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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

JPA Scholarship Interview Experience

Elaine, a JPA scholar, shares her JPA scholarship 2006 (SPM 2005) interview experience with Malaysia Students Blog readers.

Hmmm……how should I begin this post? Should I write it in a formal way? Let’s just be short (Though it’s quite long) and simple, or treat it as a friend telling you a “story”. (Though it might be quite boring..;p)

Should I introduce myself? Never mind, I am just a super ordinary student, currently taking a 2-year-A level course in UiTM campus in Shah Alam since July 2006. There are still other colleges or universities allocated by the government for JPA scholars such as Taylor’s University College and UCSI. Some of you may wonder why the A-level course provided takes 2-year-period instead of the usual 1 and a half year. For your information, the A-level which I am taking now is from London Board, which is slightly different from the Cambridge Board that takes 1-and a half year- period.

Since I am being invited to tell you guys something about my previous JPA’s scholarship application and interview, I shall begin by recalling back to 2006. I graduated from my secondary school in 2005 after sitting for my SPM and received the result in 2006 (around March). Soon I received the result, I applied for the JPA scholarship via internet, I remembered a friend urged me to apply it quickly as the closing date is very soon after the result has been released. The procedures were quite simple, a thing to note is that remember to choose a course and country that you preferred.

There is another way to mention here, after I succeed in getting the scholarship and entered the university which I am still studying now, a student told me that he purposely choose those countries that are less preferred by the majority (he has chosen the France) in order to have higher chance to get the scholarship and eventually he got it! This might be an alternative way but it does not mean that you are guaranteed to get the country you have chosen if you follow the same route. (Sounds meaningless right?..;p) Countries like UK, US, Australia are some of the countries which are most preferred by the majority. You can check through the internet of your application’s result after some time. (I forgot how long it took for the result to be released) If you are selected for your interview, congratulations! You are one step further from your target.

Now let’s talk about my interview process, I need some time to recall the details as it happened 2 years ago (bear with me ya, I have short-term memory…;p). Regarding on the dress code, formal wear is a must, you can also go for baju kurung as my friend did last time. We were grouped in 5-6 (forgotten...) persons and are directed into a room.

I was having cold feet that time, looking others that dressed smartly and having the genius’s look really feared me off. However, I worked hard to be calm and confident. Since nobody could help me but myself, I tried to look “cool” and was thinking what would be the question later. Ooops! I am out of the point. Let’s stick back to the topic which is the interview process.

There were 3 interviewers in the room; they told us that we need to introduce ourselves and we would be given topics to be discussed. If I am not mistaken, we were given 1 minute to jot down the points in the draft paper given. (Remember to bring in your own stationery) The topic being asked is different for different groups, for mine, the topic is “The Reading Habit in Malaysia”. We were required to speak for about 2 minutes. After the discussion session, the interviewer would reconfirm our name and they asked each of the candidates for the country which we preferred the most.

After the interview, I got to know from my friends who went for the interview that my interview was slightly different from others as we were being asked for only one question and must answer in English but the others were being asked for 2 questions and they were required to answer 1 in BM and another in English. Guess this should be the more proper way. Here are some of the questions being asked for my year (from different states):

1) Patriotism among youths
2) Hukuman rotan
3) The Advantages of Reading
4) Math and Science in English

I noticed that the topics were related to the current issues that time. Therefore it would be a benefit for the future applicants to keep themselves updated with the latest happenings in our country.

Wow, I am writing more than I have planned. To end my writing here, I would like to wish all the students who want to apply for the JPA scholarship a very good luck for their future undertakings. Hope my post can at least give you guys a clearer image on how the system works. Stay confident and you can do it!

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  1. can i ask ..
    what should we wear during the jpa interview?
    formal clothes or baju kurung?
    did we have any advandatages if we wear formal or baju kurung?
    plz reply me
    i have my interview at 2 april in sungai petani

  2. Elaine, thanks for sharing,I find it very helpful. The only thing I am worried about is my malay language. I do not speak well in BM. Is it suppose to be a debate or just merely a discussion? More to forum? You are lucky to have your topic being discussed in English=)

  3. how if when interview, i am too nervous until when the interviewers ask question, i dont know what to answer(my mind is blank)? or when i answered my language is not smooth...i mean will be a bit stuck when answering...
    is there anyone for us to discuss with when interview?

  4. thanks a bunch..how exactly is the discussion anyway?do we discuss with group members and jot down the main points,or we just brainstorm on our own and write our own ideas?i just really hope my interview will be in english because my bm is not my main strength.my interview is tomorrow,1st april.got butterflies in my stomach...:(

  5. my interview is 2morrow at picc..i'm very nervous bcoz i do not speak well in english..i can understand people that speak in english..but for me to reply what they say in eng. is little bit hard..so anyone here can give me any tips so i do not become speechless when answering..plzzzz

  6. this is elaine,for the 1st question,formal wear is a must for the interview and no jeans or T-shirts pls.It is not a saying that wearing formal or baju kurung would have an advantage as it is part of the rules.

    The interview I went through was more like a discussion,you shared your ideas with others or can stay in different stand from others if you disagree with some points being discussed.However, I am not sure whether the gov still applying the system or not as I heard that it might be a dabate.Regarding on your malay language,my advice is try to bring out some firm and solid evidences,I can't help much on that.sorry.

    From what I ve been through,the interviewer did not ask much questions,I think they will evaluate us from time to time once we start our discussion.Just try to be calm and find someone to practise with before you go for the interview.It will help.You will discuss the topics given with your group members.There was no individual interview last time.However,I need to emphasize once,the system might be slightly different from the past.

    Each of you will be required to brainstorm and jot down your points before the discussion begin.While others is presenting their ideas,you might add on with your own opinions.

    to reply for the last comment,I will suggest the same method,try to practise more before you go for the interview,you can time yourself also.
    by the way,if you are really scare that you have no ideas to talk,it is actualy better for you to speak 1st.Think logically,we will probably have some of our points mentioned by others 1st b4 we can speak it out if we are the last to speak.

    So...hopefully I have answered all the questions.
    The last GOOD LUCK for those who are going for the interview!

  7. thank you 4 sharing with us elaine. btw, koh wen ying asked about the attire for intrvw. i just went for my jpa intrview yesterday and there were 2 chinese (1 boy 1 girl)in my group who simply wore tshirt n jeans.it's definitely not the proper attire but our intrviewer didnt comment anything. BUT the day before my intrvw, my friend went for hers and there was a boy who wore jeans and was kicked out from the intrview. sad eh? so it's best to wear formal. baju krg is proper for girls ( even most non-malays wore bju krg btw)

    that's all.

  8. i had read ur blog although it was posted last year .Would u mind 2 tell me ur friend's spm results (i mean the one who get jpa after spm ).
    can u pls reply me 2 my e-mail ( [email protected] my )

    i am carolynne , my ambition is 2 become a doctor and i wish 2 study oversea but my family are facing financial problam 2 send me oversea . Therefore , i wish 2 get jpa scholarship or yayasan states study loan .Thank you 4 ur relavant imformation .

  9. have u ever heard that jpa schlrship will go to who go first? i mean who applied first..
    not really observe the er..the minimum requirements..
    this will be my question,
    what is the requirements for applying this schlrship?..

  10. sorry,but i really need to know the minimum result for the student for being elected to go overseas????

  11. sad,,,i cannot speak eng fluently n i'm scared i will bcome speechless...but then,, i'm very good to deliver my idea in malay rather than eng

  12. i m jiaying. i got my interview on 2/4/09. for sure i m vry worry about my perfomance on tat day.. plus i do not realy speak well in english. but i can speak wel and deliver my ideas better in bm. That's why i facing the same problem with many applicants, will be speechless n my mind will blank if we need to answer the questions in bi. really vry worry n scare.

  13. Should boys wear a tie?

  14. well, thanks a lot nurly... your tips did gave a rough picture of the jpa interview...

  15. Hi everyone

    Just wanted to share my JPA interview experience on the 31st of March 2009 with you guys.
    Well..the time stated was 8am, but i had to wait till eleven am till we could enter the interviewing room. So, yeah, be prepared for a long wait. You could try knowing some of your group mates while waiting. This will make things a lot easier when discussing in the interviewing room later on.
    Anyway, we sat according to the numbers given to us and later on, the introductory speech started.The first candidate spoke, then the second, third, fourth and fifth. Mine was according to sequence so it was more systematic.
    THen they gave us a topic to discuss..we brainstormed for five minutes.As a group.
    Hmm...so as i said, the first person voices out his points first, followed by second, third, so on and so forth.
    Then the panel gave us another question, without group discussion.
    so we just answered anyhow. But my interviewer kept shooting me "are you sure?" looks when i voiced out my opinion, so i think my confidence level went DOWN DOWN DOWN.
    Summary: Well, what can i say? Just go in and talk normally.
    And, fluently, of course. we don't want them shooting u looks like they did to me. =D

  16. peace upon you and me too! gua ha ha! at last, one heavy burden is lifted off. i have gone through the jpa interview on second april 2009 but i don't know wether i did well during the interview but thank God i managed to pay it cool. i tried really hard to kill that stupid butterfly in my stomach but afterall, i did it okay-okay lah.

    i want to tell you something. actually i have anticipated some questions for the interview and prepared anything relevant to answer them and thank God once again that one of my "spotted questions" did come out. actually more than one but i'm talking about the group discussion topic. my group discussion topic was "what does the role of engineers in the development of the country", something like that i think and luckily i have read articles about engineering.

    so during the second session in the interview process, where we supposed to discuss the given topic, i jolt down anything i could remembered and i think i have cited about five points. after about 1 minutes or maybe less, one of the interviewers asked us to begin the discussion and i took the initiative to start first. everything goes well during the beginning and i only pointed out 3 out of my 5 points because i planned to use the two reserved points when the turns came to me again but to my horror, each of us only has one chance to voice out our points. so, i losted the two points which i thought could give them a better impression. so, please bear in mind, when you are about to present your ideas, try to give out every of your ideas including those that come into your mind while you are presenting your ideas.

    and i know that some of us may have break their nerves down before the interview. me too is feeling like that but with the tips provided in the students' experiences, i managed to keep it away but there is still a tad nervous feeling left. here are the things that i did during my last interview that help to distract me from thinking too much about the interview.

    when i first arrived at the waiting room, i tried to mingle and talk with the other applicants eventhough i don't know where they are coming from so as to reduce my awkwardness during the group discussion. i think i don't have much trouble on that because more than half of them are from my school and i do know them. the other half come from other schools but they are kind of very friendly too. we also shared some of our anticipated questitons and even some of them had prepared their own "script"! but there's nothing wrong with that. it's only the way they prepared for themselves. me too got my own way of preparation.

    actually i had so many to write but i dun think i could finished this comment. so if there is someone who wants to continue my comments, you are allowed to do so. and sorry for my grammatical errors too. maklumlah, english not that good.

    and that's all for now. good bye.

  17. aloha....i'm stephanie....my interview is today 2/04/09....welll my interview start at 8.00 am..I went there very early...I choose law as my course..well then, at there i saw many ppl at the urusetia there...There are two papers...one for panel 1 the other for panel 2...ok I'm at the panel 1...Each of us was given a number tag. I'm no. 2..hahaha..there were 5 persons in our group with different courses...i 'm glad that my group is all friendly . i feel relax and comfortable with them... The time had come....we wait at the waiting from 9.20-10 am. yup, my interview start at 10.00am. ermm we have 3 inteviewer...the first person should knock the door...well a tips and when u reach yr seat try to stang a few second until the inteviewer said u may sit then you sit. ok, firstly, we start by introducing ourself.. Then erhmm we were given a few task...that is...first what is yr opinion...is yr parents shoul intervene yr choice....2-is friendster & facebook necessary for teenager?3- why do u think that jpa should choose u...well it time for u to promote yrself.Just be relax and u r feel free to give any suggestion.... well for my group...there are three chinese and a malay...i'm bidayuh...each of us given a chance to voice our opinion...at leas twice...i'm so glad that my inteviewer are all kind....Lastly.. i wish those who go for inteview good luck...hei cheer yr other badge friend .... tell them just be relax...like what i did..eheh...i try my best oledi...and yah before i forget if they ask u whether u want to study in local uni..u just say YES...K....bye..

  18. heyyyyyyyy.

    crita jpa ni is sooo yesterday, tp i baru search2 around cause i got it!!! i got it!!!! alhamdulillah.
    i thought i ws kinda unlucky la time interview tu. cause we got lost on the way there. tempat tu baru kna buat, pdalaman lae siot. xpun drang buat d kk.
    trus sampai sna, my group was interviewed last for the day.
    tu org yg interview kami pun cam muka ngantuk+mo pulang+lapar sda.
    so i thought i better do really2 well to impress em la.
    n i gues i did.
    i just checked the rsults a few days back. havent even got the official letter.
    so i dont know the details yet. where im going, when i have to sign up, blablablab.
    arhhh im so excited!!!!
    anybody else got it?
    kawan2 kita.
    btw, i applied for pharmacy. hee

  19. hey frens down there!!!congrats to all those who got jpa scholarships to overseas..!!! perhaps u'r one step closer to ur dreamz...>,<".
    i really never thought of getting it,but well,i got it too...really overjoyed...ha2..
    i actually checked it during mid-night on de 8th of May where my frens told me jpa rezut's out!i couldn't face the reality b4 dat cos worrying bout de outcome!but nw really bersyukur gila2 knowing i got it...ha2..
    cos during my interview,de interviewers asked Qs like 'apakah nama sultan johor,menteri johor n our prime minister's full name' u see...our group was like@,@"..habis larrrr...ha2..but still i manage 2 answer it properly...huhu..so,do impress em as dat'll reaaly makes u stands out from de others..ha2..
    neway,im nw still waiting for de official letter in order to knw which country i got it n also other details...he2..donno wen can get it..well,i applied for science..
    well,its time for celebration!!!^^
    congrats again u guyz...

  20. i wud like to know wat are the minimum requirements in order 2 get jpa scholarship..as for now..im waitg 4 my results..n i m prayng 2 pursue my studies in medicine in manipal,india..therefore..it wud be rely very kind and thoughtful of u,if u can guide me alittle..can u pls tell me bt the application and approximately hw long it took before ur applicatn got confirmed..any other relevant details will aso be very helpful..thanking you in advance...=)

  21. i'm now still waiting for the reply from jpa to call me for an interview.. i'm quite nervous now.. and as i saw the posts up there, my confidence goes down so much.. i never do a discussion be4, not even in school.. i'm not very good at brainstorming.. worrying... what can i do now? spot a question?

  22. i am also waiting fr the reply to the jpa interview.
    however i am nt a very confident person and am nt good at presenting also.i feel even worst when i see so many genius looking ppl ard during the program pendedahan sebagai doktor.is there anything tht i can do to be more confident when i present something? do you hv any spotted question fr ths year discussion?

  23. i applied for medicine and i just finished my program pendedahan kerjaya seorang doctor.i am waiting for the interview call and i am very nervous

  24. hi evryone..i have read all the posts above..it really provides me with all the information i wanted to know...thanks a lot..oh ya..i gonna attend jpa interview next tuesday.6/4/2010.real nervous now..wish me luck..i really need this..

  25. when i talk, can i use body language or just put my hands on my lap?

  26. thkz 4 ol de info..
    bt..i wud like to ask weder..am i eligible to go 4 de interview wen i din attend 4 de pendedahan program???something crop up dos week and i was outstation and i onli knew tat on de last dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy..............sobx...cn i proceed de interview if like tat??

  27. hi everyone.
    i'll be going for the interview on 5th April 2010 at seremban.
    i want to ask a question that is can i bring along a paper that i've jolt down about the common questions that the judges will ask with the answers? i mean would they allow me to bring into the room?

    I hope anyone can help me with this.

  28. hi everyone!

    i will have my jpa interview on 7th april(wednesday).I would like to ask whether i can change the course i first registered..i mean i put biasiswa untuk dalam negara,under sastera ikhtisas that is art stream,but then i decided to apply for luar negara and under nutritional course..is it possible to change that info on that very day?

  29. hey readers! i'm mimi. this coming monday i have an interview at putrajaya for medic overseas. i'm quite empty headed. soo.. wat should i do i dont even know about current issues. i want to spot the questions but wat the heck. i know nothing about current issues. i hate newspapers. well... help me out!

  30. heyy. guys, been reading the posts and comments up there .. *points* well, i guess its safe to say that everyone's feeling really nervous right now about the interview next week. I'm just gonna try my best and god willing, i'll get it. Good luck to all scholars out there reading this. I hope you get it too :) by the way, any future doctors reading this?? nice to meet you! XD haha.. im sure by now you'll know what i applied for.. my interview is on the 6th..so whoever is going on that day, please do say hi :) it'll make all of us feel better .. GOOD LUCK ! I'm annie by the way :)

  31. hey, thnx a lot Elaine.......... i now have a rough idea of hw will it be in there... thnx again!!

  32. Hi, I will be interviewed in this coming week. I just wondering what should girls wear? I mean the shoes must be high heel or flat ballerina type of shoes? What else that we need to take notice when we see the panel? I will be grateful if someone could reply me. Thank you

  33. Hi,Karen. Me too.I'll be wearing baju kurung. So as my friends. I think we should greet them but i'm not sure about the handshake. I guess it's not necessary though. My interview'll be on 13/4.When is yours?

  34. I will go to interview tomorrow n who can tell me what have to do?


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