

State education director Datuk Abdillah Adam said 41 candidates obtained Grade A+ (super distinction) in all subjects last year.

In KOTA KINABALU, state education director Datuk Jame Alip said the state's SPM results last year at GPN of 5.30 was the best in five years.

He said Sekolah Menengah Agama Kota Kinabalu registered stunning results with 376 candidates getting Grade A in all subjects last year compared to 199 in 2012.

In LABUAN, 44 candidates in Labuan scored Grade A in all subjects last year compared with 19 in 2012.

Labuan education director Mistirine Radin said the number of candidates qualified to receive certificates decreased by 9.75 per cent. - Bernama


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