Dissecting A-Level Medicine (ALM)
Although I am one of the most passive and low-profile scholars in ALM *feigns humility*, I shall do my best to lift this heavy responsibility which my dear friend Pat has so unceremoniously dumped on me. It is hoped that through this little piece on ALM, future scholars will be more prepared to face ..er.. the sleepless nights and stress that all ALM scholars have to face. I’m exaggerating. Personally, I think the toughest course is ALG. But that piece on ALG will come later, and from a different source. Fyi, INTEC is doing the Edexcel Board, and as most ALM people are future doctors, dentists and pharmacists *ahem*, I shall be more systematic, and start from the beginning.
The duration of this course spans an astounding 24 months ( 2 years), compared to the 1.5 years in most private colleges. And trust me, before your time here is up, your relatives/ friends will begin to have the impression that you are forever in A-Levels. Plus, the external exam will only be sat for at the END of the 2 years, around May-June. Meaning that it is not broken up into AS and A2, as done by the aforesaid private colleges. But hey, I think it makes the course much lighter, and as long as you do constant revision, you should be fine. Not to mention that you get to serve in CA longer, and have superbly long holidays between each semester. (read : nearly 2 months of bliss).
There are of course a range of subjects to choose from; however, since our future has been literally mapped out for us by JPA/ whatever sponsor you’re under, most scholars are required to take Biology, Core Math, Statistics,n Chemistry. If you want, you are most welcome to take Physics as well, but will have to see the core person to discuss this matter. I would say that the lecturers are pretty decent people, most of them are willing to teach if you are willing to learn. As far as I know, juniors will have mass lectures for 3-4 hours a week for Chem and Bio, and an hour of tutorial for each. Lab is 2 hours per week, and the rest you will find out when you get your respective timetables. Class hours are not that taxing or long, if you were to compare them with the likes of ALG *bows in respect*.
The most important resources for Bio would probably be Nelsons’ textbooks which you can easily obtain from seniors or from the photostat shop nearby. Try to get Longman biology and maybe Campbell? Nelsons isn’t really enough especially when you enter 2nd sem etc.. For Chem, I would recommend Longman as well. Reference books like chemistry in context and Ramsden are superb for further reading, but not all students find them easy to understand/ useful. So don’t rush it, take your time n look through the books before buying/ reproducing illegally. Most lecturers will give handouts or notes, and the library is quite sufficient as well (at least I think so).
Oh, and how could I forget our ethics class?! Yea, every program has to take ethics each semester, and there is coursework and a final exam each semester. Thankfully, the ethics lecturers are all nice (and I mean really nice) people, who are not stingy when it comes to giving marks. During the first semester, you are also required to attend computer class; which isn’t too bad, unless of course you end up with a not-so-nice lecturer (like I did). But hey, though it does appear in your final exam slip, it is not counted in the 15 points, so chill.
ALM also has an organizing committee called ALMEC, which plans and carries out most of the activities in ALM. For those who right now are getting the impression that ALM is all work and no play, well, let’s just put it this way : we have already been accused of killing imagination and being void of all spontaneity by certain ADFP *cough* scholars. Then again, define an exciting and interesting life. =P
Till next time…
Disintegrating A-level German (ALG)
due to some lack of information from myself, i edited and add something to this post… initially i was the one who asked others to write about their own programme respectively and they all turned out to be at least 2 pages long… leaving my own post looking so inadequate…
Guten Tag! Good day
Danke für die Aufmerksamkeit! Thanks for the attention.
Course : A-Level German
Subjects : Chemistry, Physics, Pure Maths, Mechanics(Edexcel), English AS(Cambridge), Ethics & Morals, last but not least German Language
Passing marks to fly : 9 out of 15 (A-5, B-4, C-3, D-2, E-1) only 3 core subjects counted, Physics, Maths and Chemistry, at least a pass in AS English(meaning at least E, but don’t aim for E, aim higher), FULL attendance of GMI, good discipline etc
A-level course of this programme are more or less the same as ALM. (so please refer to the post earlier on) The only subject difference is ALM-ers are taking bio while we are taking physics. Regarding the textbooks, I strongly recommend the lecturer’s note. They are more than sufficient for your test and exams. But if you want extra references, any published book will do, or you can get in touch with me personally and I don’t mind recommending a few favourite books of mine. But this is just from a personal perspective, like I say, any reference book will do. But do get hold of some past year paper from your seniors. Usually internal examinations tend to base on past year papers. In fact, almost identical.
And we have extra 10 hours of german classes a week. So we have a more hectic schedule compare to other programmes, about 34 hours per week. But don’t worry, we have good-looking german lecturers all the way from Germany. They should be the motivation you are staying in class for extra 2 hours everyday. Just hope that you didn’t get the very ‘experienced’ one.
ALG-ers also have to go for 12 weeks of vorpraktikum – a sort of practical training before you can go into any german university. It is usually conducted by GMI(German Malaysian Institute) in Cheras, but i heard they are moving to Bangi next year. On the first first day of your practical training, you will get a pair of really cool looking safety shoes (which most of my coursemates use to kick around steel bar to make a very good, clear, ear-splitting sound because of the material used to make the shoes to make it resilient to any heavy impact on your feet) During those time, you get to learn all sorts of interesting things eg programming, technical drawing, CAD, metrology and lots more during the first part of Phase 1.
Phase 1 will be divided into 2 part. Part one consists of 3 weeks. It is usually during the mid-year break, that is after the second semester. Part two on the other hand is during the year end break, that is after the third semester.
Phase 2 is when you really know what courses you wanted to take in Germany, you can choose the practical subjects which you think you might need when you are in Germany. That I will elaborate more when i joined it next year. It will be held after A-levels Exam in June and also after the DSH examination. For DSH, students have to go through another 3 months of intensive german language course, only then you will find time attending another 6 weeks of pratical in GMI. Warning : You MUST attend all classes in GMI as the basic requirement to enter into ANY Germany’s university of applied sciences. One day of ponteng is a big NO NO because it might affect the chance of you flying to Germany. Meaning if u get all A’s for your A-levels but didn’t manage to fulfill the hours of GMI, you are guaranteed a piece of dead meat because you can’t get into Germany’s uni. Some of your seniors didn’t manage to fly because of this problem and you wouldn’t want this to happen to you right?
The student body of ALG is called “Der Klub” (which in english literally means “The Club”) which consists of committee members chosen from students from ALG. For your information, there will be an different activities held by Der Klub annually and one of the major event is the annual German Week. During the German Week, there’s exciting activities held in INTEC, including exhibition, games, german film week, german speech contest, a hype-up concert during the closing ceremony of German Week. ALG-ers are quite good in live performing in case you don’t know, we tend to produce the best band in INTEC.
Das ist alles!!! Vielen Dank!!
AUSMAT PROGRAM at INTEC
Note: The following description of the AUSMAT program is mainly focused for INTEC UiTM. This program may differ slightly in other colleges in terms of its plan of study and combination of subjects.
Let’s see, after much bugging from Pat-rified to write up ‘something’ about the AUSMAT program offered in INTEC and since I have ‘nothing’ to do, I decided then to sit down and at least write up something.
Firstly, AUSMAT stands for AUSTRALIAN MATRICULATION.In other colleges, mostly private, AUSMAT is better known as SAM which stands for SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MATRICULATION.Similar to other pre-U courses such as Cambridge ‘A’ Levels or even form 6, the subjects offered in INTEC’s AUSMAT are basically the same, that is what we normally call the ‘sciences’ and the ‘arts’. Sciences are of course, Physics, Chemistry and Biology while the arts will have Economics and Accounting. Aside from these, compulsory subjects will be Mathematics and the ESLS (English as Second Language Studies), while additional subjects are Specialist Mathematics and Malay Studies (its true…). Together with students of other programs, the AUSMAT students are also required to take compulsory Ethics and computer literacy subjects, that is C++ programming for now (subject to change).Now you have an idea of the subjects offered, let’s look at the plan of study for AUSMAT at INTEC.Basically there are two types of plan of study:1) Year 11 (6 months) + Year 12 (9 months) = approx. 15 months. If you are a JPA or a MARA scholar offered to study in Australia or New Zealand, you will most likely follow this study plan if you are placed at INTEC for your pre-U.In the year after your SPM year, you will begin your AUSMAT program in June-July until November starting with what we call ‘the bridging course’ named Year 11 for 6 months.
The main purpose of this course as suggested by its name ‘the bridging course’, is to improve language proficiency. You will have long hours of ESLS during this 6 months focusing more on general grammar, reading and writing. At the same time, you will also accomplish some of the tasks required in the ESLS subject. Simultaneously, you will also have IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – a requirement by most universities – classes. Aside from English, Year 11 also introduces you to the subjects you will be taking in accordance to your course next year in Year 12. Take engineering for example, your subject combination in Year 12 will be Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Specialist Mathematics, while a medical related course will have Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. ESLS is compulsory for all students. At the end of Year 11, you will sit for the Year 11 final examination.The following 9 months of AUSMAT is called Year 12, and during this period, you will face extensive study on the subjects related to your course. From time to time, you will face quizzes, tests, and exams (mid-term, finals and trials). Simultaneously, you are also required to accomplish many assignments for each subject.Take ESLS for example, you will be asked to search for a research topic and conduct a study as though you are asked to do a mini thesis paper with scholarly ‘protocols’, formats and citations. In the AUSMAT program, it is highly advisable that you consult your lecturer AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE because they are honestly truly sacrificial and willing to help you in anyway they can! At the end, you will face an external major exam called the SSABSA examination for the subjects of your course.(2) Accelerated Year 12 (9 months)This plan of study is adopted by many private colleges.If you are a Petronas scholar you will probably start AUSMAT right after your SPM year. The difference of this plan of study with the previous one is that there is no Year 11 and you will begin the study of your subject combinations right away (Year 12).
Some important facts about AUSMAT: Unlike ‘A’ Levels and Form 6, both internal and external assessments in AUSMAT/SAM are accumulative and counted in the final calculation of your TER (Tertiary Entrance Ranking – over 100).Therefore, it is crucial that you perform consistently throughout as your performance even in attendance, participation in class, quizzes, tests and assignments are recorded and counted in your final TER.TER is something like a ranking of your performance in the AUSMAT/SAM program for all AUSMAT/SAM students WORLDWIDE for a particular year.Although the calculation of the TER is oblivious to many, even to lecturers, its meaning stays clear. Let’s say I took the SSABSA exam in 2007 and my TER value is 95, this signifies that I am among the top 5% worldwide who did best in the AUSMAT/SAM program for year 2007. Many Australian and New Zealand universities require that your TER be higher than a cut-off-point value, usually 80+. The context in the syllabus is MUCH less compared to ‘A’ Levels and Form 6.Personally for me, the amount of knowledge such as concepts, theories, and most of all fundamental understanding on the subjects one will gain is SO much LESS. Disappointing as it may seem, this program however is packed with tones of assignments which take up loads of time and energy, sometimes to the point that we have little time to study for our exams. Therefore, you must be smart in managing your time well, and always try your best to accomplish and hand in your assignments within the time limit allowed. A good thing about these assignments is that one will learn a lot of things outside of the syllabus. This program is quite contemporary; meaning that the use of the internet and certain technologies such as the Graphic Calculator is much more extensive compared to the more conventional ‘A’ Levels. In this program, you will be sharpened to be more independent in finding information through wide ranges of sources, from journals to books, from newspapers to reports, from the internet to even books of other programs. All sorts of sources are useable as long as it is valid and not out-dated.To conclude, this program offers little in terms of knowledge but more to skills in dealing with scholarly materials, time constraints and pressure. I quote most of my seniors by saying that you will find yourself comfortable in dealing with university studies if you do well in the AUSMAT program. The skills cultivated will help you enormously in your degree programs.
Prepared by Calvin Lim, fellow ‘AUSMATian’ 2007
All the best!
Enjoying American Credit Transfer/Degree Foundation Program (ACTP/ADFP)
Since the beginning of year 2006, INTEC offers a new course to cater the needs of JPA students who will be doing a 3-year program in INTEC and 2-year program in US. It is known as ACTP program. However, these two programs are very similar in nature except that ADFP students graduate in 1 year time, while ACTP students study more and graduate later.
American students are generally noisy and happening for no reason. It is the most happening group of people in INTEC with A LOT of activities going on. Under the ATUSA committee, American program students had had their American Indulgence Week, Science and Math Carnival, Sports Week, Blue Day, Red Day, Halloween, and a lot more. They are fun, active, and fun, unlike their boring A Level Medicine counterparts.
As for the course itself, ACTP and ADFP offer similar courses. Some of the courses combination may differ according to your major and grades.
Fall Semester – Language Awareness(ADFP only), Basic Science(ACTP only), Algebra and Trigonometry, Oral Communication, TOEFL (ADFP), SAT (ADFP), Writing, Theology and Philosophy, Reading and Studying Skills
Spring Semester – Advanced Composition, Chemistry, C++, Biology, Critical Thinking, SAT(ACTP), TOEFL(ACTP), Speech Communication, Pre-Calculus, Calculus I, American Cultural Studies, Ethics, Summer Semester – Calculus I, Calculus II, Philosophy, Islamic Studies, Chemistry & Lab, Introduction to Business
Fall Semester (second year) – Calculus II, Calculus III, Finance, Advanced C++, Physics, and other courses that I don’t quite know off.
Basically, you will have a lot of different classes offering different subject combinations for you. The SECOND or the THIRD day of the orientation, INTEC will host a placement test for all the American Program students. The marks that you get in your placement test will determine the class that you will be sitting in. Students with higher proficiency of English will be placed together while the rest will follow according to the marks they score.
If the first semester is categorized according to English proficiency level, second semester is totally based on your math. If you score a GPA of 3.33 and above for PMA 111 (Algebra and Trigo.), you will be placed in a calculus class. If your math score doesn’t pass the requirement, then you will have to take Pre-Calculus. Again, different majors will also be a critical determining factor. A business-related major student (such as economics and finance) will take Chemistry. Don’t ask me why. ^____^”” A computer and technology related student (acturial science, engineering, computer science, agricultural science) will take C++. Again, I have no idea why an agricultural student is taking C++ instead of chemistry. ‘__’ “”A BioTech student will surely be taking Biology.
Summer Semester is also based on your major and your math. It is the lightest semester too! (I only had class from 8-10am every morning.) If you fail (GPA 2.00 and below) in your Calculus I, you will have to repeat Calculus I. Some students who score a GPA of more than 3.00 still opt to repeat calculus because Calculus is by far the hardest math subject in American program, if not the whole of INTEC. There are other subject combinations too according to your majors.
Apart from all the internal examinations in INTEC, American students HAVE to take SAT I and TOEFL. SAT II is optional though, so it is all on self-study. SAT I and TOEFL are two tests that the admission office in US look into so everyone has to take it. The score of SAT I is upon 2400 (800 math, 800 writing, 800 critical thinking) while TOEFL is upon 120 (30 speaking 30 writing 30 listening 30 reading). For more information regarding these two tests, you can visit their respective websites: Collegeboard (for SAT) and ETS (for TOEFL)
I’ll say that those two tests are not exactly difficult compare to what the A-Level students and AUSMAT students have to go through. For TOEFL, many students perform badly in speaking component. So, if you intend to go to US, polish up your English now. For SAT, many do well in math, but suffer in Critical Thinking. Your lecturers will explain more on techniques to tackle those critical thinking question. Just one thing you must bear in mind if you want to score well in SAT and TOEFL, EXPAND YOUR VOCABULARY. A wide range of vocabulary is your best bet for a good score in both tests. =D
You might want to get a laptop too if you are doing this program because there are a lot of assignments that require laptop. Take note of this, American program doesn’t emphasize tests. So if you do really well in your assignments, you still stand a good chance to score a B or B+. Even Attendance, Attitude, and Participation(AAP) carry 10% of your overall grade. Oh yeah, A is 93% and B is 83%. Minimun requirement for sponsors is 3.00 (B). That means all your marks must be 83 and above to pass and to FLY!! *snares jealously at those A-Level students with 80% as A*
All the best in this program! You will surely enjoy all the time you have joking and debating with your lecturer. Sleeping, eating, drinking, listening to mp3 are all ALLOWED in American classes! There is even a 15-minute late allowance for any late-comers. The lecturers are extremely open-minded, meaning that you can even ask your ALG/AUSMAT/ALM friend to join your class and the lecturers will still be glad to teach. Don’t worry too much about your CGPA. If you do what you have to do, you will score 3.00 and above. *thumbs up*
Graduated from ADFP,