Tak kenal maka tak cinta. Jom Kenali Universiti Awam (UA) Malaysia.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Letter of Confusion

Posted by BooNBoX

Skarekrow has left an email to me while I was 'idioting' around with me Physics tutorials, I tried to replied but couldn't reach to his mailbox. So why don't I post it out so that all of you can benefit from it and at the same time I can hope that he can read my reply... :-)

From Skarekrow,
I've just completed my SPM in 2006. While waiting for the results which will be out this March 2007, I've been wondering whether I should opt for a college foundation programme or maybe A Level. Or maybe I should go to Form Six. And if I really go to Form Six, should I switch to Arts stream (since I'm in Science stream during Form Four and Five) because many people have told me that Science stream in Form Six is not easy... I would like to switch stream but will it consume a lot of time and will it affect my studies especially the beginning of Lower Six when the most important thing I have grasp is the basics? Thank you very much... =)

So below are my long-winded reply... hehe...

Hi Skarekrow,

Ok first. Many people (here I mean HELL LOTS of people do have the same situation and perhaps same thought like you now) thinks like you when they want to transfer from SPM to a higher level. Which pre-U course shall I take? Which stream shall I opt for? Which is easier? Is it hard to shift my stream now? Lots and tones of questions… All these milestone questions need extra attention and of course it will make people worry. No worry, life’s like that…

So I will first advise… or just give some opinion on what shall we go after SPM. Basically there are too many choices that we can go after SPM. Especially when Malaysia is open to foreign education system and lots of private sectors have invested into education area. STPM is the most conventional and it is offered by the government (the other is MATRIKULASI which only 10% of seats are open to non-native), while private institutions offer large variety of courses include: A-LEVEL, AMERICAN TRANSFER DEGREE, SAM, UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION, etc… Ok, here comes the main question, which one is easier? Honestly there’s no easy route. It only depends on your financial status and the suitability of the course to your interest and of course the next route you want to take. Why? I would suggest STPM for those average and below average income family since when you graduate from STPM, you will still have many choices including IPTA as your fallback. And if you are excellent, you may get a scholarship to further your studies overseas. Do explore more of these options during your studies. For other pre-U course, I can’t provide much opinion since I didn’t go through the process myself but I can tell that if your financial status is limited, stay in STPM. It maybe hard but it is worth it if you study well and score it.

For other courses, you will need to prepare to fall into traps. I won’t say those private institutions are bad, but since it is one of the commercialize tools to earn money for the share holders. Its quality may not be as good as those prestigious public institutions. (I didn’t mention IPTA here) Those paths are expensive but of course there are opportunities where you can get scholarships to further your studies. So I would say each way has their pros and cons. But be reminded that you shall check and make sure that the course you are taking matched with your future interest. I won’t suggest SAM if you are not going to AUS or private institutions and not FOUNDATION programs if you are not prepared to set your future into certain disciplines or certain institutions since foundations are meant for those who are kinda sure want to further their studies in the mentioned institutions which recognized the foundations. (which is limited) So be careful with your choices!! Some asked me whether they can further their studies in Singapore Public University with their SAM results. I heard from the professor, you ought to be very excellent or else it is very slight chance you can get through… … So bear in mind.

Then, let’s talk about changing stream. For me, I was studying Biology in Form 6. Now I’m studying Materials Science and Engineering. The shifting from Biology to Physics really needs a lot of hard work!! (I was doing Physics tutorials before I type this out!) It was quite hard. So I would suggest that you better change to something you are interested in during your pre-U studies or else it would be harder for you to change later in tertiary institutions. The life in university is hectic and the pace is very fast. What you have studied in Form 6 needed to be covered in 1 year and sometimes half year. So it requires more energy and attention than your pre-U level. But don’t be afraid, everything is going to be fine when you come into university. So why not now change to something you are really interested in and you would be happy to work with it for the rest of your life!! It requires energy for your pre-U but it won’t be more than that if you shift in university. Sometimes it depends on individual pace, some can suit to the change fast, some not. So if you still haven’t got anything in mind, choose something you ‘might’ like and try to stick on it.

I would suggest you to view art stream subjects’ materials. Check it out in libraries/bookstores to see whether you really like it or not. Sometimes what you hear from others may distract you from your own perspective. So do check the career prospects, future vision and blah blah to see whether you are made for that discipline. Better regret now than after! Remember one thing, your results in lower and upper six won’t be reflected in your C.V. The thing that matters is your academic transcript from your university. So you ought to do better in university than your secondary school!!!

Well seemed like I crap a lot and I could write a book if I continue crapping. So do email me if you have any doubts and I would be highly delighted to help you in the progress. Nice to meet you by the way. More details about me you can find it on either Malaysia Students or Tinkosong.com . So do email me if you have any problem. Hope that helps.

Boon Ming
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  1. You might want to change the dark blue font; the text doesn't show up on your layout.

    Here's another option: take a year off. There is absolutely NO RUSH in deciding what to do next. Take your time. Use this time to explore what you really want to do, what your options are, what you want to do with your life.

    Go travelling! Do some volunteer projects! Get a job! Take classes in something else! There's so much to do in life. Explore that.

  2. Thank you very much to Boon Ming for all the informations he has given out. I don't really know which is your e-mail address (you seem to have a few...). Anyway, I still have questions to ask about. Here are my questions:

    Q1: How long do I need to wait in order to switch streams?

    Q2: Must I wait until everyone begin their studies, only then I'm allowed to switch streams?

    Q3: Am I allowed to take up to 5 subjects for STPM? (but I would try not take up that much since I'm just average, not that brilliant like many people out there...)

    Q4: I would like to study Accountancy for STPM but my school doesn't provide and teach the subject. What are my choices/options to overcome this problem?

    Q5: I would like to enter a degree course in Accounting and Finance. Do I need to study the Accounting subject in STPM in order to qualify me a place in an university degree course?

    Q6: Will I face any problems if I wanted to study Accountancy during Form Six since I'm in the science stream during Form Four and Five and have not taken the Accountancy subject during that period?

    Q7: Will I face any problems during Form Six in subject like Maths since it's been taught in English? (while I've been studying Maths in Malay since many years ago)

    Q8: Will I face any problems in my university studies since courses in universities are being taught in English while STPM subjects like Accountancy, Business Studies, and Economics are being taught in Malay?

    Sorry for asking you so many questions... Hope you can give me answers to all my questions. These are all I would like to know for now. Thank you to Boon Ming once again and Tiara for giving your opinion...

  3. Answers to Skarekrow's questions above are posted on STPM Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) II. BooNBoX and me tried our best to answer all the questions.

    Please note that Q7 has already been discussed in STPM - 18 months of sweet and sour ... Question 4.

    4. Did you suffer from the sudden change from Malay to English in Science and Mathematics subjects?
    There's not much difference though I think studying in Malay is easier for me. Haha, but I enjoyed the whole session in English and it is very useful especially when you go overseas to study in English. There's nothing much to deal with and obviously you will need to beef up your language to avoid childish and unwanted mistakes. Pick up a newspaper and starting reading!!

    Please read all the Questions and Answers (STPM - 18 months of sweet and sour ... and STPM FAQ II) first before asking a new question. Thank you.

  4. hi~~
    i would like to ask bout oversea scholarship by jpa for student after stpm/a-level.
    does jpa offer tis?

    compare to stpm students,will cambridge a-level student easier to get d scholarship?wats d criteria to get d scholarship?

    i wish to study pharmacy course n confusing wat pre-u course to study.(i dun hv a financial problem to study both)

    pls hlp me~~~thanks!

  5. I have receive my spm 2009 result. Based on my result, i think i should study chemical engineering. Yes, i do really like chemistry but i love to study medical. On the other hand, i have another choices to study mechatronics in Germany. I am not interested in studying mechatronic but it provide me an opportunity to study in Germany. People told me that studying medical is really hard. So which one should i choose know?
    Please help me!!!


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