Sunday, 23 February 2014

STPM Baharu - The Form 6 College

The plan has been talked and discussed about for years, and recently it has finally implemented officially. And yes, with this I mean the Form 6 College. What is it all about? What is the possible impacts to the students, teachers and the authorities? Know more by continue reading this article!

Headline of Sin Chew Jit Poh on 21/2/2014, which means 'Form 6 will be gathered and study in the same place' in English

The whole issue is being reported by Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Jit Poh on their headline on 21/2/2014, and little as it'll not affect most of the people in the society, but it definitely will cause lots of question-marks and worries among those who intend to further their studies by doing STPM.  

The Form 6 College

So, what is it all about? According to the news, two out of five new Form 6 College has started to operate, both being located at Selangor and Sabah. The 5 colleges are SMK Desa Mahkota (KL), SMK Bandaraya II (Sabah), SMK Petaling Jaya (Sel), SMK Sri Bandar Pontian (Johor) and SMK Mahsuri (Kedah). 

Main aim : To create a 'Pre-U' environment for the students and prepare them for their university life, as compared to most of the Form 6 students that usually study in secondary schools.

As for now, larger schools such as SMJK Katholik, PJ that provides Form 6 classes will not be affected, but Form 6 classes at smaller schools around such as SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, SMK SS17, SMK Bukit Bintang and SMK Taman Medan have been relocated to SMK Petaling Jaya at PJS 5, PJ to continue their Form 6 journey.

And that is not all, as this Form 6 College plan is a long one, and the authority has separated the whole idea into 3 phase-

Phase 1 is basically what you've read above, which is to separate Form 6 classes from the ordinary secondary school's streamline according to the condition of the particular area, and to give you a clearer picture, refer to the figure below:

The first form of separation is the most common form, which is to completely separate Form 6 from normal secondary schools, a.k.a Form 6 College. 

The second form of separation we will be seeing Form 6 students studying in the already-built secondary school, but Form 6 students will be studying in an individual block specially for them. As an example, SMJK Katholik (PJ, Selangor).

The last form of separation, which actually not a separation, means that Form 6 students will be studying under the same already-built secondary school, but without an individual block for them. This is only planned for the schools in rural areas where there are limited Form 6 students.

Phase 2 is the phase where the authority will introduce more subjects based on the needs of the modern, constantly improving society, which I believe will be a long wait.

Phase 3 will be decided based on the outcome from Phase 2.

The Impact

The whole idea, for me is quite ideal, but in the end it still depends on how the authority implement it. Below are some of my thoughts on the people that will be affected by this plan and the 'timeline impact' that I've structured out myself:

Teachers - Without doubt, Form 6 teachers will surely be affected by this plan. under the first form of separation (refer above) in Phase 1, some teachers will be relocated to teach at the newly built Form 6 College, which might cause the original responsibilities of the particular teacher at her old school to be affected. As an example, if the teacher also teaches KH subject or she is a teacher advisor of one of the club at her old school, it'll be a problem to look for a teacher that can take over her job as I believe that every teacher has their own job on their hand already (not to mention the stupid PBS system that has been causing wrath among the teachers). 

Plus, is the teacher willing to join the Form 6 College? Which comes to more complicated issues to be solved.

Students - They are definitely the ONE that got most affected through this plan. With the implementation of the Form 6 College, most of the 2013/14 batch of Form 6 students will need to be relocated to the new Form 6 College, that might cause inconvenience among the students such as transportation. But on the bright side, the 2014/15 batch of Form 6 will be able to study in a place specially built for them. All these years, returning to secondary school has been one of the major reason why SPM graduates do not opt for Form 6, and now the students have an extra option for their Pre-U study.

In addition, I think through Form 6 College, the involvements of students in co-curricular activities will be more flexible because everything is created to suit only Form 6 students, which means earning koko marks might actually becomes easier!

Timeline Impact - 

  • Present - For now, we cannot say much whether this whole Form 6 College implementation is going to bring positive outcome or not, as there are more perspectives that we haven't discover regarding this issue, such as how exactly this whole college will be run, what subjects will be offered at each college, the fate of the 2013/14 batch of students, problems with teacher resources. In this context, people will surely focus on how the authority manage the challenges and changes with the implementation of this new plan. And this time, the authority will need to deliver and not disappoint the society, as in the previous introduction of the STPM Baharu (replacing the old STPM Terminal), the authority did poorly in bringing out the full potential of this system, causing disappointment and wrath among the students and even teachers.   
  • Near Future - My personal opinion, I think things will get better, but in the near future main issues of Form 6 students will not be solved. As an example, the placement of Form 6 students in public universities. Besides, we might also see more larger schools such as SMJK Katholik will stop providing Form 6 classes (just my opinion), because the whole Form 6 College idea is ultimately gather all the Form 6 students in a particular area. 
  • The Future - If being implemented the right way, I can see more and more SPM graduates opt for Form 6 as their Pre-U, but as I said, the way the authority implement the whole new system is the key. If everything is still causing unhappiness among the students and unfairness, it is meaningless to splash the money to do extra useless thingy. But, lets maintain a positive mindset and lets see how they will go with the whole system. 
To Conclude...........

Well, it is definitely a good thing to see the authority doing something to improve Form 6, albeit we cannot see the positive outcome, yet. We can only hope for the best and wish that Form 6 students will continue to work hard to strive for the best results no matter what challenges (academic or faulty system) awaiting them ahead. And ah, I almost forget, some will think that the level of Form 6 will drop, but I am pretty sure it will not, as we can already see from the syllabus under the new STPM Baharu (it is not easy). 

So, thanks for reading and until the next article, ciaoz! 


Sunday, 16 February 2014

STPM Results - The Mindset

The time has come for the STPM 2013/14's batch of STPM students to receive their First Semester's results! Here is a short article that might help you mentally on how to prepare yourself for it - and aftermath of receiving your results.

#1 Rule: Expect Nothing

This is the only way to prepare yourself mentally, because this is your First Semester's results and there are way too much of different circumstances in STPM. Don't give yourself excess stress by setting a target for yourself before receiving your results (if you wanna do so, you should have done it in the start of the semester and go all in for it anyway). Well, just tell yourself that you have did your best and leave it fate to decide. Hence, expect nothing and when the results turns out to be good then take it as a bonus, you'll definitely happier by this way. 

#2 Rule: Know That You Have a Second Chance

Well, this thought is definitely not advisable during the semester, as I would always recommend my friends or juniors to do their best in one short. But if you have received your results, and it is not that good, don't be sad, as you will have a second chance to strive for a better results. Keep going, do better, study smarter, grab the smart friend in your class, ask to get your questions answered. Life goes on! 

#3 Rule: Think Rationally

You get a sh*t result. Everything around you suddenly turns grey. It seems like there are no hope in this world anymore. Lets just qui............ Hey wait! Don't decide to end your path in Form 6 so quickly! Many wrong decisions are often done when one is under controlled by his/her mood. Hence, give yourself a few days to calm down from the incident, consult your parents and teachers, and even the school counselor (and I will definitely recommend this!). Think carefully whether it is worth it to quit your Pre-U study and opt for another course in the middle of the way, weight the consequences. Is the price of quitting enough for you to bare? Is it really the right choice? All these questions are definitely not for you to answer when you are controlled by emotions.

#4 Rule: Stay Positive

I would say that First Semester in STPM Baharu is like a trial of the whole game. After you adept to the game's environment, you will definitely be more prepared and perform better in the next 2 semesters. Hence, don't fret, buck up, and go all in for a better results! 

To Conclude....

I myself got an ok-ok 3.33 in my first semester, and I have to admit that the D for my Chinese and C for my Maths are definitely not easy to accept. But life goes on. I've adept to the highly demanding pace of life in STPM and I go all in. I got a 3.59 in my second semester and at last a not-perfect-but-still-proud-to-be 3.84 in my last semester. Don't look only to you present failures, but view on a better future, because what that have been done cannot be undo, but whats in front, it is definitely on your own favour. So, jiayous and all the best, buddy! 


Friday, 17 January 2014

2013 STPM Leaver : Time To Buy Your Pin Number for Public Universities!

For 2013's STPM leavers, it is almost time to buy your pin number for the application to local public universities! Below are the details:

Date : Starting from 20/1/2014
Venue : BSN Bank nationwide
Price : RM15.60, except for USM that takes care of their own students intake, it'll be RM40

Remark : For USM, you'll need to do your application at their own designated site (https://pohon.usm.my/)

Refer this site for more info on how to buy your pin number : http://afterschool.my/how-to-purchase-pin-for-your-upu-application-for-ipta-public-universities/

I've heard rumours saying that 2013 STPM third semester results will be coming out early February, and 10/2/2014 to be specific. Well, time will tell. 

Until next time, ciaoz!

All the best and good luck! Lets hope everyone gets their desired course and universities (although I believe it'll not going to happen *sigh*)!!!

Monday, 6 January 2014

2013 ----> 2014, A New Turning Point

Back in year 2012 when I was deciding whether to enter Form 6 or to do a foundation in media studies in a college in Jaya One, in the end I'd decided to try Form 6 and I remained in Form 6 until the very end of the 1.5 years course. 

Planning a fundraise for the down syndrome kids in 12 days

Now Form 6 has ended and I've decided that I'll put 'enjoy life' as my first priority instead of academic excellence, yay! Well, not that I didn't have a life in Form 6, but if you went through Form 6 you'll know what I mean. Not long after my Third Semester ended, I've planned a fundraising event for the down syndrome kids by selling homemade gingerbread cookies, the name of the event is 'A Christmas Project : The Joy of Giving'. It was definitely not easy because of the limited time and resources and with some luck and the help from my parents and friends we were able to held it in Sunway Pyramid on 22/12/2013, the Sunday before Christmas. In the end we managed to raise RM2280 for IQ 70 Plus, a centre that is taking care of down syndrome individuals in Jalan Gasing. Here are some pictures of the fundraising event:

Awesome friends that have supported the cause!

Yum yum!!

Decorated gingerbread cookies!

Our Booth!

Group Photo

Visit to IQ 70 Plus

RM1760 from the selling of cookies, and additional RM920 from the donations of friends made it RM2280 in total!

Handed the money to Mr Chang, the founder of IQ 70 Plus
Now you've seen some of the photos, we've even made a video on our fundraise after that! Watch it maybe? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idt2718EZwU&feature=share

To look at all the photos of this album, visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/christmasprojectthejoyofgiving

Class Trip to Port Dickson

Meaningful as it is, I was wore off after this whole event and went sick for a couple of days and before I managed to recover I've went to my class trip at Port Dickson! (Damn hardcore)

U6A 2013 Class Trip to Port Dickson! 

Last Run of 2013 - Newton Run

I've not been training for a long time plus I was really tired from all the activities so I didn't really do well for my last run of 2013, well I hope I can do a full marathon this year and grrr......... lets train hard!!!


2014, Whats Next???

Excellent question, to be honest I'm not so sure too. For now, I'm working part time in Mission-Q at SS15 Subang Jaya to save money for my Taiwan backpacking trip in the meantime waiting for my results to be out. After my Taiwan trip I would like to do something meaningful, say organizing Famine 30 for CHS if I am able to do so (and have the time) or any other things, but for now I'm still not sure and I'll leave it to fate.

During these time I'll try to spare sometime to come out with some Form 6 related articles and plan for my Taiwan trip, not to mention to train for my running, so lets hope I'm not too busy with my part-time job!

University

I really hope to do my degree studies in a local public university, say USM/UM/UMS because it really saves a lot for my parents and I'll not be bind with annoying scholarships T&C. But in the meantime I'll try to apply for different scholarships just in case I'm one of the unlucky ones that does not get a place in university. For now, I do not have a specific course that I'm really interested in but if it is still yet decided when the time comes I think I'll go for Economics related studies. (I like Journalism though, but I don't see a bright future in it, sigh)

To Conclude...

Well that is all for this blogpost, I'll try to come out with more Form 6 related articles if I got the time but the frequency will be slower since I've a job now, so please be patient with me and I wish everyone a Happy 2014 and all the best throughout the year! Cheers! 




Saturday, 14 December 2013

STPM Baharu In Depth - Further Maths

This article is an introduction of the subject Further Mathematics in STPM Baharu by a friend of mine. In Form 6, there are very few people that take up Further Maths and I am really lucky to have a friend who took this subject and is willing to share his experience in this subject. Well, read on!


STPM FM is introduced for those who has intense interest in math and wish to challenge themselves in STPM. It can be only be taken with Maths (T). Being a 100% written test, you don’t have to do any assignment or project. Since there are less than 30 candidate taking it each year, there are no any reference book selling in the market and no teacher teaching it in school (as far as I know). You can only learn it by yourself or going for tuition. The reference book recommended by MPM is hardly found in normal bookstore. You may order it from MPM or online but they are really expensive (each book cost about RM 200) and you may need 4 different books for the whole STPM. Most of us like me will just download the e-books or borrow the books from college/university and photostat it. Since the books are university-typed book, it is more on theory and have less examples. A-level reference book is not sufficient to cover all the syllabus but they are good for reference also.

Semester 1: Discrete Mathematics

This semester will be useful especially for those who are going to study for computer science. There are only two new chapter compare to the old syllabus: Sets and Boolean Algebras and Counting. This sem requires a lot memory works and the questions are mainly proving, so you have to memorize plenty of law and theorem to answer the question. Counting is easy to learn but the question can be very tough and complicated. If you are a person with logical thinking mind then this semester will not be a problem for you. The sad thing that I always faced in this semester is I know a statement is obviously true but I don’t know how to prove it.

Semester 2: Algebra and Geometry

I think this is the hardest semester. There are four new chapter (Relation, Groups, Vector space and Plane geometry) and two old chapter (Eigenvalue & eigenvector and Transformation geometry). Overall, Relation and Groups is not that hard except for some subtopic which is quite abstract. Luckily this two chapter are A-level old syllabus so I can refer to a lot past year questions. Eigenvalue and eigenvectors is easy and same as A-level. The hardest chapter is Vector space. It is a huge chapter and I found it difficult to understand. Plane geometry is quite easy to learn although it has 8 theorems and plenty of properties but the question always disappoint me. I don’t even know how to start and just left blank for it. Although Transformation geometry is an old chapter (only involving 2D), in the new syllabus it consist of 2D and 3D. Transformation in 3D is really confusing, I can’t imagine how it undergoes.

Semester 3: Calculus

In this semester you will learn about hyperbolic function, further integration, infinite sequences and series, differential equation, vector-value function and partial derivative. This is the easiest semester, easy to learn and the questions are straight forward. All these chapters are useful especially for those who want to take up engineering. Although vector-value function and partial derivative are new chapters but they are not too complicated. The only thing I don’t know is sketching the graph for vector-value function and function of two variables. I wonder if they want us to sketch a 3D graph in exam?

Comparison with A-level further maths

There is a big difference between STPM further math ( STPM FM ) and A-level further math. STPM FM is deeper and wider than A-level (if compared with pure FM only). There are about 10 or 11 chapters out of 18 chapters which is not include in A-level syllabus especially discrete math chapters. But STPM FM do not have mechanics and statistic (statistics chapter brings to Maths (T) already) chapters which I think they are rather important. Some of chapter in STPM like Relation and Groups are actually appear in A-level old syllabus.

Toughness

Taking STPM FM is really not an easy task. Some of the topics are very abstract and difficult to understand and the worst thing is I don’t have enough examples to refer. There are not much calculation and most of it are based on theory and proving. I heard from a senior that some of the topic is in first year of math degree. The syllabus set are too wide and we don’t know what they want. For example, in the syllabus they say “use the properties of cyclic quadrilateral” but there are plenty of properties and we don’t know which properties they want/mean.

Advice

I do not encourage those who don’t like maths to take FM. Those who take must manage your time properly because there are lots of new things need to learn. Since there are less examples for certain chapter, you have to search it from other sources like International Baccalaureate and A-level old syllabus past year question. There is a useful blog and a group in Facebook where you can refer to and discuss the question with ex-FM candidates and teacher.

Useful Blog: http://furthermathematicst.blogspot.com/p/new-syllabus-vs-old-syllabus.html


Friday, 13 December 2013

STPM Baharu In Depth - Biology (written by Wai Kent Ng)

This is an introduction of the subject Biology written by my friend, Ng Wai Kent. Wai Kent is one of the top student in CHS that have been achieving fantastic results academically. Also a cheerful and ongoing person in life, his tips in Biology will surely help you in your studies in Form 6! Read it here:

Hopefully this brief introduction may give you some ideas while choosing Physics or Biology or both for your STPM.
FIRST TERM: Biological Molecules and Metabolism
Basically, you are going to revise on what you have learnt in SPM Biology. You have learnt water, lipids, carbohydrates, cellular components, plasma membrane, enzymes, respiration and photosynthesis when you were in SPM, didn’t you?

In additon to this, you are going to learn about eukaryotes and prokaryotes, induced fit hypothesis for enzyme reaction (which differs slightly from lock-and-key), Michaelis-Menten constant for an enzyme-catalysed reaction.
The most ‘exciting’ part of this term is all about remembering some important cycles towards the end of term 1.
NEW for STPM: Enzyme technology
SECOND TERM: Physiology
This is the most interesting but the most burdening part of STPM Biology.
You will be dealing with physiology processes that occur in both humans and plants throughout this term. You need to cope with 7 equally important chapters in only 5 months, not to mention your Pengajian Am and Mathematics (T) project. It is very important to do revision consistently if you do not wish to retake at the end of the year.
NEW for STPM: Infectious diseases
THIRD TERM: Ecology and Genetics
You will be learning different morphological characteristics of different phyla in respective kingdoms. It is interesting to know different organisms in their respective scientific names. Also, you will be studying about ecology, speciation and selection.
You will be studying about different inheritance pattern and gene technology as well.
This is the most interesting part, and you will wonder how unique we are!
NEW for STPM: Biotechnology
Tips and advices:

  • Study consistently. Toiling hard at the eleventh hour does not help much.
  • Have more reference sources. Do not rely on one reference book only. Do online research whenever necessary, especially for new topics mentioned. Learning beyond the scope brings no harm.
  • Study smart. Get yourself one way to remember the terms easily. Understanding the process is of utmost importance.
  • Spell every term accurately! You will be penalized for spelling mistakes!
  • Get a draft paper and try to draw the structure of molecules. This makes you remember them quicker!
  • You are not predictor of tomorrow. Rather than spotting questions, take more time to study everything. Every topic, regardless how important it is, has an equal possibility to be tested.
  • Practice makes perfect. Do more exercises and past year questions.
  • Sharing is caring. Exchanging notes with friends or group discussion certainly help as long as it does not turn out to be a chat group.
Last but not least, STPM is not as horrible as what you think of. We study hard, we play hard too. Do study smart and manage your time well if you really wish to score. Welcome to STPM and all the best!
Attachment:
STPM Baharu Biology Syllabus (964)
http://www.mpm.edu.my/documents/10156/b9e374c3-b18d-44eb-bca5-aefe6731d511

Wai Kent is no doubt one of the smartest friend I've ever met in my life. A great and intelligent buddy and I have been learning a lot from him. 


Thursday, 12 December 2013

STPM Baharu In Depth - Chemistry (written by Li Tian Low)

This is an introduction of the subject Chemistry in STPM Baharu by my friend Low Li Tian, read on and you will get an idea of what you'll be learning for this subject in Form 6! 

 Okay , so I’ll start off with chem sem 1 first. Term 1 we’ll be studying about Physical Chemistry, well I personally didn’t like physical chem that’s why I didn’t have much “memories” bout it. Well, through this physical chem, u’ll be studying about electronic Structure of Atoms, chemical bonding , states of matter , reaction kinetics & equilibrium. Chapters about electronic structure of atom & chemical bonding r quite interesting but not for equilibrium (just my opinion). Overall , term 1 chemistry was quite easy , no memorizing work ,u just have to understand the concept.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/34/Phase-diag2.svg/280px-Phase-diag2.svg.png
Eg:  phase diagram for a single-component material, exhibiting solid, liquid and gaseous phases



Term 2: Inorganic Chemistry . The first 2 chapters r about chemical energetics & electrochemistry . So u’ll be learning different types of standard enthalpy changes of reaction & need to know how to calculate electrode potential. The rest of the chapters r periodic table , group 2 elements, group 14 , group 17 & transition elements . These chapters requires a lot of memorizing work, but don’t worry coz there r connections between the elements of different groups . Once u have to understand well, then It’s easy to memorize them. I suggest that u read a little everyday so that u can master these chapters easily .
eg : Nernst Equation.
R = gas constant
T = temperature in Kelvins
Q = thermodynamic reaction quotient
F = Faraday's constant
n = number of electrons transferred









Term 3 : Organic Chemistry ( my fav!!!!). Okay, so basically this term only need memorizing works . The chapters included : Introduction to Organic Chemistry , hydrocarbon , haloalkanes , hydroxyl compounds, carbonyl compounds, carboxylic acid & derivatives, amines, amino acids & proteins , and lastly polymers . If u r those who loves memorizing then I’m sure u can master these chapters well, if u r not, then u have to work hard by studying everyday ~( don’t worry, organic chem r like inorganic chem, there’s connection between different compounds, so it’s quite easy to memorize them) . Besides memorizing, u also have to do lots of questions & practices in order to get the hang of it.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8b/Benzen_acylowany.svg/300px-Benzen_acylowany.svg.png
eg: Acylation Friedel craft of benzene .



http://htmlimg3.scribdassets.com/30075336ps1fmrjr/images/2-d35431575a.jpg
eg: reduction of carbonyl compounds ( aldehyde / ketone) to alcohol.






Overall , I like Chemistry the most among the other subjects ( well maybe It’s because I have a wonderful & enthusiastic teacher,Pn Wong who teaches well, she makes chemistry even more  interesting.)Oh , u will also handling a lot of interesting experiments in term 2 and 3 : a lot of colour changing & “ extraordinary ” odours  . Well, that’s all for Chemistry, good luck & all the best in Form 6!
Li Tian is one of the student that really excels academically in Form 6.