2013-12-15

How to get a JPA scholarship: 10 Tips!

I know I should have been working on this post on the first day I got my JPA scholarship offer but these months were just crazy for me and I had no time at all. Plus, pardon my endless procrastination. Ok, let us move on to the main topic: HOW TO GET A JPA SCHOLARSHIP!

Being a Malaysian, I believe you guys know about the term "JPA", which is "Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam", specially for those who had been opting for this scholarship, I assure that this term is quite familiar to you. If you guys didn't know already, I got my SPM results, a 11A+1A, which is considered quite good for many people. But as for me, I am quite unsatisfied as my target is 12A+. (not trying to sound like an ungrateful bitch or something) FYI, I took Chinese (YES I got A+ for this subject, WOOHOO!), English 1119, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Additional Maths, Modern Maths, History, Arts (I am science stream but I'm quite good at drawing so taking Arts would be a plus for me), Accounts, Moral Educations and Malay Language ( I got A for this :( )

TIP 1: PROPER ATTIRE, ORGANISED CERTS 
For this aspect, I admit that I did not do quite well. That day, I wore my Adidas tee, grey long jeans and white sport shoes while all of the other interviewees are wearing their best outfits- Baju kurung, Baju kebaya, professional looking formal wear and tuxedos. Imagine how awkward I was that day standing in the middle of the crowd of fabulous/handsome/gorgeous/beautiful people (competitors to be precise). I secretly thought that I will be disqualified directly from the list already. And just being as forgetful/careless as my usual self, I forgot to photostat my identity card. (I ran towards the nearest photostat shop and rushed back to the interview centre.) So, do double/triple confirm that you got all your documents/results slips/certificates/other materials printed/photostated and nicely compiled in a clear folder file to show them you are an organised person.

TIP 2: BE OUTSPOKEN, CHEERFUL AND BUBBLY
Even though you are the introvert type of person, I believe that there will always be sometimes that you can get hyper right? Get yourself into the hyper mood before the interview! Try to be relax and JUST CHILL.
GET YOUR ORANGE MOOD ONNNNN ;)
Before going to the interview, you should have this kind of mindset:
a) I will go for this interview just for having some fun and meeting some new friends
b) Don't treat interviewers as interviewers, treat them as your friend!
c) I'M HELLA HAPPY AND CONTENDED! (don't hunch your back! Walk like a boss! People will think you are a more successful person if you smile more!)

TIP 3: KNOWING OTHER INTERVIEWEES
As I was divided into groups some of the interviewees start to talk to each other and get to know each other and stuffs. You gotta try remember their names in this stage because you might need to call their names when you are having the discussion thingy on. Knowing other interviewees' names is a plus point because the interviewers might think that you are very socialable and amiable person.

TIP 4: DO SOME RESEARCH ON POSSIBLE TOPICS
If you are applying for engineering/medicine/accounting (basically WHATEVER) course, always remember to do some background research. You don't wanna be speechless and make a fool out of yourself when the researchers ask you some questions right? ;)

TIP 5: TALK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, BUT...
Besides your english proficiency, the interviewers also want to look at your personality. They would not like to see interviewees who take other people chances' to talk. You gotta let other people speak. At the same time, if possible, you can guide the other interviewees to speak by giving some ideas in your opinion. The interviewers would notice your inner personality shine through the others. This is the quality they would like to see in their future scholarship holders! And also, when the others are giving their opinions, don't even try to disagree their point.

THIS IS A DISCUSSION NOT A DEBATE.

TIP 6: IF YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO TALK, TALK ABOUT SOMETHING YOU ARE EXPERT/FAMILIAR WITH
Even though you are super well prepared for the possible topics for the discussion session, it is quite impossible to know 100% of the facts. Hence, you need to mix some of your own experiences to make the discussion more interesting and lively. Not to forget you can always change the subject cleverly to something you are familiar with. Don't pretend that you know something that you don't really know.

TIP 7: HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR
It's always appropriate to crack a joke during interviews (but of course crack a witty one not some lame and cliché one!) Make people laugh! People will automatically love you if you make them laugh or smile. If you can lighten the intense interviewing atmosphere and make it fun, trust me, you are the one the interviewers looking for!

TIP 8: MAKE A STATEMENT
Some people can be really good in their points when they are discussing certain topics, some people can be very fluent in English/ Malay, but what that all matters is, your FIRST IMPRESSION.
You gotta make a statement about yourself in that short time. It can be your clothes, your smile, the way you carry yourself, the way you smile, the way you walk, the way you articulate your words, it can be EVERYTHING. Make people remember you!

TIP 9: HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE IN THE COURSE YOU ARE APPLYING FOR
I believe you guys all have lots of free time after SPM. Why don't use these time to do some part time job that is related to the course/field you want to apply for? When you know something about the course, the interviewers would know that YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. People would love the fact that you know what you are going to do and know how to achieve it. Nobody would like people who are targetless right?

TIP 10: IF ANYTHING GOES WRONG, RELAX AND BE CONFIDENCE!
So yeah, my phone beeped just right at the time when I was answering the interviewers' answers. And the terrible thing is, I actually stopped my answering, switched off my phone and resumed my answering. I know I should be ignoring the call but I didn't. *heart dies a little inside*
But the lucky thing is, the interviewers doesn't really seem to care too much about this *phewwww*
MAYBE, they DID cut some of my marks on this part but I really feel lucky for the fact that they didn't just disqualify me JUST LIKE THAT just because my phone beeped. Lucky me, but don't you guys try this! It's better to play it safe lah, you know what I mean :)

The informations below is from one of my friend in the interview:


Stage 1 (group discussion in Malay):
1. Title: Jerebu
2. Discuss how does it occurs
3. Discuss the solutions
4. Write down everything in A4 paper provided ( the paper is not allowed to take out from the room)
5. You will have 25 minutes for discussion
6. After 10 minutes of discussion you need to write your rough ideas on a mahjong paper for presentation (only 1 people write, the other tell what to write)
7. after 10 minutes the presentation commences, you can only present it for 15 minutes

Stage 2 (case study in English):
1. Title: how National statue help to enhance the sense of belonging of our country in young people.
2. Everything same with stage it just that u need to use English to communicate.

Stage 3 :
1. If the panel ask you questions in Malay, answer in malay; if they ask you in English, then answer English.
2. This is the hardest part, you are not given enough time to think so you need to answer promptly
3. The question is asked by panel (he thinks the question by himself, not referring to question paper)
4. The questions he got:

a) Why you want to receive JPA scholarship
b) Why you want to study at foreign country but not Malaysia
c) Why you want to study engineering course
d) What programme do Malaysia carried out to increase the economic
e) If a foreign country give you job opportunities with high salary, will you accept it or you would want to come back to Malaysia
f) If Malaysia want to build a nuclear energy generator, will you agree?

GOOD LUCK GUYSSSSS :D

P/s: I'm in a rush when I am typing these so don't mind my grammatical mistakes. :P

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