Monday, March 11, 2013

To All UK Bounded Students (Medic)

      Assalamualaikum and greetings.

As I woke up early in the morning today, I checked on this one email and I found this one from my senior. She is a 2nd year student of KMB and my senior in maahad once. She got 13 A+ for SPM. Woot2.

But this email has become my eye opener. Frankly speaking, My eyes are really wide opened. Its about the reality of IB and UK bounded students. I don't have any word to explain further, just read first.

Mcm ni. *breathes in and out*
One looooong post. Take your time to read and re- read, if needed.
Since ur d only person I know who's male, junior se-sekolah n have some sort of authority over ur friends, I thought I'd tell you lah psl bnda ni. Klu ckp dgn budak prmpuan, byk sket songehnye, n susah sikit nk sampaikan kat org lain.
Ur a UK- bound med student, kan?
All the better.
I'll cakap campur2 sbb nak bahasakan diri as 'akak' mcm pelik. Don't ask me why. It'll be less awkward anyway. We've never really spoken to each other pon.
Anyhoo, I'm not sure if ur seniors dh ckp pasal the realities of applying to the UK, but I'll just ckp je la ehh. I feel somewhat responsible utk adek2 yg akan apply ke uk, specifically medic n dentistry prospect students.
But sebelum pape, please please take note that I'm telling you my experiences n whatever happened to my friends dlm batch UNIVIC bukan utk masuk bakul angkat sendiri, or memburuk2kan org lain, tapi I'm telling you all this so that you can tell all your friends, and learn from our mistakes.
Initially I wanted to have a formal sitting with all you guys so that you can ask questions if needed, tapi I didn't want to appear like some big shot budak hebat, sbb my application wasn't that amazing punnn. And I'd like to remain low key.
Where to begin? I'll start with...
1.0) IELTS.
- Please please make it a point to score for all components. Don't aim for the minimum. Aim for the highest. Lowest is 0. Highest is 9.0.
- Reading, listening paling senang nk score. I got 8.5 and 9.0 for those. And for speaking and writing, 7.0 each. My average was an 8.0. But most uk universities want a minimum of 6.5 for each component, tapi ada jugak yg nak 7.0. Please please check with the universities sendiri. They change every year.
- Exercises begin right after you read this. Kalau nak masuk uni pilihan hati la. You MUST already have some idea of the four unis that you'd love to enter. Check and re- check the requirements. With the universities themselves. JANGAN HARAPKAN MABECS.
*Kteorg rely too much on MABECS (they are the ones that'll organise our uk applications, btw), sampai booklet yg diaorg supply (nnt akan dpt booklet on entry requirements for every uni) pun kteorg pecaya bulat2. I'll tell you about entry requirements in a bit.
Dah lepas IELTS, boleh longgarkan tali leher sikit. First hurdle dah lepas. You won't need to think about repeats if you aced your first IELTS. N its better to ace your first one, sbb nnt exam tu akan diambil together dgn semua budak kmb. Somehow, (based on my observation) the first one ramai yg mampu lepas writing and speaking tau. Sbb even though the exam scripts are anonymous, tapi they have a kind of idea of our English level, and probability utk be a bit lenient mungkin ada.
Compared to a friend of mine, she's repeating her third IELTS. Sbb speaking n writing x lepas. She got 6.0. Kalau repeat sndiri lepas tu, you're going to be compared to other private students, budak2 a- levels, chinese, blah3 whose taking their exams at the same time. Probably level die high sket. My hypothesis la.
Prepare early sikit2 xpe. Sikit2 at least ur mentally prepared for the exams. No stress. English je pun.
2.0) UKCAT.
Not sure just how much you know about the test, and what were the khabar angins regarding this aptitude test.
- It is POSSIBLE to study for the UKCAT. Contrary to popular belief that there is no way to study utk bnde ni,  sume dusta belaka je tu. Personally, a few weeks before my UKCAT, I stayed up a few nights just mengulangkaji UKCAT.
- UKCAT is not just about 'testing psychology' or something. Have you seen the questions? Mmg mungkin lambat lagi utk ambik the test (I took mine in October), tapi just familiarise yourself with the questions. Invest in a UKCAT exercise book. Worth it. Seriously. Sangat.
- if ur not too sure about what exactly is the UKCAT, google je. Try out the mock test online kat official website die. Free time tu try je. Don't go saying "alaaa, blum study pape pun lagi!" and just TRY. Supaya mental dah tau what you're going to be dealing with, and you can plan ahead. TRY.
- most of my friends dapat low for UKCAT. ramai in their 500s. Average is between 650 - 700.
- alhamdulillah, after late night exercises, sleeping at 3.00 am, I got 2760, average of 690. Tu pun my score was the highest utk medic my batch. Padahal nak compare dengan international students yg lain, mine was pretty average kot. Ada yg scored 750+ tau x? remember, kte bukan going up against budak2 malaysia je. We're competing with other internationals for that one place.

(Again, bukan masuk bakul angkat sndiri tau. I'm telling you to realise the importance now. Tu je niat nye, k. I feel terrible menjual markah UKCAT sndiri. I've never even told anyone. Tapi I want all my juniors to learn and be lagi awesome daripada kteorg. Honest!)
- some unis tgk average je. Some unis tgk each component. Check please.
- UKCAT can only be taken once. I've seen most of my friends cry over spilt milk, but there's nothing we can do really, once we've sat for the UKCAT.
- i don't want to mention names, tapi tanye je ur abang2 kat kolej abt their UKCAT experience. Just don't mention my name, though. I secretly think they're not too keen on annoyingly geeky girls like me. Haha.
But take my word for it. Possible je nak study utk UKCAT. Walaupun some of my friends cakap: "ehh, nak study apa? Tak boleh study punn!"
Basically it's consistent exercises. Tak boleh cram malam sebelum tu. Not possible. You can start nanti mase sem 3, or somewhere slightly earlier would be better. Score 700s and you'll practically get that interview invitation.
Ada kawan2 yg x dipanggil interview langsung. Terus masuk clearing (the process when ur rejected by all unis). Sbb UKCAT 500s.
3.0) BMAT
This only applies to those who wish to study at UCL, ICL, Oxbridge.
Yg ni... I applied for ICL, n x dapat sbb my BMAT scores weren't very good. I scored a 5.6 for the first part, tapi the second and third was below average.
Part 1 - ala2 ukcat.
Part 2 - sciences and maths. Ada physics. YUP. Bukak balik buku spm. Crazy stuff.
Part 3 - essay.
All three parts 30 mins each kot, i forgot.
But seriously, if you're considering taking the BMAT, start studying as soon as possible. Lepas baca ni terus  bukak buku.
Imagine answering tonnes of questions in 30 mins je. No calculators. Just you, the question paper, a pencil and ur brain.
Kalau rasa x mampu. JANGAN MINTAK. Seriously competitive. No one in my batch got called for interview from the universities i mentioned. Just so you know. Choose wisely 4 uni tu.
4.0) Uni selection.
Haaaa. Yg ni, jgn pilih just because ur seniors ada kat situ, just because tmpt dia cam osem, etc.
Consider every factor.
- mampu ke aku dpt all 6 utk HL subjects?
- UKCAT aku tinggi x? *crucial.
- IELTS lepas x?
- International students punye quota berapa?
- uni ni masuk clearing x?
- Interview kat mana? UK? KMB? Kat KL?
(Biasanye kalau dia interview kat KMB, tendency utk amek tu tinggi. Eg: Leicester, Liverpool, Belfast, just to name a few)
- Ramai x senior yg dipanggil utk interview sebelum ni? *investigate.
- Ramai x budak KMB yg mintak? *competitiveness.
- and other factors yg necessary, i.e. study kat situ camane, cuaca, blah3.
NOTA PENTING SANGAT: Check dgn uni tu sendiri (call, email) tntg interview kat mana, quota sume. Pedulik la kte ganggu dieorg ke apa.
My story: I applied to Nottingham, and tgk2 xde sorang pun (as far as i know) yg dpt interview. Tgk2 they changed their plans, x jd dtg utk interview kat Malaysia. I emailed them myself. Dahhh rugi satu spot. Sedihhhh.
Some unis yg probably byk songeh sket: (for my batch n those before - medics je)
- Queen Mary Uni London
Sebelum ni dia interview kat KL. Suddenly kat Singapore pulak. Kalau dulu budak2 Sgpore dtg sini, skrg budak2 kte kne g sana plak. Pelik, kan? Initially i wanted to apply ke QM, tapi noticing the pattern, I decided against it. My thoughts were that they macam xnk amek budak malaysia je. Tgk2, all medic students kat kmb yg mintak QM xdpt interview.  Fishy,  right? Even my friend yg dpt 650 / 660 ukcat pun xdpt.
- Nottingham
Intake dia banyaak for international students (for my year la). Tapi i hv a feeling diaorg xnk amek malaysians sbb dah ada campus kat sini (hipotesis sndiri). take heed, risky.
- Cardiff
Kdg2 ok, kdg2 x. Dunno. 20+ got called for interview, 3 got in from kmb. Competitive.
- Southampton
It's been two years n in both years no one got in. Or maybe i heard wrong.
*note: ni utk medics je tau. Since I'm one.
One more thing, kalau nak pilih tu, make a very balanced decision.
One uni of our choice, one yg ada banyak international students intake ke, one yg senang dapat ke, one yg x tgk ukcat ke, something like that. Jgn ikut hati je.
One friend of mine mintak 3 uni BMAT n one non- UKCAT. All BMAT unis rejected. Alhamdulillah yg non- UKCAT tu dipanggil interview.
Sbb as far as i know, BMAT unis x masuk clearing. Once ur rejected, ur rejected lah. They won't consider you no more.
So... tu je kot so far.
Hopefully it's not too much for you to digest.
I realllllly wanted to duduk and tell everyone about bnde ni, tapi takde platform to do so.
I don't mind kalau ada yg nk tanye soalan. I'm free to answer. Or ask any of your abang2. I've never talked to them before, minus during club activities je kot.
Don't know how the male mind works, but I know korg lagi lax about these things. Which is a good thing, takde la panic mode je slalu, tapi kene take these things seriously jgak, k.
You guys ada banyaaaak sgt lg masa utk prepare. During this time dulu, kteorg x tau lagi pun placement country kteorg. Imagine dah middle of sem 3 baru tau placement. Imagine jugak all the last minute preparation utk tests tu sume.
Maka sila lah ambik kesempatan masa yg Allah dh bagi n utilise it to the fullest.
That's all from me.
Please please bgtau ur friends. Tu je amanatnye sbnrnye. I'm not sure how you're going to go about doing it, but I am entrusting this responsibility to you.
A side note, my marks that I mentioned tu sume x payah cakap kot kat org lain. I'm not too keen on telling people about my so- called 'achievements'. I'd like to remain low key, thank you very much. Cukup sekadar you know the importance. Let's keep those scores between us je lah, k. If you must mention pun, let it be anonymous yg teramat sgt.
Ask away, kalau ada pape, be it uni apps or IB itself. I'll try to be of help to the best of my abilities,  insya- Allah.
Just pray for your seniors' success, tu je.
Take care!
Ohh, and don't get too stressed out dgn the three- headed monster that is IB. You'll pull through, bi idznillah.
Remember why ur in IB in the first place. You're on a mission. Taktau, tanya je pape.
P/s: ada org ckp it's too early to start on ukcat bagai. Tapi better be safe than sorry. At least I've told you how things goes awal2, and it's totally up to you guys nak buat camane.
I've noticed that my batch tau fakta2 ni sume lambattt sgt. And at the end, university placements jadi mangsa.
May Allah bless my effort yg tak seberapa ni.

Allah. Im just hoping for the best. Syukran sis for the sharing, May Allah bless ! 


  1. Bro, this is far from anonymity.
    God, I sound so conceited.
    Someone hand me an invisibility cloak, please.
    m(_ _)m

  2. lololol! n somehow i think i knew who is the commenter above! ^^

  3. ahahahaha u got the point kak !
    Yes "she" is. The humble bumble sista ;)

  4. er, nak email sis tu boleh, please?


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