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Hi all and I'm a Recom-mer who used to surf this site for a long time for the latest info and I've gained endless benefits from this site, for free. Thus I'm here trying to share my experience and things that I know throughout the application of JPA Scholarship for the year 2008 with other Recom-mers.
This' what I experienced on 2008, obviously there're changes on 2009 (onwards). Thus I'm not sure if the information I've written expires or not. Anyway, I hope this article could clarify most questions in students applying for JPA Scholarship. Here it goes.
Many post SPM students will start to worry about their coming JPA interview after the release of their results. So I am too. But I've becoming a 'senior' of JPA interview already; I just had my interview on 4th April 2008 (8am, Panel 1, in INTURA in Sungai Petani). Here I would like to share with you all the information I've gathered so far before and after the JPA interview. Hope this will be helpful for people like me (who worry a lot and tried much on searching info about JPA things). I mean those who're goin' to have their JPA interview on 09' or so.
The JPA scholarship registration will be open right after the SPM result is released (early-mid of March), and only 2 weeks (14 days) are allocated for you all to fill the registration form. No mailing is required. This can be said as phase one. Just submit your info and cross your fingers to be shortlisted.
Before you register that scholarship, you need to sign up your IC number and your name to make an ID in eSila; so that you can proceed with your scholarship registration (there you fill your personal information). Make sure that you fill your details (especially IC number) correctly. Once it's submitted, it will be hard to undo the changes.
The online form is quite linear, compared to some other scholarships' online form. Just point your cursor (mouse) to the word "Panduan" if you need help on how to fill. Read carefully and follow everything stated there. There's one little bug I noticed from that form. In that salary section, they require you to fill 000.00 as asked in "Panduan" if your parent(s) have no income. But after submitting it, the value is changed to 0.00. That’s normal; don't waste your chance just to edit this value. It cannot be changed to 000.00. How I know this? It’s because I've tried on this year- and thus wasted 1 chance for editing.
For those whose parents are doing their own business (no salary), just divide annual profit by 12 (as one year got 12 months, right?). The annual profit's figure can be obtained from the Borang B or J or things like that. But it's still advisable to seek help from teachers or accountants for 100% precise answer.
Read the information given before filling the form. The rest shouldn't be a problem. Fill them up just like a normal online form. If I'm not wrong it's required to be filled in CAPITAL LETTERS. Don't forget this. After filling everything up, double check and submit it.
Check the site frequently. Normally the shortlisted name list will be released just one or two days after the closing date of online application (end of March). For those who take Medicine (Kedoktoran), keep your eyes open for the Kursus Kerjaya list (earlier). And it's compulsory to participate. Don't serve it as a trip to hospital or something. Notice everything you see and learn things from there. The reason is... continue-reading. Those who joined this kursus and think that they regretted still can change their mind. But it's during the interview day. Wait till that day and let the secretary (I prefer to say kerani ><) know that you want to change course.
Ok. Let’s say you're shortlisted. Congrats. You're one step nearer to the scholarship. Don't forget the interview time, panel, and location. What to prepare? This will be your big question. You got a few things to take care of. I say: attire, self-introduction, documents and... er mental-preparation + confidence.
What to wear?
A-must (in my opinion):
Slack (black or brown)
Leather shoes (I dunno how to say in English, in BM, kasut kulit, brown or black)
Alternative: 'Kasut batu' (I think the noise is quite annoying, it's up to you)
Long sleeve (You should know what is it, personally I think plain coloured one is better, try to avoid those with fancy stripes with different colours)
Tie (Must must must, don't ignore this)
Belt (I didn't wear it there, I think it's not really important)
Baju kurung (oh gawd, girls are lucky. Just get 1 set of baju kurung and you're done!)
Alternative: Males' attire (the interviewers consist of MALAY mostly; you know... you know... So personally I think the former- baju kurung is much better)
Leather shoes (Yeah it looks weird with baju kurung, but I saw more than 90% of them wearing this for interview)
Oh, some ask whether can wear National Service's attire or not. Try not to. I don't think it's formal.
How about batik (for males)? This one is the real formal dressing. But I really got no idea. So far I noticed, nobody wears this.
Coat (Kot in BM)? Yes, it really makes you look professional. But be prepared to be showered with tough questions (I think so). As it's like you're sticking a note on your forehead 'shoot me'. Try to be moderate lah... Why try so hard to be so special out of them? No point right? (But I saw got people wear this during the interview session. You can wear, but reconsider ><)
What to fit in your clear holder?
According to this year's (2008, latest, we know this only when we're in the interviewing place), the arrangement goes this way:
1. Slip Temu Duga (printed)
2. Slip Pemohonan (printed)
3. Your IC (original, leave 1 blank page for this. Just take out your IC and fit into this page when you're reporting to kerani, maybe you still need IC to do something else right?)
4. Your birth cert (original)
5. Father's birth cert (original)
6. Mother's birth cert (original)
7. Surat kewarganegaraan (of your parents, original, ONLY for parents who're born before Independence Day, in case you dunno >< 31st August 1957)
8. SPM result (original, yes it's only that printed slip, though it really looks like just a fake copy :/ )
9. Cert. of Co-curricular activities (original, put the best things you had during Form 4 and Form 5, bear in mind that these are the proves to show that you're better than the others. THIS-IS-IMPORTANT! ) "Try not to be arrogant while mentioning IT even though your performance is very good" -AnnDeBlurry, milkshake
10. Sijil Tamat Sekolah (original, the one with all the details of you, including your co-curricular performance and so)
11. Slip gaji (original)
Alternative: For those whose parents have their own business (bekerja sendiri), grab the returned Borang B or J or BE or (other code, I dunno much about this) and put the whole thing into that transparent A4 pocket. I've asked a lot other people and they suggested this, because there're no other better proves to prove their salary who do business themselves, since past 2 years (2006 I think), there's no return slip anymore. If not, we need to present that slip but not the Borang thing. So no slip gaji is needed anymore for this.
12. Borang pengesahan pendapatan (printed, filled)
*** Only get them signed by your Pengetua/ Penolong Kanan, but not Guru Kanan Mata Pelajaran, as what stated in the guideline provided with online borang pengesahan pendapatan, which is a PDF file. Maybe the interviewers aren't really gone into this, but just in case if you meet the choosy ones...
Provide a certified (yang disah, the photocopied version of slip temu duga, slip pemohonan and borang pengesahan gaji don't really need to be certified anymore, but if you want to, just go with it) photocopied set of the documents (stated in 1 to 12, ALL of them, they need to take back the copied set) and just put them in a transparent pocket or an envelope or take it with bare hands, you choose. Clip them together anyway you like, or you just take them there and give the job to the kerani. Paperclips are there, don't worry.
Anything else to prepare before-hand?
Write a script on self introduction. It's not 100%, just in case they need you to introduce yourselves. Include these things:
1. Name (for sure ==)
2. Last previous school (meaning you graduated from which secondary school)
3. Parents occupation (businessman, grocer, full-time housewife or so)
4. Siblings (Just say got how many brothers and/or sisters. If many of them are still studying, let them know; if all of them already graduated and can support your family... don't mention this until they ask you. This' kind of strategy heh)
5. Your co-curricular activities (This one is the real thing, say what achievements you got and do self-promotion and squeeze everything you got to them, try to make stars appear around you. But in my interview, I was not asked bout own co-curricular activities, thus I got no chance for this)
6. Which course you choose (with country)
7. Why you choose this course
8. Why you choose this country
Just know what you going to say. Memorising doesn't really help. As you need eye contact when communicate with the interviewers, and to me that time, I can’t load anything out of my memory--- I just said anything I thought of that time. So... memorising is a waste... trust me (or depends on how one thinks maybe :/ )
Let’s do a bit fast forward, enough for a few days of torturing (for people like me). It's the day. Go to the interviewing place you selected in that online form. Fetch the location map before-hand if you really don't know where it is. Don't lose this golden opportunity because of you are lost or dunno how to reach there that day.
You're on your formal attire, holding a clear holder. And having one or two pens (or pencils) in your pocket, as well as 1 thick covered notebook (some people bring test pad or A4 papers with plastic folder). You need a thick one as a base because there is no table provided for you to write, so most probably you write on your thigh and of course something hard is needed so that you can write really fast!
Upon reaching there, search for name lists and sign beside your name (that doesn't really matter, if I’m not wrong). And proceed to the kerani(s); most probably they're just next to the door of interviewing room, insulated. There, you have to sign your name this time, to show that you're present. And then the kerani will ask you to take the original copy out, as well as the photocopied ones. She/he will check and make a few marks there and they're kept. This means you're not bringing the documents into the room. The kerani's will do for you. The groups are arranged this way: 8am, 10am, 2pm or maybe got other time. Most probably it'll be done in 2 rounds or 3, each round take more or less 1 hour. So this means you really got to wait there long unless you're lucky enough being the first batch to enter the interviewing room. Relax and check who's goin' to be with you. Try to be familiar with them and make friends with them. Talk and share things with them. I did that and it really feels great. Of course if you want to, mix with others from other panel and group too! This'll temporarily make you forget about that interview thing and relax for a bit.
When it's your turn, the kerani will give you all number-tag and wear them. The interview is done in group, not one by one into the room (solo). She/he will ask you all to line up at the door to the interviewing room. IF you're the first one, I got to say that... you're lucky (or not, I got number one too ^^). Take a deep breath. Knock the door, stick your head in, greet them and ask permission to go in. Just say it loud enough. They WILL reply to you, don't worry. Go in and stand right in front of the seat according to number. Wait until they allow you all to sit, thank them and sit. Mind your sitting posture. Leg-shakers, learn not to do it in front of the interviewers! You really don't notice you're doin' that if you don't pay attention to that. Don't kill your opportunity.
They real game begins. The way it starts will be different. Some of the interviewers will add a little seasoning so that they're not bored of the repeating routine. So, prepare yourself for anything surprising >< If it goes the common way, there are three:
1. Introduction to yourselves, followed by discussion and personal questions.
2. Discussion and personal questions (You just state your name and school before you talk about your opinion, which would be nicer. Ish, I forgot to do that T.T)
3. Introduction to yourselves and personal questions ONLY (Oh, you're da' lucky man!)
The questions vary from current issue to unexpected ones. We say, no politics at our age, but during our year (2008 ), some of them were asked opinion about the General Election throughout the session (oh ****). Crazily, some were asked about their favourite TV show (or which they watched recently) and why they chose that. Another is: What's the headline of yesterday? This' the question for one of my Alor Setar friend. That night before he didn't read nation headlines, but only sports. Thus he just told them what he knew, which is, the result of soccer match (which team win which team by how much). The interviewers laughed. Is is a good sign? Nobody knows. Anyway he's one of the JPA scholar now, too.
These questions are really unexpected. Just be alert and I don't think you can really prepare for this :/ Read newspapers daily and this might help. If you're asked current issue, the list is here: (Thanks to other Recom-mers)
1. Increasing crime rate among students
2. Patriotism among teenagers
3. Parents are spending less time with their children (Ibu bapa pentingkan kerjaya daripada pendidikan anak-anak)
4. Perempuan masa kini terutamanya lepasan graduan luar negara menjadi ketua bagi kegiatan jenayah di Malaysia
5. Reality TV program give negative impact on students or not
6. Presents students are more pampered
7. 1st class infrustructure, 3rd class mentality (1st class infrastructure and 3rd class mentality still prevails)
8. Schools emphasize on academics excellence (Education system too emphasised on academics and tourism)
9. Junk food
10. Teenagers nowadays do not socialize
11. ICT: Advantages and disadvantages
12. Tahun ini ialah Tahun Melancong Malaysia. Apakah usaha yang boleh anda buat untuk melaksanakan program ini?
13. Mat dan Minah Rempit is a gang of young people who do not have direction in life, do u agree?
14. Heavy fines should be issued to litter bugs
15. Human resource
17. Students who are choosy in picking their courses (Graduate unemployment is due to graduates being choosy about their job?)
18. Global warming
19. RMK 9
20. Things to prepare before going abroad
21. Children nowadays prefer to play computer games, etc
23. Female vs. Male in Academic Achievements
24. Reading Habit Among Youth is Declining
25. Dasar pandang ke timur
27. Do you agree that bloggers should be registered?
28. Education system
29. The philosophy of a coin [the most unexpected question for me]
30. Do you think it's the right choice to categorize students into art stream and science stream?
31. Should school uniform be abolished or not
32. Tell us one strength and weakness of yours. One only
33. Pick a cartoon character that would best explain you and why
34. Picture yourself in 10 years time and what would you want to be
35. Isu-isu semasa di Malaysia pada masa kini?
36. Kemajuan sains dan teknologi membawa lebih banyak keburukan atau kebaikan
37. Your favourite TV programs and why
38. Nelayan laut dalam lebih mengutung daripada peladang
39. National Service for females should be established or not?
40. Malaysia harus membina sebuah pusat penyelidikan di kutub selatan
41. Negara barat dikatakan lebih maju dalam bidang IT. Apakah sebabnya?
42. Leadership & followership. The conclusion between leadership & followership
43. Our leader idols
44. Public Transport in Malaysia
45. Quality of Local Film vs. Foreign Film
46. Increasing crime Rate
47. Reality TV Shows (e.g.: Malaysian Idol)
48. Study Abroad vs. Study in Malaysia
49. Graduate Unemployment
50. National Service
52. Teaching of Mathematics and Science in English
54. 9th Malaysian Plan
55. How to promote our country?
56. Drug Abuse in Malaysia
57. Female vs. Male in Academic Achievements
58. Usage of Hand phone in Schools
59. Qualities of a Good Leader
61. Healthy Lifestyles
62. Pros & Cons of Fast Food
63. Aspiration of Malaysia to be Center of Education Excellence vs. Sending Students Abroad
64. How will AFTA affect our Automobile Industry?
65. Vision School
66. Pros & Cons of Using Credit Card
67. Declining Reading Habit in Malaysia
68. Courtesy among Malaysians
69. Children nowadays are being pampered
71. ICT: Advantages and Disadvantages
72. White Collar Crime
73. Ways to Overcome Piracy (Counterfeit) Problem
74. 1st Class Facility, 3rd Class Mentality
75. Price of Petrol Increasing
76. Age for Driving License
77. Foreign Workers in Malaysia
The question discussed in my own interview session is "My mission and my vision", we're blank for a few seconds, but later know that it's just about our occupation, linked to what course we choose and how we gonna do contribution, something like this. My friends were to discuss about "Reading habit" and "Vision 2020".
Some panel gives 2 minutes to prepare for discussion. Some allocates 5 minutes. It really depends on your luck. Slide out the stationery and write fast. Think fast (I fail at brain storming T.T) and take down the points. Don't write essay, though some people really have the ability to write a 200 word essay in 5 minutes >< Holy**** Just don't try it.
The interviewer will be kind enough to ask who's going to start (while some panel don't, that's rare). If you're ready, raise your hand and start. Being the first can be a good thing, or the other way. Being the first, you can share all of your points, without worrying your points being mentioned by the others. But if you are not the first one, be smart. Point stealing is commonly done in my group. They steal points and further elaborate it so that they need not to draw out new points. It's not wrong, right? ><
Let’s go to the personal questions part. Oh this one is another crazy one. Those who take medical, I got a little list for you to prepare:
1. How do you think about that Kursus Kerjaya Kedoktoran? (Very very common)
2. How many teeth do an adult human have?
3. How many bones do an adult human have?
And for those who take other courses:
1. How do you think can contribute as a/an (job of your course) to our country?
2. How do you think can contribute as a/an (job of your course) to achieve K economy? (I think it's about the same. K economy= Economy based on Information Technology, just boom about, ha-ha)
And weird questions include:
1. What's the name of our Yang Dipertuan Agung? (Famous question in Kelantan state, Kelantanese, be prepared >< and the answer is Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, the Sultan of Terrenganu and also the 13th Sultan of Malaysia)
2. (Let your imagination goes wild, expect the worst from them... any question just to make you panic. Just answer them calmly. Er, if you really dunno, just admit it. It's only when if you REALLY don't know about that. Saying dunno too much will surely ruin your impression to them too.)
Some of the time, I noticed that if you you're asked 1 question that you dunno, and IF you keep quiet and act like thinking of it, they'll probably ask another easier question. They're kind, they won’t eat you up. Try your best to answer the second question. If you fail them once more, uh, most probably they'll not ask you any other questions anymore >< Amen.
Some of the interviewers are paid to 'shoot' people. Meaning they find out the weak point of the things you said and they question about it. So, think a bit before you wanna say something, and be prepared to answer the questions they gonna shower you.
In fact, these 2 parts are just to test your confidence. Don't be nervous (but I did T.T and the interviewer ask me to relax and don't be nervous >< I’m sure this is a bad thing to me) Even if you think that your answer is a bit out of topic, just continue saying. It's not really a test to your ability of giving perfect points. They'll hear whatever you say. They are kind, again I say.
What happened to me?
In personal question section, I was asked: (we didn't have self-introduction part)
Q: Why do you choose Japan? (I chose Diploma in Engineering: Japan)
A: I think that Japan has nice culture and I would like to enjoy it. The technology over there is great too. I want to study the technology over there and bring the information back to contribute to our own nation. (Meaning import technology, how silly am I :/ )
Q: I don't think that the culture over Japan is nicer than the Western places. Western people respect other people better than the Eastern people. How do you think? (And the other interviewer says in BM) Apakah pendapat kamu?
A: Namun demikian, orang Barat sering dikaitkan dengan budaya kuning... (I haven't finish my talk, but the interviewer cut through my words)
Q: (She nodded) then if we compare between Japan and Korea, why you choose Japan?
A: It's because Japan has better technology and is the closest to our country (among the other countries) (Oh gawd, both the interviewer laugh at me ==)...
This is what happened to me. It's quite brief and I was quite nervous there. Notice that if they ask in Malay, then answer in Malay. Don't answer in English if they ask in Malay. That gonna kill your chance.
The interview days are around 1st of April. There are cases where interviewers play fool with interviewees on that day(April Fool, man). An example is, they keep change the language and for this, you'll need to pay attention to the language they use and answer with that language too. They might like to play fools with ya, but not all.
For those who have learnt other Languages that meets the country(course) you're choosing, you may want to include the certificate in your clear holder. Probably the interviewers'll ask you to speak abit of it. Just say a few simple sentences. For Japanese, some of my friends said there're people just saying 'ohaiyougozaimasu, watashiwa... ' this sort of thing. Sounds simple :/
After this, they will say the session is ending and ask you all whether have any question to ask or not. Then you all will be asked to walk to them and take the clear holders, which the kerani has taken to them. They'll also remind you all to take the online personality test at eSila. At this moment, if you did well and think really need to shake their hands to perfect the whole session, Do IT. English style will do, if you're a Chinese and you do the Malay style, it's a bit weird but again, it's up to you. Then greet them thanks and leave the room. If you're the last to leave, close the door with your hand, though it'll close automatically. Do it, maybe they'll notice this, who knows?
Then don't leave there yet. Take the Slip Temu Duga (original, printed) out and hand it to the kerani, they need this one. Then you'll be asked to leave. Sigh of relieve. Here your blood pressure is normal again.
It's not end yet. You got to take the online personality test in eSila within the 10 days (from the first day of interview). Serve this test seriously. Make sure your browser doesn't break down frequently and electricity supply to your home is stable (man, not a joke ><). If not, go to your friends' house to do this. Who knows that the God wants to play fool on you due to your carelessness? Also make sure that your computer time is correct. Change CMOS battery and synchronise the date and time via internet if you're using XP or Vista IF NEEDED. This sounds funny, but this is just to make sure that the odds aren’t going to happen to you. If not mistaken, this test can only be done ONCE. Not a joke, man ><
Login to that page and proceed with caution. You'll be shown a bunch of questions (around 250) and asked to finish in 45 minutes. There're 4 sections. First is more on moral thing (Smart smart lo here). Second part is about what are you interested on if you're given the chance. The third part is on your current ability. While the last part is about what job would you like to have if it's available to you? There must be a few NOs for the whole list of questions, unless you're the perfect guy ><
After finishing it, click HANTAR and print that page as asked. Then you're done. Pray for the best. Everything ends here. Sit back and rest after weeks of hard work. May rays of luck shine upon you all.
It has been 1 year since I created this article. There're people curious that did I get JPA scholarship or not, just to make things clear, I succeeded too. The course I've chosen is KEJURUTERAAN (JEPUN). Currently studying in UTM (Setapak Jaya, KL) and will be migrating to INTEC (Shah Alam) April 09 onwards.
Please give comments on it. Your valued opinion is much appreciated ^^ Thanks.