Tuesday, 11 August 2015

My study

I was inspired to write a short note about my study, from my kindy to my uni now. It is surely not a pleasant memory but hopefully it does inspire others to dream big and strive harder in life.


I was in Tabika Perpaduan in Sibu, Sarawak for 2 years. I still remember the bus trip that I took from home to the kindy with my cousin who had to chaperone me because I was still a naive child. I think our uniform back then was a striped red shirt and red shorts. The school was tiny and made from wood, just slightly above the ground with tiny wooden stairs.

Primary School

I spent a year in a SK Agama Sibu before we moved to Kuching. My first week in SK Agama Datuk Haji Abdul Hassan, Kuching was a nightmare to everyone, including the teachers. I cried for a week, seriously. Sometimes my dad could not even go to work because I needed him to be there, standing and peeking at me from outside the classroom. Everything felt so surreal and new. I knew nobody. Sibu was totally different than Kuching, and there I was in a big building, feeling so isolated and remote. But everything went well for 5 years and I did well academically. I scored 6As in my UPSR; the extra A was for Arabic.

Secondary School

I was keen to go to Kolej Abdillah Kuching but my dad forced me to go to SMK Agama Tun Ahmad Zaidi. I was rebelliously crying and blatantly foot stomping not wanting to go there but clearly the painful tears did not work on my dad. So I had my school ID photo taken with swollen eyes from crying and I wore it for 5 years! I scored 9As for PMR and I enrolled in a science stream class (since I like Biology). Since I was planning to get a scholarship to study abroad, I decided to take 3 extra subjects in SPM and there were not taught in school so I had to revise them primarily on my own. I guess, I was trying to impress the future interviewers about my academic potential and around the same time, there was a booming number of students trying to do more subjects in SPM; even 21 papers! So I scored 13As in SPM (and 2Bs - Higher Arabic and EST, bohoo ).

I met few nice people and I do still catch up with them until now and we go cafes and restaurants hunting together.


I scored a scholarship with MARA and they sent me to this newly built A level college, Shahputra College in the east coast side of Malaysia, Kuantan. We were the first batch of students, 22 of us. 13 were aimed for Australia and 9 were for UK. So those who were undertaking A level to Australia had to complete their study in one and half year and I did. The college wasn't prepared for the course at all at that time; I only started doing lab work probably after a semester had passed because they hadn't set up the labs yet. I had to take IELTS 3 times to make sure I got all band 7 for each of the components and there was a lot of bus rides back and fro from Kuantan to Subang IDP. But I guess those tiny lacklustre moments were surely made memorable with better companions. We were all struggling but we rode the same boat together.

There are 8 universities in Australia that are considered as the largest and the oldest unis. Some of the unis require you to undertake ISAT or PQA or even write a personal statement (UNSW). Clearly I didn't pass my ISAT since I was not offered an interview from Monash, UWA and Tasmania Uni. ISAT was really hard and there were thousands of questions need to be answered in 3 hours (I think). PQA was reasonable- there were 3 parts to it and I passed! So I received an interview offer from 2 of them and one from a new uni:

1. University of Adelaide

2. University of New South Wales

3. Jamescook University

And eventually I accepted the offer to Uni of Adelaide because of its longstanding and worldwide reputation in medicine.

And here I am, typing this post on my off-day in my final year of medicine. I will write more about Uni of Adelaide and my scholarship interview in separate posts.

Have a good day, boys and girls.