Friday, 14 September 2012

Muet 2012 Trial Exam

My dear upper six students,
Your performance in the recent trial exam has been quite disappointing for me, especially your paper 4. While a few of you have shown good attempt in respond to Question 2, most of you did not make the cut for Question 1. It is as if you have not been trained to do the writing at all, with quite a number of you not giving the title, and most importantly the Overall View. Analysis of the features are difficult to understand as the language is chaotic, leaving the basic rules of the structure – Subject-verb-object   out.
As in Question 2, the biggest problem is still the organisation of ideas, which you do well in practices, probably through the discussions that we had before every session of writing. And of course some of you have structures that is almost incomprehensible, mostly due to direct word by word translation. As expected, those who very seldom send in their practice compositions, some did not send at all, performed very badly.. The PMR candidates from Form 3 D write better than you.
Please go through the sample essay that I have prepared for you as a guide for your next practice.
Remember that you will have a hard time getting your choice of university courses with a band 1 in MUET, no matter how high your CGPA is in the STPM.

MUET Trial exam 2012
Sample answer for Paper 4 (Writing)
Question 1.
Priorities in Life for Young Men and Women.
The table shows the priorities in life of young men and young women. Generally, the men’s ranking of priorities is different from the women.
The men rank having a highly paid career the highest but women rank it second. Instead, the women put getting married on top, which the men  rank at only fourth. There is also not much difference in both genders’ priority on being healthy, 6th by the women and 7th by the men.
Two priorities are however ranked the same by both men and women – saving money for old age and travelling the world, 8th and 9th respectively. 
At 2nd place, men put learning new skills which is only 2 steps higher than  the womens’ rank of 4.  Another difference of two steps is spending  time with friends which the men rank 3rd while the women,  5th.
The lowest ranking by the women is buying a house, at 10. However the men rate it as priority  5th. While having children is the 3rd priority for women, men only put it at 6th. The priority at the lowest ranking of 10 by the men is charity work, which the women rank at 7th.
 In conclusion, there is an obvious mismatch between the priorities in life between  young men and women.

Question 2.
Poor academic performance among students is caused by their obsession with social networks like Facebook. Do you agree with the statement? Justify your viewpoints with suitable examples.
Judging on the great number of hours  that students spend browsing the various social networks, it is difficult for me not to agree with the statement. However, on second thought, it would also be unfair to blame only this obsession for the poor academic peformance, as there are many others factors involved. Besides there is also no denying that these social networks do bring some benefits for the students, directly or not.
Yes, spending a great number of hour on the facebook is a threat to students’ academic performance.  Imagine the time that they are supposed to spend revising and doing homeworks are wasted in the excitement of socialising in the digital world, with friends in the same community and those far away. As revision and homeworks are among the keys toward succesful academic achievements, there is no doubt that these students might  fail their examinations. Things would be worse if the this ‘social activitiy” goes on until the wee hours of the morning, where students would be coming to school yawning away and there would be no focus in lessons.  The worst that could happen is they would fall asleep even before going to school.
Having mentioned  the negative effects of social networks on student’s academic performance, I can’t help but to think of other reasons that could do the same thing. Peer influences that lead students into negative activities like  playing truant, loafing, and smoking have been long known as the reasons for students failing examinations, as they tend to lose focus on school. Missing a large number of lessons due to these activities will cause them blank during examinations. These cases of low academic performance has nothing to do wth obsession with social networks.
What about cases of students who are born with low IQ? These unlucky students have learning disabilities that no matter how you drill them in academic, they will not perform. The low functioning would not be able even to master the basic reading skill while the luckier would benefit enough if the could just read and count at the basic level. Some would be lucky to have talents in other than academic, such as in vocational traning. Special attention have to be given to these students, which, at the end of the day, would still show no good result in academic.  And most of these students are not intelligent enough to have accounts of the social networks.
There are also cases of bright students who end up not doing well in public examinations due to laziness,  having no purpose in life, indiscipline, and neglect by parents. On the other hand, other bright students who are obsessed with these social networks go on doing well in life as they are more disciplined, smart enough to control themselves not to let their socialising activities jeorpadise their academic performance by strictly obeying their study schedules. Of course parents also play their role, monitoring the children’s activiities and their academic progress. All these are just proofs that obsession with social networks can be controlled, and not let it affect academic performance.
In conclusion, it is alright to socialise via the digital world, getting to know people from all over the world and having fun at the same time, so long as academic performance is put into priority. The moment a student realises that studying is affected, he should buckle up and make things right.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Money is the medium of exchange that man had created centuries ago, to enable them to acquire their needs and necessities. Success means an achievement or accomplishment of a person having been working for it. The phrase Money Equals to Success is implying that these two elements are related; that success can only be attained with money; or that having a lot of money is a proof of success in life. I do not agree with this, as success is   subjective, and it does not necessarily need money to be achieved. Furthermore, there are many other things besides money in life that satisfy a person, to prove that he is successful.
Having all the money that a person needs does not prove that he is successful in life. Paris Hilton’s money that she gets from her multibillionaire hotelier father, for example, is not related to success. She may get a hold of everything that she desires, clubbing every night with celebrity friends, driving luxurious sport car, showing off  expensive clothes, but there is not a single thing in her life that can be said as success as she had never worked for it. In fact, by the way she is running her life, especially with the excessive drinking and smoking, money is actually ruining her life; more to Money Equals to Failure!
The true meaning of success is having the satisfaction of an accomplishment after working hard for it, especially with the grueling experience that comes along with it. A daughter of a poor fisherman in Kota Bharu Kelantan, scored full 4.00 GPA in her STPM back in 2008, a proof that money has nothing to do with success. Living in a small wooden hut that seemed to be going down anytime, with 5 other siblings, eating decent meals earned by the father just enough to survive, forget about tuition classes and expensive reference books, what this lass needed was the mere spirit to improve her family’s life, and went on to mug on her notes day and night, forgetting all the funs that any other youth like her would yearn for. All these are well paid for as after the successful STPM, she easily obtained the sponsor to further her study abroad. I believe there are other cases similar to this, where money is not the major role in achieving success.
For a person who believes in a simple but happy life, success means being able to earn enough for the family and to enjoy life as it is. There is nothing more satisfying than to be able to watch the children grow up to being useful adults who, at the end of the day, take their turn to take care of their parents. This particular person would die happy and contented unlike a person who breeds his children with money, who, in the end, would only be concerned for his money. A report in a local newspaper recently saw three siblings who had left their mother in an old folks’ home for years, only to come back on her funeral to ask for her valuable assets and money. The home operator, having promised the late mother to donate everything to an orphanage, had to reluctantly give them everything to avoid problems. This mother would definitely not regard her life as successful despite all the money that she had.
In conclusion, money does not equal to success. It might be handy in the process for success, but there are things like hard work, skills, patience and diligence that are more dominant. The satisfaction over the effort brings the true feel of success.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Welcome 2012... although its a bit too late.

Assalamualaikum. Wow... it's been exactly four months since my last update. The truth is, it took me almost 15 minutes to get into my own blog due to wrong typing of password. Yes, not only I have not updated, but I've not opened the blog in these four months.
2012 started off as a busy year for me. for the first time after four years, I'm given one form 4 (the best class) and one form 5 (the almost weakest class), besides the usual 2 Upper Six. Not to mention the Lower six that will come in May. So it has been a hectic 2 months, where teaching is concerned.
The biggest problem is the form 5; a mixture of super notorious boys, who frequent the disciplinary room for cases like playing truants and smoking, who need to be reminded all the time to pay attention during lessons, and a bunch of non-stop-talking girls, whose names are also in the top of the discipline master. Then there are five students with sight problems, 3 of them total blind, using the braille machine, the other two using magnifying glasses to read already enlarged text. Not that I'm complaining, but there is really problem in focusing, even with my 25 years of teaching.  Then there's the guiding teacher for the blind students, who has to attend all the lessons; a very awkward situation for me as there's always a feeling of being tested on my teaching method. Looking at the positive side, however, this perhaps adds to my teaching experience, and further strengthened my teaching skill.
In co-curricular activities, besides the usual choir, this year I will have to handle the nasyid, and kompang; and after 2 months I've not been able to see the students for practice. Serves me right, for going all out on the choir last year, that resulted in winning the state level competition that came with RM5000 prize money plus the earlier RM3000 for the district level.  Well it was a case of self-satisfaction, despite the fact that I was the oldest among the choir teachers in the competition, and the only DG 48! Well, this year the school is not allowed to take part in choir, to give chance to other schools. Nasyid is however around the corner.
Another new thing this year is that I am being 'lucky' to be chosen by the education department to be a member of a Survey Research team on the need to abolish class streaming based of academic performance in schools. After a three-day-stint in Kuantan early February, I will be travelling to Kota Bharu end of March, besides the frequent meetings in JPNT. It is keeping me busy, but yet another new thing in my teachig profession.
Well that's about it I guess, hoping to have time to write new posts after this.