Plan Z

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

I first learned this quote during a scouts camp during my secondary school years. "Be Prepared" was one of the inspiring mottoes in scouting. So, planning ahead to meet future goals was top priority too. And it is no different from planning to get your A's or passing your exam.

We had other plans.

Plan A

Plan B

Plan X

But what if things didn't go as planned? Well, here's the final plan..

It's times like these that students (like me..sometimes) think "If only I studied beforehand."
But it's not time for that. We've got an exam coming in a week or three to two days and we gotta act fast! Unless you don't care about it..but we do here so let's get started.

The Final Review
There are a few ways to know what you should study at this hour. Face it, you don't have that much time. Chances are you might not get to revise every single thing (especially if you've been neglecting the subject from the start). So, one way is to do the past year questions (if any) and probably "spot questions" or the sort (but I generally don't trust them). They've personally helped me a lot in many circumstances. However, that ONLY might not be enough unless stated otherwise. At times, the dept or lecturer realizes this fact that students do rely a lot on past year questions and so they change it. To counter that possibility, go to the exam review. In an exam review, most likely you'll get snippets of possible questions and topics. That should come in handy. At least if you can't answer all questions, you'll be able to answer some. Another option is to see your lecturer personally and ask him/her something more detailed than "please tell me everything". You might get some hints in the process. The last resort? Ask the best person you know (you should have made some friends) for help.

The Final Stand
If you actually have a week to face the exam, I'd say you still have plenty of time for an A unless you know nothing at all. My greatest tip here is to study as if you're having the exam the next day. Through my own observation, many students gobble up more than half of their study materials the day before the exam. Why don't you do just that in a few days? Perhaps you might actually finish studying everything. Kudos to you!

On the other hand, if you have just well about one to two days, then the following might be useful.

1. Considering that you only have this one exam left or the other exams are far apart or less difficult, then you can try not sleeping at all for one night to gobble up everything you can. The adrenaline rush (or coffee) should be sufficient to keep you going. Just make sure you collapse on your bed after the exam. Note: No drugs please!

2. Go for a study group with your friends. It might seem distracting or not enough to study with friends at this time but it should help to calm you down (that's what friends are for) and help you know things you never knew. If you have someone who knows a lot, he/she can be the leader. But if everyone is at the same level, you can find things out together. Together, we can achieve more.

3. If you have a friend who has finished studying, this is the time to bug him/her..make sure you thank him enough!

4. If you had notes and slides from the first class or lecture, review them all.

5. Have a textbook? Usually textbooks have questions for every chapter. Do a few or all of them for each chapter (and select ones if you know which ones are coming out).

6. If you don't have the basics, pick them up as soon as possible and get going with the advanced ones. Don't just storm through the advanced questions (this applies a lot to physics and math) as it may take longer for you to understand and remember. That's wasting time. And time is not on your side so stick to the plan.

Calm Down
At one point, you may consider this to be one of the worst times. But it's no reason to use that window over there or drugs of any sort. A good friend of mine always said, "Once you enter the exam hall/room, tell yourself, I'm ready. And do your best."

Don't Repeat 
Yes, you got it. This should never happen again and you should never have to use this plan again (but trust me..many people do).

Wrap Up
The last stand depends on where you stand. If you're far back, then to get that A is hard so the next thing is not to fail. Remember, basics first, friends help, past year questions, reviews and good luck!

Any form of effort you took from here (especially pushing yourself through the night) is entirely on your own risk. You know better whether you can handle it or not. Health comes first.

images from:,

Tutoring Tips: How to Deal with Sleepy Students

- sleeping in class can become a very bad habit -
I bet if my classmates, close friends or even teachers read this, they'd laugh hard because I myself have to admit that I slept a lot in class during the past few years in school. It became a habit. And yes, bad habits die hard. Nonetheless, from my very own personal experience, there are actually a few things that are effective against sleepyheads (like me) - not splashing water! doesn't really work.. Besides that, I also worked as a tutor (teaching additional classes) in a secondary school twice, so some of my techniques have been proven useful. Believe me, telling them to wash their faces or drink water is useless..seriously.

So here are some of the things a tutor/teacher can do to wake their sleepy students in class:

1. Call their names
It is said that people like to hear their own names. When a student hears his/her name, he/she will actually wake up or at least reply. One reason might be that the student feels embarrassed being an attention to the class since the whole class also hears the person's name being called. Another reason might be that the person feels embarrassed to the tutor/teacher (but that seldom happens). Besides that, the student might feel less sleepy knowing that he or she is actually given attention by the tutor/teacher. Kind of like appreciation. Bear in mind that after you call a student's name, you have to say something else too. Or else, the student will fall back to sleep after the attention to him/her is gone.

2. Ask them a question
This is a good way to actually get the students' hearts pumping. Ask them something, especially things that you just thought in class when they were asleep. It's as if you're giving them a "You deserve it!" especially when they can't answer your question. It also forces their brains to work to find the answer to your question which makes them less sleepy. Better still, make them write or do something on the whiteboard like answering question with calculations. My Physics lecturer used this as a way (by also using in-class exercises for exam marks) and it really worked. I got an A!

3. Make them say something
Starting a short conversation with them can make them start talking a bit and less sleepy. I myself feel less sleepy when talking. Ask things like, "what did you do last night?", "you sure are very sleepy huh?" or "do you understand this?" in a friendly manner.

4. Make them do something
Such as teaching their friends in front of the class about how to answer a specific question or doing an experiment. This is actually related to neurolinguistic programming. Some students (like mua) are kinesthetic learners, people who can't just sit down and listen to not-so-interesting stuff. They need to do something actively. That'll keep them awake for sure.

5. Explain things in front of their faces
Ok..not that close. But you get the picture. It's about giving them some attention. It's also a part of your goal too to make them understand what you're teaching. Well, I believe so.

These should be enough I suppose. If not, that student must be reaaaally tired and there's nothing much you can do about it except telling the others to help teach the student later. Wait, we're not finished yet. Apart from the things you can do, there are also things you should avoid in waking up a sleepy student!

1. Anger them
Well, making them angry can actually keep them awake with all the blood pumping in them. But then they will not listen to what you teach. So, what's the purpose of waking them up? Secondly, they can actually fall asleep again out of frustration towards you.

2. Embarrass them
Calling their names in front of the whole class might embarrass them a bit but if you tell them to do something embarrassing like licking the floor (are there really teachers who do this??), then you're going the wrong way.

3. Arouse any other negative feelings & thoughts
You see. The point I'm trying to bring here is that students need the attention and activity (especially brain activity) in class, and in making sure your objective is met (which is to make them understand), these are some fundamentals you'll need to observe. Builduing a sense of respect and appreciation in students is also very useful in making them listen to you. One point to note, even if they do listen to you out of anger, your relationship with students might deteriorate and you wouldn't like that outside of class. It's a matter of interpersonal relationship..oooo.

So that's about it. Keep to the positive ways, smile and do your best to help those students out. They need you, some just don't know it yet. :D

- we all have that sleepless night once in a while but it's best to just go to sleep at night -

images from:,

StudyPlan: Plan X

Most probably you've known about Plan A and Plan B. They are great plans for their times. But what if things aren't going the way they're supposed to? Maybe you missed something? Or maybe you didn't follow any at all? Fear not! Here's PLAN X.

The Situation
It's been weeks or months. Things are not as you really wanted. You're supposed to be ready but you aren't. There are still quite a lot of topics you've missed or you have yet to understand. And exams are right around the corner..about three to four weeks maybe? So this is what you can do.

Cover Up
I'm sure there are a number (if not many) of topics or chapters in any subjects that you are still weak at. Are you going to wait until the bitter end to cover them all or are you gonna do something about it? Well, since you're here, might as well we do the right thing (no, not play games..). First and foremost, you should actually find out, what are you really lacking right now?  What are those topics that you really need to study? Then, how bad are you at it? or how much do you think you need to acquire to master that topic? When you are aware of these, you might get a clearer picture of what you're supposed to do. Nonetheless, you have to also be aware of the time you have. You need to allocate enough to time to study what you've missed and also not get left behind of what you are currently learning right now.

The Advanced or Basics?
Know your weakness first. That said, there are basically two issues: Do you know parts of the topic/chapter  or nothing at all?
If you know parts, then strengthening (or in other words, exercise) is what you need! But if you know nothing, then go back to the basics. And sometimes, even if you know parts, you might also need to strengthen your weak basics. A common mistake would be to directly jump to advanced parts and try to work your way there. Not a good idea. Why? Because chances are, you might not understand a thing, make lots of mistakes, get stuck in the middle then feel frustrated and give up! If you start from the basics, it would easier and then working from there (like playing a game), you level up and subsequently face the advanced parts which will be simpler for you then. But do you know the easiest way out of this? Ask your friend(s) to help you out.

Time..Again and Again
You should realize by now that time is running out. If you don't start recovering now, you might end up having to go loco in the end. So, it's best to act swiftly and do your thing. One of the easiest way is to ask for help. Help will always come when you need it..unless you don't have friends..real friends..

If you're holding top or important positions in a society or activity, this is the time when you might have to consider laying down your arms for a while (if not permanently) or maybe just lessen up your commitment a bit. At times, there might be too many meetings and sometimes your presence doesn't really have any effect (you might just be there to wait..wait..wait..and listen) so it might be a good idea to ask someone else to help take down important notes and brief you later. Simply to say, prioritization is very important here. If you think you can sacrifice your study time for these commitments and make up for it, then it's ok. But be careful because you might end up too tired and in the end study too little or not study at all.

And of course, go and exercise in the mornings or evenings if you must. It's good and can help reduce stress.

This is the time when you have some (or a lot of) catching up to do. Don't waste it. Don't procrastinate. Don't leave till tomorrow what you can do today!

or else you might need another plan....

"Doc, why is it that you have plan A, B then X?"
I don't have that much time to use all the other letters. XD

image from:

Language and Brains

I have always been amazed by people who can speak more than two languages. Last time I went to the Malaysian US Embassy to attend my VISA interview. While waiting (it was a very very long wait..), I overheard the conversation of the interviewer with his interviewees a few times. He spoke in English most of the time and once or twice he spoke Chinese and Latin! That's three..and I think he might be able to use more.

Ethnologue stated that there about 6909 languages in the world!
Being multilingual (able to use several languages) is an advantage when it comes to employment. Firstly, it's amazing enough that you can do so. Secondly, if it's an international company or a company that has international relations, they could really use someone that can talk to people from various countries. It's safe to say that even though English is widely used internationally, those who can actually speak the native language of a person can attract more attention from him/her and in business, attention is something precious.

That's not all.

According to and Society for Neuroscience, learning more languages improves your brain function! Simply to say, the more languages you know, the more better your brain is. How can that be?

The brain is not as some people assume (that the more you study, the more tired it becomes). Your brain is like your muscle. The more exercise you get, the tougher it becomes. It's a fact that your brain can store and process more data and information compared to a supercomputer. Besides that, in terms of functionality, the brain is far better compared to a computer's memory capacity and processing capability. When your computer has too much data, it slows down but it works otherwise for your brain. The more you know, the better it gets.
Our brain needs exercise too.
In the research carried out regarding language capability and brain functionality, students who know more than one language are proven to be better than those who don't. This refutes another assumption where people claim learning many languages can get you "language confused". Apart from that, older people who have retired are encouraged to learn new languages to avoid inactivity which can degrade the brain or in other words, leave the brain to rot. Furthermore, it can really help avoid forgetfulness and Alzheimer's disease!

Isn't our brain cool? The more we learn, the better it gets. As we learn to do more things, it gets better at doing things. So, let's learn a new language (and try to speak it out)!

p/s: Google Translate helps :P's not New Year yet..but why put to tomorrow what you can do today? :D

*images from:,, &

StudyPlan: Plan B

Plan A was a very good one. In fact, if you actually did all of that, things would be ok..that is, IF you did. I know, it's not that easy to stick to a (near) perfect plan. So, here's the B.


Situation: You tried hanging on to Plan A but for some reason (including procrastinating, suddenly too busy, etc) it's not working as expected. Or maybe you didn't even have an initial plan. Assignments/Homework starting to pile up. Thus, a new plan is needed!

Time: Usually it's already a few weeks since a new semester started.

So here's the plan, it's kind of like a twist of the previous Plan A but situationally, can give the results.

Still the same thing: Focus! If there's anything you don't understand from previous lessons, now's the time to step up and ask. If you're not into asking teachers/lecturers, ask your friends. Surely you must have at least one person in class who is better than you at that subject you're not very good at.

Usually, at the start of a semester, most students (or at least I do) are keen at jotting down notes. But as time flies..some just stop doing it. So, if you realize this is true for you too, then you should get back to where you left and start making 'em. If your teacher/lecturer is the type that writes important stuff at the black/white/green board, then you should just follow his/hers wherever the syllabus is right now. For the past ones you missed, ask a friend of yours who has good writing for his/her notes.

You know what..unless you have a quiz or test tomorrow, finish off those piling work first!

Are you serious? If you're still not finished with the assignments/homework, I don't think you have much time to think about this yet. :P
But if there's something you're very interested in and it's also very useful, you can dwell in it in a certain amount of time..but please do finish work too.

This one, you need to look at yourself in the mirror (not literally..but if you insist..) and ask yourself, are you being slowed down by your extra curricular activities? Are you taking up too many responsibilities? If the answer's yes, then it's time to make some changes to your timetable. Specify a limited amount of time for your activities and/or responsibilities. Then, make sure you have enough time to study. If you are offered more responsibilities, try to reject them (in a nice way of course). Only accept if you think it's really necessary and you really can handle them. :D

Make amends. Make sure things don't go worse..or you'll need a newer plan...

US Application Workshop 2011

1 year has passed by since I started my preparatory program in Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN). I was going to study in the US. At the time when I just got into UNITEN, a senior of mine told me about a two-day workshop that was designed for students who were going to study in US. Well, I questioned, "Why should I go?". In time, it dawned on me that the application process into US Universities was not easy (and I'm telling you, it's not easy!). So, I decided to go to the workshop. It was very helpful indeed! I met the future US undergraduates and past ones too. I even bought some reference books for the SAT exams from a senior. And there were many more things I got from the workshop. It did help a lot and finally this year, I'm ready to study in the US! (no..this is not some kind of lame "follow-me-to-be-rich" advert..I really am going)

If you are a student going or planning to study in the United States, feel free to join the program:

2011 Workshops

Visit their website for more info:

StudyPlan: Plan A

Hi readers & bloggers alike! Starting from today, I'll be writing out plans.
Dad: Planning is good, plans are bad!'s bad if you don't act fast and STICK TO THE PLAN.

Let's get into real business. These plans are actually ones that I've thought out myself during my studies since in secondary school. They are derived from the amount of time I have, the current situation & the amount of load I still have to take. They have done me with great results so I thought maybe I'd share some. The plans of course were built for my own specific personal use. Nonetheless, I built them with the knowledge I got from motivation/study/time management talks/books/gurus. So, most probably, it might be fit for others' (including you if it applies) use.

Now we start with


When to use?
Usually at the start of a semester when you have ample time, not much work yet, and a fresh start.

Why use it?'s Plan it's supposed to be the first plan to be used. XD

What & how?
The plan is divided into several parts and should be carried out as follows:

The early days of classes are supposedly the most important ones because that's when you receive the basic knowledge of subjects. For instance, in maths, if you're studying differentiation, you will learn the basic steps of differentiation and then will go on to learning second derivative, the chain rule, and so on. If you can't even do basic differentiation, how do you think you're supposed to do the latter? Well..I learned my lesson by sleeping almost everyday of my early class of additional myself an E (fail was F) for the first test. Your focus is vital. Making a habit of not focusing from the start will not do you good.

Writing notes is one of the most sure-fire way of making yourself the next best student! You know why?? I did post about it here: Simple Stuff To Help Us Study
Basically, making notes develops your understanding even further and helps during revision. However, just copying directly from the whiteboard (or black/greenboard) is not the same as making notes. It helps but if you don't understand a thing you're writing, you're basically doomed.  :P


Having a lot of time in your hands, why not do some more revision? After class, spend some time on a bit of exercises. I know it's tiring after a day of classes but a bit of revision helps a long way. Besides that, they say if you don't revise what you've learned within 24 hours, 80% of it will disappear. So, do your brain a favour of not chucking everything inside it the very last minute by retaining those memories earlier on. Isn't that smarter?

Done with notes..done with exercises..why not ask for more? It's not wrong to be greedy in learning (I think). If you have the Internet, find more information to boost your understanding of what you study or just to know more. Sometimes, knowing a bit more about what you learn can make you more interested in the subject. I have a list of links at my sidebar to your right (Study Aid) that might be able to help you in this. Make studying more interactive. :D

Feeling that there's a lot of free time? Yeah, it's really boring if you just stay indoors (or even outdoors) studying, studying and...studying. You can become very intelligent, but at the same time, not develop practical soft skills like leadership, management and teamwork if you don't participate in co-curricular activities (i.e. scouts, religious groups, debate, sports, etc). At least if you do, you can release some tension buried in those muscles of yours after hours and hours in front of your textbook or laptops. But be careful, you will not have the same free time you're having now when time flies. If you pick up too many responsibilities, you might end up with sleepless nights and that will not do you good, plus: you might need a newer plan..


Plan A is well suited for any student when there's a lot of time (no projects, not much homework, no exams around the corner). It's designed to make one well prepared for the busier times. And usually, it will get busy! For those who like to volunteer (kinda like me), you'll be involved in projects and such that will require a lot of sacrifice in terms of time. For others, your homework/assignment will pile up like they always do..especially if you're a procrastinator. All in all, this should actually be a very neat plan. Nevertheless, if it fails to work or fails to be carried out well, there's always another plan..


Teachers...Remember Them?

Years back, I had occasionally tried to run away from my teacher so that I don't have to attend my extra Quran recital class with her. Sometimes too, I feel that she actually knew but just let me through. Most of the time, she'll find me and make sure she does the job. My mom pays her for the extra time with me of course. But because of her, my Quran recitation became better and better.

Primary school...
Still years back, I also had this teacher, a maths and science teacher. He was always very funny and great. He gave me and my friends loads of exercises to prepare for UPSR (Primary School Assessment Test). One thing that I remember the most was every time after an examination, he would ask every student who made mistakes to stand up for each wrong question and gave a whack on the palm of their hands (including mine) with a big wooden ruler (and it once broke in half too!). When I got 100% for math in a trial exam, I was thrilled! Even those who got 99% had to feel the impact of an accelerating ruler on the palm of their hands. It was because of that too, that I became good at math.

A teacher once told me, "Be patient because that will take you to success and heaven". And I've been holding on to it and to many other great guides and teachings to life from teachers since I was in primary school until now. Teachers are great people. In poems, they are the ones who shaped us to success, who contributed to the development of ministers alike. Those who are rich and famous now were once taught by teachers. Most of the time, I see a career as a teacher a not-so-easy one.

A teacher has to go to work early in the morning every weekday (and weekends when they have to). Those who don't drive will have to take the public transportation. Arriving at school, the teacher receives all the paperwork, if there are any, and pile them up on the teacher's table, together with the other papers. On one side of the table, there is a stack of students' exercise books received yesterday. And cellophanetaped on the table, partially covered by more papers, today's timetable. Then, it's time for class. The teacher meets a variety of students, nice ones, naughty ones, geniuses, spoiled brats, you name it. While teaching, a student sleeps after finishing his game of Dota until 4 a.m. yesterday night. Another keeps staring at a girl in the opposite direction. But the teacher keeps on teaching. After that, comes another class until it's about 2-4pm. If nothing stands in the way, the teacher will go back home, tired, frustrated at times, worried of students' accomplishments, or relieved of finishing another day and so and so. Back home, the teacher spends some time with family or friends and then gets back to marking stacks of exercise books and/or sheets of exam papers. Finally, when the clock strikes at 1 a.m., the teacher goes to sleep, looking forward to another almost-the-same day.

Ok..maybe it's not like that for all the teachers, but knowing a lot of them, it's practically the same. Have you ever wondered? Teachers have a lot more other priorities such as family, health and their social life (they do have one you know). Nevertheless, they spend their time with students where some of the students don't really appreciate their presence and to an extent, even hate them. Yes of course, they do receive their paycheck but not as wealthy as the parents of their own students.

Personally speaking, I've seen many teachers sacrifice for their own students' sake. They help them when they endangered themselves. They wake up at 2-3 a.m. in the morning (mostly in boarding schools) to find students, who think they're so smart, outside school boundaries and in the end the teachers get scold by students' parents for 'not taking good care' of their children. They use their money to buy their students' stuff while they actually need the money more. They repair school equipments even though they know the students will damage them again and again..and again. They are labeled with so many weird names when they try to discipline the students. They get scold by the upper management when students don't behave. They don't sleep to check their students' worsening grammar. They think of their students' life paths when they themselves haven't thought much of their own. They are the ones who pray for us students to actually succeed in life when we always remember to pray for ourselves more.

Forget the teachers who did the many wrongs they weren't supposed to. I'm talking about those who have made great contributions to our lives and thus I say that I appreciate teachers very much and hope that you do too!

Lastly, to all the teachers in the world (especially my very own teachers), please accept my humble gift:

I guess that's all from me now. Thank you! ^^

Fruit Ninja *SLICE* *SPLAT*

Hi! It's been a long time after my last update. Sorry for that. Had a lot of ideas, but.. No excuses here. I just didn't update (*confession). Anyway, this time I have an experience to share.

One day, I was playing a game on my friend's iPad. It's called, Fruit Ninja, my favorite iPhone/iPad/iPod game.
My high score in Fruit Ninja :P
The game is mainly about slicing thrown fruit with your finger(s). You can have a multiplayer duel if you're playing on the iPad. You can also do the same with an iPhone/iPod but you'll need two of them.

While I was playing, Tiffa (not real name), wanted a duel. I was used to having matches on the iPad. The kind owner (Nadia) doesn't mind me or others playing around with her iPad. Tiffa wanted a match of Fruit Ninja. It's a favorite game of mine so it's not that easy to beat me. In multiplayer, Fruit Ninja has two modes. The first one is the classic avoid-slicing-the-bomb-and-missing-three-fruits. The second one is the time mode where within a given time, you'll have to slice as many fruits and get combo's to get the higher score. Tiffa chose the second. She had her first go and lost to me by a lot of marks. Then, I said, "How about I give you a 20 seconds head start?" She replied,
"No, no! I don't want special treatment!"
I was impressed. Usually, when I propose a 10-20 seconds head start to others, they'll take it. But this was the first time someone declined.

In life, when people offer an 'easy way out', others tend to take it immediately. They always want a shortcut or a handicap. If it's a calculation for maths, it's okay to use a shortcut (you save time in the exam). It's different though in the real world. Most of the time, you still have to do it the hard/normal way and no shortcuts are given even when you hope for one. Furthermore, when you are used to having things on the easy level, you don't really get to see your true ability. It's just like playing games. You can't say you're really good at a game if you've been winning the easy level all the time. Perseverance and being honest to yourself; maybe these are the important attributes.

So, I still won the Fruit Ninja matches against Tiffa. But she showed me something I could hold on to.


It's a very very common word amongst students and workers alike. Some tear the worksheets out of the last-minute people, most are the people. Doing things at the very last minute is a habit. When someone does it and find themselves comfortable with the habit (such as not getting punished or dead for doing it), they do it again. That's just part of it.. Now let's get to know last-minute more; what are the possible causes? Why avoid it?

Doing things at the very last minute... 
(Thanks to for this pic)
The first I just mentioned earlier. Maybe a last-minute person is comfortable being that way. They think it's ok to do things that way. It became a habit. The worst part is that some people always think that their habits are just fine..until one day they actually fall into deep trouble. So, I guess it's a matter of awareness. They have to open their eyes or something else will.

The next factor for the so-called lateness of last-minute people is none other than procrastination. It's explanation is supposed to be on another post because it's a topic by itself but I'll just explain briefly. People procrastinate maybe because they think they will have time to finish off the work they have. For instance, you are given a homework/assignment and have to finish it by 3 more days. You say, "Oh, still a lot of time for that." Then finally, when it's the last night, you start doing it and then find that the work actually takes more than just a night to finish it off completely. The same happens for exams. Do you think you're that good to actually study for a science paper in one night when you've been sleeping in class and playing around all the time? The fact is, last-minute people need to realize that they sometimes are over-confident of their capabilities. I mean, I can't study a whole-semester's worth of physics in just one night (and even two nights is hard). Not that I don't think it's impossible. It's just plain hard. So, why make it so hard for yourself? Here's more about procrastination:

The third one is overconfidence. Oh..wait..I already mentioned that in procrastination. Then, just don't be overconfident. Too uch of a good thing is bad. Realize your true potential and use it wisely.

Although there are more factors for procrastination, here's why you and everybody else should avoid the last-minute habit...

Last-minute work usually has less quality. You spend less-than-supposed-to time for a project and finally pass it up in an insufficiently developed state. How good is that? What if it was a final year project? You actually show how your are least concerned and enthusiastic about the project. Maybe that's not the real truth but that's what lecturers might see. That might cost you marks.

Furthermore, last-minute can have a disastrous effect. At times, that very act may lead to other people's misery. Especially if you're the leader of a team or project. Maybe your team might lose because of that bad habit of yours.

Last but not least here, doing things at the very last minute will be the first thing you'll regret in mind when something unexpected happens. Try and imagine yourself in a situation where you did something in last-minute and something unwanted happens that stops you dead in your's a very bad feeling.

In a nutshell, don't do last-minute work. It's bad for you and can be bad for others too.

To choose or not to choose..that is not the question!

One of the most determining moments in most teenagers' life (specifically Malaysians) is choosing their career path after receiving the Malaysian Education Certificate (SPM) results. I've encountered a great number of people who actually wait for the SPM results before charting their career path. It is basically sensible because the SPM result can be used as a gauge of the strengths and weaknesses of a person in a particular field. But is it legitimate enough to be the choice maker of a person's career?

A friend of mine actually got a B (or was it a C..) in his SPM Biology. He wanted to take medicine. So it was a major blow to him somewhat. It would be very hard for him to obtain a scholarship (with regard to his other subjects' grades). Nonetheless, he was determined to pursue this career. He liked to help others and medicine is his interest. Maybe he slacked a bit in secondary school, but that doesn't mean he's not competent enough to become a doctor. So, he went to a private college, finished his prep there and flew off to study abroad.

Now here's another story. In previous years, new courses have been created in Malaysia i.e. Nuclear Physics or something like that. So, in secondary schools, all these glamorous-looking new courses were advertised. School counselors told their students to take up these and some actually got interested. However, after pursuing the courses, they had a hard time to find a job related to their courses because the fields were not established in the country. To apply for jobs overseas was out of the question or too hard for most of them so in the end, they didn't really get to work as they dreamed they would.

Lastly, I'd like to tell you about the very cliched story of Bill Gates. This man is known by a lot of people from around the world and is always highlighted as 'the man who dropped out of Harvard and became a billionaire'. One thing about him is that he has been interested in computers since he was very small. And he is also very smart (from hard work of course). He chose to not finish his degree and do his thing because he already knew what to do and what his interest was. His craze for computing (besides business talent) helped him become a billionaire.

Ok, back to the topic have to make a choice or you'll end up following the crowd (that's actually a choice too). In a movie I just watched, World Invasion: Battle Lost Angeles (it's a nice movie by the way), during this one scene, the hero, a Staff Sergeant, said (something like this):
 "Sometimes, whether you choose right or left, you'll die. But you still have to make a decision."
And I believe this is true. But it isn't as hard as being in a war and stuck between two choices of death and (probably) death too. You have a vast array of choices. It then comes down to a number of matters, your interest and your future. Answer these questions before you choose that career you're looking at:
  • Do my eyes flash at the sight of things related to that career? (or in other words, do I get enthusiastic when I think of the job?)
  • Will I ever get bored being in that career for the rest of my life (or maybe for the next 10 to 20 years)?
  • Can I make a living with this job?
  • Can I actually find work in this career?
  • Do I want to do this?
Many people find it hard to choose because of social influence, family, parents, friends, teachers and financial aspects. Me and my computer science friends always get the "Why are you taking computer science? Why not medic or engineering?" and our short answer would be "Interest". You also have to take into account industrial availability too. You don't want to end up not working after 3 to 5 years of toil in university. About financial assistance, if you're lucky, you can find a scholarship. Otherwise, you can also borrow from PTPTN. Yes, I know there's been a lot of complaining about it but the good news is that if you can score a 3.6 above in your CGPA (you'll get to know about this later if you don't know), it can be converted into a free scholarship! You won't have to pay!

Last but not least, make your choice. After that, chart the path. Be the pilot of your life. If you're not sure how to fly, ask the professionals. Your life will move on, so you should too! GOOD LUCK!


Test of English as Foreign Language. That's what TOEFL means. It's carried out by the US Educational Testing Service (ETS). This is a test where students from countries other than the United States usually take before studying there. Here, I'm going to describe a thing or two about this test based on my latest experience. There are several types of TOEFL including the Paper Based Test (PBT) and the Internet Based Test (iBT). The one I took was the iBT. It's in a way more convenient because it is done in front of a computer in less than a day and can be done in shorter time as long as there's place for you to do it with the computers problem-free.

Now, let's take a short run. The TOEFL iBT consists of 4 parts: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.

The Reading Section
is a part where you are given a number of texts to read in a limited amount of time. You are required to answer questions regarding the texts you've read. The texts can be of any genre including history, story, research, discussion, economics, social, and politics.
Hint: In the software (if they don't change the format in future), you can actually scroll down the text without reading. Then, the questions will appear one by one on your click. The questions will be asked mostly based on paragraphs (they show you which paragraph too!) so you can just read what is needed to answer the question. But there are also a few questions that require you to read the whole text..that means you just have to train reading and understanding fast. :P

The Listening Section
requires you to listen to conversations between lecturer and student(s), or among students, or even lectures. You only get ONE chance to listen to the dialogue and then answer questions that follow (with time limit). It's one of the toughest if you're not used to listening to English or do not have a strong foundation in English. But the good thing is that you can write notes! And it pays if you're a good listener and can write fast at the same time.
Hint: You HAVE TO practice the listening section a lot (just like I had lecturer made me). Trust me, all that speed writing-while-listening practice gave me a 30 over 30 mark. If you have excellent memory ( can just listen once and still remember it after an hour) then this section might be fine for you. If not, learn to write fast. Create your own technique (I did doctor-like writing..I bet you won't be able to understand anything!)

The Speaking Section
For the majority of TOEFL iBT takers, this has always been the toughest part of all. In this section, test takers are given a certain time (about 15 to 30 seconds) to think of what to say with respect to the questions or instructions given. You will be entitled about 45 to 60 seconds to speak. This section requires super fast creative and critical thinking.
Hint: The only thing I can say here is..practice talking to a computer. Well, I had a software (which was a replicate of the real TOEFL test) and practiced using it. You just have to train your brain to think of ideas in a very short while and directly speak for a short while. Oh, practice with a friend or maybe a lecturer..that helps too.

The Writing Section
is where you write..or type..essays. Two essays to be precise. One essay is a a summary-like essay (not really the same as the SPM format) where you can write until a limited amount of words and the other one is the all-you-can-write essay; based on a given topic of course. Both of them have time limits.
Hint: To practice writing a lot and especially TOEFL-type questions is the best way to get through this one. Besides that, make sure your grammar and vocabulary is in tip top shape.

That's about it from me about TOEFL. For more info, visit

I have a lot of reference books here:

Don't forget to use this textbook if you have one. It's great too!
Disclaimer: This description about the TOEFL iBT here is correct with respect to the TOEFL iBT I took in 2010 and the ones my friends took in 2011. If in any case that the format is changed, then this can be obsolete. This is also not endorsed by ETS.teehee

If you're planning to take the TOEFL iBT, I wish you GOOD LUCK! ^^

SPM Results Are Coming Out?!

In 2011, the results for the Malaysian Education Certificate (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) is going to be released on the 23rd of March! So WHAT ARE YOU (if you're a SPM 2010 candidate) SUPPOSED TO DO??

Firstly, always ensure a far-enough distance between you and open windows. Avoid contact with any wires, cables, ropes of any kind. Keep away from poison or hazardous materials. Ask someone else to cut the tomatoes for you. And..and..stay alive.haha. Ok, I was joking..but seriously, if you understood what I meant, don't do it, before or after the SPM results. In short, studydoctor would like to say..

GOOD LUCK to all SPM 2010 Candidates!
-hope you get the best results-

Pray hard and don't worry too much. Remeber, SPM is not everything in your's just a part of it..a kind of important one maybe.. XD

Join Us in this Fun Charity Carnival!

That's right. It's called KSAAY 1 Malaysia! But I like to call it Karnival SAAY 1 Malaysia. The carnival is meant for us to have quality time with orphans from Selangor, Malaysia. Orphans are people who have lost their parent(s). And these orphans that will be joining us in this carnival are children. Children need attention and fun, so why not we give them that while doing charity at the same time! There will be games, performances and prizes to be won. So, come on! Join us~

Date: 9 April 2011
Time: 7.30am - 11.30pm
Venue: Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.

For more info, visit and don't forget to 'like' the facebook page !

Please spread the news too. Thanks a lot!

Nuclear Acid Rain From Japan: Check Your Facts!

Today, I received a number of warnings or reminders about a certain acid rain which is said to contain radioactive contaminants from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant explosion. Well, it scared me a bit. I did have contact with rain right before receiving the message. However, me and my usual curiosity made me it really true? How is that possible?

*Before that, I'd like to thank everyone who sent the warning message for your concern! ^^

A friend of mine said the possibility of the phenomenon occuring is very thin as the current monsoon winds (with respect to Malaysia) is towards the east (towards Japan) from Malaysia. Besides that, news said scientists ruled out the possibility of the grave incident (nuclear acid rain) as the contamination level is not high enough (and hopefully it does not rise any higher).

So, a lesson to be learned. Please, check your facts..check the news..and most importantly, check the circulating text messages (and even emails) to make sure if it's a hoax or not. It's a great habit. Besides saving you from unnecessary paranoia, you can ensure that most of the things you know are near true. If you write an essay with false facts, you might catch yourself with a very low essay score. Therefore, check and find out. It's ok to have some curiosity.

Last but not least, let's pray for the safety of the Japanese and others as well. Hope nothing worse happens that can threaten us all.

Here are some links related to the nuclear power plant problem and disaster in Japan:

Pi Day

Ok, let's make this short. Today (March 14) is Pi Day! Not that delicious pie. The mathematical Pi! Why this day? Because of 3.14 which can be said as March 14. The longer version is 3.14159265 (I memmorized this because of Night at the Museum 2). The actual decimal is longer though and they say it keeps getting longer. Pi is very important because it let's you determine various aspects of circular and spherical shapes. It's mathematically important. If you've studied mathematics and specifically geometry, you should know what I mean. So, here's somthing to commemorate Pi Day..

Oh, for more info on Pi Day, visit this:

Happy Pi Day!!! ^_^

How To Be Confident

thanks to
Confidence is a great feeling. Sometimes, people do a lot of things to gain this valuable self-assurance. In terms of study, students always long for confidence before exams! Well, while I was reading a book, I got this great quote from Earl Gray Stevens..
"Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions."
Does that ring a bell? Or maybe a light bulb? Okay, jokes aside, when it comes to examinations, most students become anxious. Typically because they're not ready, or afraid that they're not ready. The common student will naturally do this:

1. Find past-year exams
2. Ask teachers/lecturers for 'advice'
3. Seek possible exam questions

Yes, you got me. I do them too (sometimes). So let's make this a thought for us all. Why do we do all of the stated actions? Because (I think) we feel that if we can be ready with all the answers to the exam questions, we'll be ready for them. However, what happens if for some reason (and it does happen) the exam questions are not the same as the past-year, nor the 'advice' of the teachers/lecturers and not even the same as the 'targeted questions'? Well, my friend, (if you're a student) we're somewhat dead (that is..if exam grade matters to you). Unless you were actually prepared and you were already confident for the exam, it would have been a disaster.

How to be confident? It's easy. Be prepared. Hmm..maybe that sounds too easy. As in Earl Gray Stevens' quote above, "being open to all the questions" might actually mean "be fully prepared". It means, you actually have to study from the start. If in university, you have the tutorials, you have notes, you have text books, and you also have the vast resources such as the internet to actually study about the certain subjects that requires you to take the examination. The problem is that if you, I mean, if we study for the sake of exams only, then I think we'll never be open to all the questions. Even if there is a very high possibility that the exam is the same as the past year questions, we will not be confident because we know deep in our hearts that we're actually not ready for it. We did not prepare...

The application of the said quote is quite vast. But in terms of studying, we can take it literally. Be ready to be asked anything regarding what you've studied and you'll be more confident. Maybe even like this guy..

When You Complain..

"Many people will never be satisfied and will complain a lot." 
- from a Dean in UNITEN
I strongly agree with that. Nowadays, people complain far too much to the point that they disregard their role to solve problems. Yes, to solve the problem. You see, there's a thin line between solving a problem and just complaining about it. For instance, when a person complains, that person tends to approach the problem emotionally. Simply to say, when one complains to the management for instance, that person might actually scold them rather than asking for a change. Would you like a person scolding you? Especially if you were older than that certain person, I'll wonder a lot if you actually like it..

Unless you're in Angry Birds, that's a different story. :P
In dealing with problems, the rational mind must be put to use. In addition to telling the problem (also known as identifying the problem), one should propose a solution or better yet, a procedure made to counter the problem. Doesn't that sound much more mature? If the leaders or management or any governing people do not listen, than that too is a problem and should also be handled with professionally.

This is related to study. I know that students typically have the habit of complaining such as "Too much homework", "Too many rules", "Too tired" and so on and so forth. On the other hand, students who succeed (and I know plenty of them) usually say things like, "There's not much time, so I have to do them fast", "This is the challenge that we can overcome", "It's cool!"..ok, maybe that last one is kind of weird.
"Work on solutions, not problems"
- Azmi Ahmad, Founder of Ziyanc and Co-Founder of Skali
Besides that, learn to be thankful people. I mean, come on, you're able to browse the internet and somehow arrive to this blog and read this, right? I believe there are many people out there who long to at least have what you have right now. To be able to do what you're doing. To eat what you always get to eat. To sleep as you can. So, don't complain. Be thankful and solve the problem if you do have one.

Isn't he cute? Well..I think it's a he..
In conclusion, when we face a problem in terms of studies, life, university, group or friends, we should face it rationally and professionally. Furthermore, we should make it a habit so that in the future, when some of us become leaders of our companies and countries, we'll do the same..solve problems wisely.
"Don't always complain...or you'll have a boring life." ^_^

Get Over It....FAST

Thanks to
Problems. Conflicts. Heart break. Failure. The list goes on and we see it at times, if not often. The big x-factor that makes people different in this matter is the capacity to get over with things disturbing the heart and mind. People say, "It's too hard for me" or "I just can't take it" and even "I can't live anymore" and maybe you can figure what happens next..

Here I'd like to share about a person I know. I found this very interesting about him and I feel that it can be a fair example regarding the matter at hand: Getting over unpleasant things.

This friend of mine (let's call him Exe, due to privacy concerns). Exe had a problem and I could see that clearly from the expression on his face. He seemed depressed. It might have been a study issue..a relationship issue..I couldn't exactly guess. I am not a mind-reader of course. I did try asking him about it but he replied (as many always do), "Nothing." I wouldn't want to disturb him of course, to avoid spilling oil on fire. Nevertheless, I observed him as he went on. I mean, as friend, I was concerned. After a while he went to sleep.

The next morning, I had a little chat with him. I avoided asking him directly about his depression. I assessed his condition in a different manner..and the result: he was back on track or in other words, he was fine again! Cheerful and all. It took him just one night and *poof* it's gone. Well, I have to admit that there is a possibility that he might still be depressed or so. But his actions showed the opposite and I should agree that he was tough enough to handle the pressure and not let his emotions control his actions (in this sense, staying happy and treating others well even though he's still depressed), should he still be sad.

Thus, what can we learn from this? Firstly, get over things fast! Being able to do so is essential. If you continue to be sulky and all for a very long time just because you're sad or depressed, you might cause yourself more harm such as by losing more friends. Furthermore, being able to get over things gives you the opportunity to continue on with your life. As Ralph Waldo Emmerson said,
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
Find a way to take it off you such as what Exe did (sleep). Secondly, even if you still feel hurt with whatever you're facing, keep it to yourself. What I'm trying to say is that you should try to be professional. Yeah, that's the word..professional. For instance, when you're angry, don't just blow yourself, or other people, up. Keep your calm and work yourself out. Think of a solution or leave it be (if possible). People will respect you for that! (I know I do.)

Thanks to
Well, bottomline, if you have an emotional problem or basically feeling down, take some time (but not THAT long) to cool down and work your way back to reality! Time flies goes on..and YOU SHOULD TOO. =D


Thanks to
Hi and welcome back to! Yeah, it's my first time saying that. They always say that in tutorials, and that's what I'm going to talk about in this post. Many people post numerous tutorials, be it in YouTube or other websites, and those tutorials get thousands of viewers. Ever wonder why some people are so generous enough to spend time teaching people all sorts of stuff in the net? Popularity? Pure generosity? Contribution maybe? Well, whichever it is, those tutorials are very useful! And it has something to do with self-learning.

In university, or even high-school maybe, they don't teach you EVERYTHING. They teach you something and that something is of course usually useful but they're usually not enough and some might even be just the basics. You might need something more or you might even need something else. Where can you get that? The website! (I personally propose you the YouTube) In YouTube for instance, there are all sorts of tutorials about so many neat things. Computer science? Physics? Math? You want to learn Adobe Photoshop? Learn programming? They are all in the net! There are tons in word form and if you need more animation, personal guidance or just an easier way, the videos can help. *psst..they even show neat tricks about using unpaid softwares* Ok, so this is what I'd like to call Self-learning because you learn in on your own without a real person teaching you and you study in your free time. So, you learn by yourself.

Self-learning is very important because you can't rely solely on classes and courses in university or high school to get all you need to be very successful student in whatever you do. You can definitely read more books and you can take more additional classes etc. But if you think you want to make use of that laptop or computer at your place, you can as well open up the links at the sidebar on your right there under "Study Aid" and use the ones you like.

All in all, hope you learn a lot more and have fun learning! Remember, "do what you like and like what you do", then you'll be happy.

When Interest Plays A Role

Do you realize that interest is an extremely powerful thing that makes people succeed in doing so many things? It has been proven all along and is still being proven now. You can see for yourself how Bill Gates' interest in computers made him one of the richest man on earth, how Mark Zuckerberg's interest in software development (together with some other stuff) brought him up the ladder and also how Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary's interest in business made him a billionaire too.

Even burglars and thieves who have great interest also succeed in their master plans..interest wise that is. They still are subject to the law enforcements.. Well, here's another interesting story from

Being fluent in Arabic pays off for teenager Wee

PUTRAJAYA: Form Four student Wee Soo Yen surprised the audience when she went on stage to receive the Maulidur Rasul award from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

The 16-year-old Kelantanese, who was recognised for her fluency in Arabic, was the only Chinese among the list of seven recipients.

She had scored an ‘A’ for the subject in the PMR examination last year. The distinction was among the string of straight As she obtained.

Outstanding: Soo Yen (second from right) sharing a moment with sister Soo May (left), mother Soo Ah Khem and father after receiving the Maulidur Rasul award in Putrajaya Tuesday.
She started studying Arabic three years ago.
I love languages and since my school offered the subject, I gave it a try,” said Wee, who is also fluent in Malay, English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien.

She was the only Chinese in her Arabic class and did not attend tuition classes to master the language.

“At first it was a bit weird being the only non-Muslim in the class but I adjusted quickly,” she said.

Wee, who aspires to be a lecturer in either psychology or linguistics, said her younger sister Soo May is also learning Arabic.

Her father Wee Hock Lim said the family did not pressure her to excel.

So, it was INTEREST that gave her the advantage. In that case, if you can find your interest (make sure it's a decent one though), I'm sure you too can make it to the top too!

Public & Private Universities in Malaysia

I'm sure many students always hear about the great universities like Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford. But what about the universities in Malaysia? Malaysia produces thousands of graduates per year and many of them make it to the top ranks of companies and institutions as well. So, let's take a look at the universities in Malaysia!

Public Universities

Pulic universities or IPTA's are in universities under direct supervision of the Malaysian Government or specifically, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). To apply to these universities, Malaysians usually use the UPU.
1. Universiti Malaya (UM)
2. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
3. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
4. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
5. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
6. Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) -previously KUKTEM
7. International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) -UIAM in Malay
8. Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
9. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
10. Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)
11. Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)
12. Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) -previously KUIM
13. Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)
14. Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) -previously KUSTEM
15. Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) -previously KUiTTHO
16. Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) -previously KUTKM
17. Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) -previously KUKUM
18. Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin(UDM) -previously UDM
19. Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK)
20. Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) -previously ATMA 

Private Universities

I would like to highlight first that in Malaysia, there are different categories of higher education institutions in Malaysia which include "university", "university college" and "college". However, I don't intend to list them by the categorization. So, here are some of them:
1. AIMST University (AIMST)
2. Intrenational Medical University (IMU)
3. Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT)
4. Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST)
5. Management and Science University (MSU)
6. Multimedia University (MMU)
7. Open University Malaysia (OUM)
8. Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP)
9. Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)
8. Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK) -previously UNITAR
9. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
10. Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)
11. Universiti Industri Selangor (UNISEL)
12. Wawasan Open University (WOU)
13. UCSI University (UCSI)
14. Al-Madinah International University (MEDIU)
15. Albukhary International University (AIU)
16. Curtin University Malaysia
17. Monash University Malaysia
18. Swinburne University of Technology Malaysia
19. Nottingham University Malaysia
20. Kolej Universiti SEGi (SEGi)
21. Asia Pacific University College of Technology & Innovation (UCTI) -previously APIIT
21. Binary University College
22. Cosmopoint International College of Technology (CICT)
23. Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS)
24. HELP University College
25. Twintech International University College of Technology (IUCTT)
26. INTI University/College (INTI)
27. Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor (KUIS)
28. Kolej Universiti Insaniah (KUIN)
29. Kuala Lumpur Infrastructure University College (KLIUC)
30. Linton University College
31. Nilai University College (NILAI UC)
32. Sunway University
33. TATI University College (TATiUC) -previously TATI
34. Taylor's University/College
35. Kolej Universiti Islam Melaka (KUIM)

There are quite a few more. You can google them if you'd like. Last but not least, if you're looking forward to study in one of these universities, choose wisely! =)