Tuesday, March 29

Ms. Kylie Cooke: Who is she??

Whilst yesterday I met a biology tutor from Oxford University, today I met a representative from University of Edinburgh. She is working with the international office and specifically responsible for prospective students from Malaysia. Initially, when I attended the talk, I am expecting what she shared with us is just the same as what she had told us last October I reckon. However, there are something new this time around. They only different with her previous visit is her intention and information she had on board. Of course, this time around she came with a handy guide I suppose, for the 2012 entry, which is what I am going to do in the next few months. Let me share some of the contents of the talk which I believed is important for applying there.

First of all, their entry requirements is AAA. Again this is, to my advantage, something different from last year because they no longer required 0.5 subjects. Therefore, I can give my full commitment towards achieving 3A* rather than 4A*. In fact, the English requirement is pretty easy because they only required us to get a good grades for GCSE O-Level English, which I do very well in it with an A1. I am glad that my hardwork during my secondary schools paid off. However, I still have to do well in IELTS because Oxford University still required them. Nevertheless, world is such a nasty place. Only the fittest will survive. (Now I'm talking about the theory of evolution). Therefore, continuous struggle is not something odd or even fatal.

Secondly, they made it clear about their selection process. Throughout this period of 5 months (I think), I have been wondering how do they choose people because they do not interview applicants. That become crystal clear after she clarified to us. the process is as follow.

  1. Minimum requirement
    1. First of all, they would filter out applicants who do not satisfy their minimum entry requirements.
    2. They look on the predicted grade.
    3. For those who do not meet this, I want to say that your journey ends here. Hehe.. Try again next year.
    4. For those who meets or even exceed, you will be given your first internal points. (Later I explained what is the use of this internal point)
  2. UKCAT
    1. Next, you would be required to undertake this entrance test.
    2. Again, you will be given your second internal point based on your UKCAT score.
  3. Personal statement
    1. Here comes the role of your impressive and spectacular personal statement.
    2. They will read through your PS and give your third and final internal point.
    3. They look for relevant work experience, i.e. (according to Ms. Kylie) based on this mnemonics, MACK.
    4. MACK stands for motivation, achievements, commitment and knowledge.
    5. In short, they will look on how well-rounded you are.
  4. Ranking and offers
    1. After you have gone through all three phases, your internal points will be added up and rank according to it.
    2. The top xx would be offered a place but the offer is conditional upon meeting requirements.
    3. xx represent the number of intakes for that particular year.
    4. Beware that there is international quota of only 16 place.
    5. Your conditional offer will be most probably depends on how much predicted grades you present to them. If you put 4, you will be given a higher internal points but of course your conditional offer would higher than applicants who put only three subjects.
    6. So, choose your subjects wisely.
For my case, I think I will only take three subjects, Chemistry, Biology and History. Presumably, I will drop maths. However, I have not decided yet.

Thirdly, in terms of their climate, Scotland, Edinburgh in particular, is not as cold as I have imagined. She showed us a statistics of the fluctuations in max and min temperature throughout the year. I do not know to what extent this is true because I have not find some time to check on it. But that is not a big deal because it wont matter.

Fourthly, when I asked her what kind of system does Edinburgh medical school adheres to, her answer gave me some thing entirely new about choosing medical school. She said actually this does not matter most because usually the medics are only looking towards medicine as a degree regardless of the way it is trained. The only important thing for us to consider is to adapt ourselves to different situations. Again, this remind me of something. Success does not lie on where you are but what you do to achieve it.

I think that's all for today though I am sill tempted to write more. Anyway, this would be enough for me to make sure I retain the information I gained today.

Note-to-self : I've began to see a general pattern in your post. Every time you start explaining new points, you tends to number it. What do you think? Is it great?
My subconscious mind: I am just trying to be organised.
Me:Why don't you come out with some sort of easy-to-read and interactive format.
My subconscious mind: I'll think of it. ya!

Dr SyafQ.92 - 4A* - (^-^)

Monday, March 28

St Anne's College : Oxford university

Today, 3 tutors from St Anne's College, one of them is Dr. Martin Speight, Senior Tutors in the biology department, University of Oxford visited my college together with my super senior, Mishyan Kumar of batch 11 who is currently studying there and is on holiday.

Personally, this a golden opportunity for me to get to know more about University of Oxford and gain a clear picture of what studying there like. I want to share few things that I learnt today.

Firstly, education style in Oxford is entirely self-driven. For medics, you will have quite a heavy workload which comprises of attending lectures, practical labs and the special thing about Oxford, tutor. Its tutorial system is unique and totally not similar to any other universities, I think personally. the reason why I said the style is self-driven is simply due to the nature of the tutorial system which enable us to study matters of personal interest pertaining to our course in greater depth. Annually, there are three 8-week terms which include Michaelmas term (Oct-Nov), Hillary term (Jan-March) and finally Trinity term (April-June). Adding the terms up, we get 24 weeks of classes which means we have  28 weeks of holiday.

Due to the facts that there are lot more holidays than classes, I managed to ask a question about it. What do they expect students to do in these long holidays? Well, the answers are as follow:

1. At each start of the term, there will be Collections (some kind of internal examination). This exam is held by the colleges and would not be used to count the final grades (I doubt it though).

2. We are able to explore and experience the field of our interest in our own time. For example, for the engineering, they would probably spend their time doing internship in major companies. In fact, there are some who works at the supermarket, just to earn extra money for themselves. The activities vary and you can definitely use contacts established by the university to do any kinds of projects or research. Besides, I have read some of the medics went to undergo training at NASA specifically in the field of aeromedicine.

I think this is great because I will have the flexibility to explore things of my interest in greater depth with the aid of prominent figures in related field.

Secondly, they made it clear that they only require three A in A2 examination. So, I could start thinking which subject should I drop in my third semester later on. However, there are some things that I need to prepare. the list are as follow.This is my target by the way.

  1. Obtain predicted grades of at least, A*A*A. Preferably the A* would be chemistry and history but I am going to work for triple A* though my current target is 100 for each and every subjects.
  2. Prepare thoroughly for BMAT. Since it is an aptitude test, you can never really prepared for it in terms of memorising informations but my focus would be enhancing my critical skills and of course enforcing my basics in chemistry, physics, biology and maths.
  3. Read BMJ case reports as often as possible and do something like PBL for them. For the purpose of this, I will need the help of my beloved sister.
  4. Sharpen my observational skill. I still dont have any specific idea to achieve this but I'll work on it.
  5. Improve my communication skills, which include speaking with utmost clarity, in an organised way, free from staggering, relax and the most important thing, enough vocabulary. This also includes listening ability. For this reason, I will train not just me, but also my subconscious mind by listening to The Archers every time I have especially when i'm sleeping. Not just that, I'll start to memorize some simple dialogues from the show.
  6. Update myself on what is happening around the world and how people solve their increasing problems, e.g. The earthquake in Japan and other things like that. I'll do my review on that later on too.
This is just a preliminary list that I could think of at the moment.
Insya Allah, in few days time, I'll come up with something more organised.

Thirdly, they are not expecting us to say what we think they want us to say. Just stick to our own opinions and views in the day-to-day lives. In fact, be a little bit more aggressive. In general, just be genuine. Don't make things up and just be yourself. For this reason too, I am going to start my soul searching right after trial. I'll come out with the time line soon and work it out.

Fourthly, the success rates for those applying for medicine here is terribly low, around 5-10%. Nevertheless, if you don't apply, the success rates would be zero. I deliberately and consciously know that this is damn hard but let us not put our faith in statistics but put our faith in Allah. If this offer is meant for us, it will never go away. If it isn't, just accept the way it is. Allah knows best what for us. Above all, you want to be a doctor. So, where you gain the qualifications doesn't matter. You may be studying elsewhere but your spirit, energy and qualities are in par with the one who studies in Oxford. Remember, it is you who matter most. I would always remember that, my father's word.

Fifthly, I should start studying smart for my A-Level because life is not just about passing A-Level but a broader prospect will show us that the only purpose of life is to gain Allah's pleasure. From now on also, let me foster my intention that my struggle is directed only towards achieving this intention.  Anything that come across in my journey, I will go through that with Allah by my side. Insya Allah.

I think that's it for now. Insya Allah, my sharing is not just for me but also to anyone who find it useful. Please leave your critics or anything that can help me further.

Note-to-self : This is a completely spontaneous writing. You should improvise it by putting more thoughts of it's practicality.
Tadi, baru je habis buat speaking test. Alhamdulillah, semuanya smooth cume kena improve dari segi mengatasi gemuruh.

Dr SyafQ.92 - 4A* - (^-^)

First Night at KYUEM

Hey everyone!!
Thanks again for reading my blog.
Yesterday, right at 2.15 pm, I successfully arrived KYUEM.
After a short rest at my lovely room, my mother, father, grandmother and my youngest brother made their way home.
There is so much things happening this holiday and I will try to write it in short later on.

First of all, i'm going to have my AS mock examination on 4th April until 15th April but I'm very lucky to have such an easy schedule which means i have a lot of time to prepare. This also means that i dont have any reasons for not getting 100 this time.

Secondly, I received a feedback from a friend of mine stating that my mind is too 'history'. Well, the reason for publishing that is just for easy retrieval because if i put it in documents, i in the future will forget about it. Anyway, a good comment though. I'll try to reduce that OK.

Thirdly, i've renewed my visions and of course i want to keep it secret for now. Perhaps when the time has come, i'll share my renewed vision to you but there are clues around my blog (if you desperate to know).

Fourthly, finally, I got some general and particular idea on how to go about PBL. It is interesting because back those days, i was reading case reports without knowing organised way to learn medical things. However, after a long downloading time (still not finished yet because the internet is super "fast" like snail), i will insya Allah start doing it right after my mock examination.

I think thats it for now. Well, i could still clearly heard a fight i overheard this morning.. hehe.. want to know about that? wait for my next post.
Thank you.

P/s: I want to post pictures but the internet is so 'fast' that even the normal windows to insert pics appears blank (even after i wait for quite some time). I'll do it in the ICT class later on.

Dr SyafQ.92 - 4A* - (^-^)

Thursday, March 24

Napoleon : To what extent he maintains the ideal of the French Revolution

The Ideals of the French Revolution

Liberty leading the people : This painting is a symbolical view of the principles that uphold the ideals of the French Revolution
Throughout the periods of 1789-99, there are various types of government which characterize the ideals of the French Revolution.

The first phase which started at the moment when the Estates-General convene for the first time since1614 on 5th May 1789. This made clear for the principles of:
  1. Sovereignty lies in the people
  2. Representatives of the people
  3. Liberty
  4. Equality
  5. Fraternity

Soon after, the same principles were being uphold but at different approach. During the reign of terror, the normal functioning of the government had to be suspended in order to counter the problems faced by the revolutionaries, i.e. threat of war.

During the period when the Directory was in control of the administration(1794-99), they clung tightly on the principles.

To what extent he maintains the ideal of the French Revolution

And here comes the question, after the successful Coup of Brumaire, to what extent Napoleon maintain these ideals? This question prompted wide debate because throughout the period of his reign (1799-1815), he made a plethora of statements that prompted question on his intention to maintain these ideals.
A cartoon depicting Napoleon's strength compared to the rest of the deputies of the Council of  Ancients.
Though there was an exaggeration on his opponent strength, this was a clear picture of what was happening in 1799.

Therefore, we would then investigate various aspects of Napoleon's rule and then decide on which side was he actually is and of course, the extent to which he maintains the ideals of the French Revolution.

Let us interpret this question in the light of what he claimed himself to be.

1. The heir of the revolution
> Meaning: He upholds completely the ideals that underlie the French Revolution.

> Evidence

  • The things that he preserved from the 1790s
    • liberty
    • equality
    • popular sovereignty
    • support given to property-owners
  • Feudalism, which was abolished during the course of the revolution was kept that way. In fact, the abolition was written into law.
  • The biens nationaux (the Church and aristocratic land sold during the revolution), were to remain in the hand of those who purchased them.
  • The law granted  equality and religious tolerations.
The last three claimed was strong and clear however, these measures were in reality directed towards consolidating his power. Later claimed was less secure.
  • Position in the government was open to those with talent and ability
    • Most important military and administrative posts were mainly held by the nobles and the bourgeoisie with the latter dominated most of the post.
    • Peasants could only rise so far.
    • Industry and trade were run by a small handful of old families, while money was still needed to buy into a profession and civil service
    • There was a continuity of personnel from the Directory into Napoleon's consulate.
    • The great majority of prefects, or members of the Tribunate or Legislature, had taken part in the revolutionary assemblies or had held post in senior administrative post before Napoleon's successful coup.

2. The protagonist

> Evidence :

  • Libertarian freedom (freedoms and liberty which had been claimed during the Revolution) was not in favour
    • Because:
    • Government became increasingly authoritarian
    • Spies and censors were out in force through the role of prefects and secret police.
    • Napoleon's justification : People wanted firm leadership and his actions suited their interest by allowing him to have strong grip on this expanding empire
    • These measures were directed towards the establishment of absolute government (quite similar to the Ancien Regime) which was indeed far more than countering the less centralised and more devolved power exercised by the directory.
    • Even though the constitution of 1799 had granted vote to millions but the nature of the complex voting system concentrated the power at the top.
There were very few checks and balance of his power.
  • Council of state was very much in his control to carry out business (similar to the role of Bourbon Royal Council).
  • In the period of the Ancien Regime, provincial administration was carried out by intendants but in Napoleon's reign, prefects went much further than the intendants.
    • They had the power to select the local council.
    • Run various crucial functions e.g. tax collection and conscription.
3. Napoleon was neither an heir nor a protagonist to the Revolution but a bridge between those two.

>He maintained or abandoned the ideals of the Revolution according to his needs
>He maintained the ideals when he needed to regain and maintain the loyalty of the people.
>He abandoned them when he needed to impose his authority at home in order to pursue growth of the empire and military conquest.

To put it into a 3-page essay, I will then arrange these points in a way that make sense for me to recall in 5 minutes time.

How far did Napoleon Bonaparte maintains the ideals of the French Revolution during the period 1799-1815?

The ideals : 
  • Popular sovereignty (based on universal suffrage)
  • Liberty (Freedom to pursue matters of own interest)
  • Equality (Open to all)
Look at various actions Napoleon was taking to achieve a particular purpose.

How these actions related to the ideals of the French Revolution (supporting the revolution or restoring the Ancien Regime)
The aims that Napoleon trying to achieve :

  • Maintaining the loyalty of the people
  • Consolidating Napoleon's power
  • Centralizing Napoleon's power
Point 1 : Maintaining the loyalty of the people

>The new constitution of 1799
>Napoleon signed a concordat with Pope Pius VII (1801)
               Recognised Pope's position as the head of Church
               The state would pay salary to the clergy

Point 2 : Consolidating Napoleon's power

>Voting system.
        At grass roots level, 6 millions male voters were eligible to vote. (universal suffrage to people)
       However, the complexity - concentrated power at the top.
>Education policies
       For the children of the notables
>The role of Tribunates and Legislatures

Point 3: Centralizing Napoleon's power

> Establish prefects to patrol provincial administration
           Provide information on opposition to Napoleon, choose local council, responsible for censorship
>Establish 'secret police'
           to defeat rebellions
           spread government propaganda
           act as Napoleon's informer

The extent : to a lesser extent
Reasons :

  • His main focus was not maintaining the ideals
  • His actions were directed towards creating the great French Empire. Look at the glorious Charlemagne's empire
  • His various statement regarding his position in light of the ideals of the Revolution, was a justification of his actions at that particular time

The End !!

Dr SyafQ.92 - 4A* - (^-^)
This information is a part of my preparation for the upcoming AS examination.
Feel free to give me any comments or critics.

Tuesday, March 22

Russia : Episode 1

Stability of the Tsarist Regime 
This post has nothing to do with my day-to-day life, I mean, I was not involve in this particular event. I just want to share my newly-acquired knowledge of the Russian society and later the creation of USSR.
This is the Tsar that I am going to refer to onwards, Tsar Nicholas II
     How stable was the Tsarist regime in Russia on the eve of the First World War in 1914?

In order to measure how stable a regime is, one should consider:
    1. The threat the regime is facing
    2. How the rulers tackle those emerging problems and oppositions

This essay would definitely see these two key points in the light of three major group which present a threat to the Tsarist regime which include:

  1. The peasants
  2. The reformist middle class
  3. The working class

Application process

So, kali ni, saya nak ceritakan serba sedikit tentang permohonan ke university di UK. Secara dasarnya, semua application perlu melalui UCAS (University and Colleges Admission Services). lebih kurang macam UPU kat Malaysia.

Tetapi ada beberapa restrictions yang perlu dipatuhi. Untuk kos perubatan, daripada 5 pilihan yang diberi, hanya 4 pilihan sahaja yang boleh diisi dengan kos perubatan. Berbeza dengan UPU, UCAS membolehkan kita untuk mendapat sehingga 5 tawaran untuk satu-satu masa. Dengan ertikata lain, kita juga boleh langsung tidak menerima sebarang tawaran. Jadi pemilihan haruslah bijak.

New Face??

Masuk hari ni, dah lebih kurang 8 bulan blog ni x diupdate. Bukannya x nak, tp rasanya kesibukan di kolej membatasi masa untuk berblogging. Alasan je ni.

Apa-apa pun, saya dah pun mencecah umur 19 tahun beberapa hari yang lepas. Jadi eloklah kiranya kita mulakan hidup baru yang lebih matang dan selesa.

Jadi saya ingin mulakan dengan berkongsi cerita apa yang berlaku di KYUEM sejak saya mula mendaftarkan diri iaitu pada 20 Julai 2010. Mudah-mudahan membantu saya untuk menulis 'personal statement' nanti.

Cerita pasal personal statement ni, banyak betul kerja yang perlu dibuat. Kita listkan dulu ea, (ni kebanyakannya ikut Mdm. Madeline):

1. Soul searching
    Teliti kembali sejarah saya masa kecil2 dulu. Apa yang saya masih ingat sebenarnya agak limited. tp yang
    pasti saya suka kumpul sticker pokemon pastu tampal kat buku die. dah kumpul banyak2, tebus utk dapat 
    mainan. haaa. tak pernah dapat pun. Apa-apa pun saya akan berusaha untuk mengingati kembali menerusi 
    blog ni.

2. Draft personal statement
    Ni lah part yang paling memenatkan. nak kena tulis pastu make sure abide the maximum length of words of 
    roughly 700 words. ni jugak part yang paling penting sebab inilah asas yang akan digunakan untuk 
    menyenarai pendek siapa yang akan dipanggil untuk temuduga.(temuduga ni untuk kos perubatan je. kos 
    lain kebanyakannya x perlu) cerita pasal interview ni, teringat kat zamri. hari ni dia di interview oleh 
    Imperial College London. Good luck ye.. Doakan saya jugak ye nanti.

Yang specialnya utk kos perubatan kat UK ni, pihak universiti ada kuota masing-masing. tp universiti yang saya nak pergi ni sikit betul kuotanya. 7 orang je maksimum intake untuk international student. dah lah sikit je kuota, kena plak fly ke sana untuk interview. Kena amik BMAT lg. Apa-apa pun saya redha shj sebab dalam berusaha insya Allah ada keberkatannya. 

Inilah antara universiti yang saya nak apply utk entry 2012

Universiti ni lah yang kuotanya terlalulah sedikit. Maksimum 7 org. tp biasanya dia akan ambil dalam 3-4 orang shj.

Universiti ni pulak pilihan saya selepas Oxford sebab lokasi dia kat London.

Universiti ni kat Scotland. tempat yang paling sejuk jika dibandingkan dengan universiti2 pilihan saya yang lain.

Universiti ni pun antara pilihan saya sebab menawarkan approach secara pbl.

Rasanya, cukup lah sekadar ini sahaja untuk hari ni. Lepas ni saya cerita secara detail proses permohonannya pulak.

Note-to-self : When are you going to start using proper English language? Abah dah 'sound' dh pasal English kan? Saya jawab: x pe. post ni je rojak sikit. nnt saya improve dlm post2 akan datang ye.

DrSyafQ.92 (^-^)