I believe most of the people out there are not well-informed about this MyBrainSc Scholarship; Some even question if it even exists. It was introduced 3 years ago by the Ministry of Education (MoE) Malaysia, offering both local and overseas scholarships for Bachelor Degree/Masters/PhD level. The scholarship is open to all Malaysians who are/will be enrolled specifically in the field of natural sciences, which include: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics.
As this scholarship is not as popular as the Maybank, Petronas, and Sime Darby scholarships, it may be quite troublesome to be able to grasp some information about it. Thus, I hope through this sharing of mine, more of you out there can have a better insight of it and will hence be able fulfill your dreams.
First Stage – Online Application
Similar to the other online applications that you’ve come across, you will need to fill in your personal details and also your preferable choice of course. I’m guessing if most of you have the same concern as I had earlier, is it possible if I choose Chemical Engineering instead of Pure Chemistry since it’s related to Chemistry too? Or, Biomedical Science instead of Pure Biology perhaps?
Unfortunately, it’s a NO. You can’t.
Second Stage – IQ Test
A few months later, you will receive a phone text if you are eligible to proceed to the second stage. Like most of the standard IQ tests, this online test consists of several sections, including arithmetical, verbal, grouping of objects with the same characteristics, spotting differences, defining English vocabularies and some general knowledge.
Applicants are not allowed to pen down anything during the test. It wasn’t a tough one during my time; the key is to stay focus and make sure you get it done within the given time (which was 1 ½ hours if not mistaken). Time management is very important and it’s best to just leave the tough ones behind and tackle the ones that you’re more confident with. There’ll be no turning back to the previous page, so you’ll have to think fast and sharp in order to ace it.
Third Stage – Interview
You will be informed about the interview through phone text approximately after a month or two. It’ll be a group interview with two applicants, and a panel of two interviewers. Applicants are not grouped according to courses nor categories (overseas/local). On the other hand, the panel of interviewers may be professors of your related field or officers from JPA or MARA.
My interview started off pretty casual with some general questions like my family background, life experiences, visions etc. I was also being asked about my opinions on recent issues like the MH370 tragedy, the Teluk Intan election, and the existing quota system in Malaysia. All you need to do is to be frank and voice out your thoughts as this is the time where you will need to demonstrate your critical thinking skills and shine your personality to the panel. If you have any working experience, do take the initiative to relate and share the lessons that have inspired you. They are looking for a candidate who is both intelligent and confident. During my time, there weren’t any questions related to academics but still, it is possible to encounter one. From the blogs written by the scholars from the past, I was acknowledged that some received questions like What is Chemistry? What are the leading contributions of Einstein? Getting some revision beforehand is a wise choice I’d say.
The interview was solely conducted in English in my case, then in Malay for my partner, a Malay girl who intended to pursue her studies in Mathematics locally. The whole session for the two of us took around 40 minutes, in which each of us was allocated 20 minutes with different sets of questions respectively. However, it’s also possible that you will be asked in English or Malay alternatively. Do try your best to answer in the language that the interviewers have proposed in order to show that you are flexible in conversing the two languages.
The result will be out in a month’s time, roughly around early July.
We all know that chances don’t just come along easily – Hardships there are, sometimes with a tinge of luck to complete the sum. Okayyyyy, this is getting a little cheesy and sentimental but here’s something that I’d really like to share.
It’s been a dream of mine to study abroad, but it was a dream too big to be achieved without additional financial support. It took me 3 years for this day to come, after several falls and discouragement along way, I’m now proud to say that it’s definitely worth the wait! As an ex-student of the Kolej Matrikulasi Kedah, I’m taking this opportunity to shout out to those who have chosen the same path as me, who once thought that the Matriks qualification confines our area of study only to the local universities and not overseas. It’s time to correct the mindset now. The truth is, there’s a whole list of UK and Australian universities like Imperial College London, University College London, University of Manchester, University of Melbourne etc. that accept the qualification. All you need to do is to find out the list from the KPM website, e-mail the universities’ admission team to acquire everything you need, and get your preparations started after you receive your first semester result.
Let’s say, you’ve gained the admission but have yet to receive a full scholarship (like me), maybe you can try to defer your entry for a year and give yourself one more year to keep on trying in scholarship applications. I’d written to corporates and universities, requested for funds, started my first year in BSc Dietetics at Universiti Sains Malaysia during the wait, and here I am, writing this article as one of the MyBrainSc scholars who will be flying to my dreamland. It has been a journey, a fruitful one indeed. For which, I hope there are more of you out there who have a dream as big as mine to join along. Have faith, embrace the falls, and above all, never lose hope. Good luck and all the best!
Chong Hui Wen is a MyBrainSc scholar who will be pursuing Biology in the University of Manchester. She’s an enthusiastic part-time singer who can only sing to the bathroom walls. “To dream is to believe” has been her motto and she postulates that food has the magic to restore faith.