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