After submitting my application online, I was called for a one-day assessment in 2012 where we had a group interview and two group discussions.
The group interview focused on questions related to policies implemented by the government, such as the Government Transformation Program (GTP) and Economic Transformation Program (ETP). Even if you are not sure about the answer, give it a try instead of being silent as they would want to access your ability to communicate effectively.
Both of the group discussions were conducted in the same way but in different languages – Malay and English. In my Malay group discussion, we were shown a picture which was about “Isu pembuangan kanak-kanak”. We had to discuss among ourselves, note down the points on a piece of Mahjong paper and present it to the interviewers.
In the English session, we were shown a picture of P.Ramlee and the questions were regarding how P. Ramlee could improve the sense of belonging among youth in the country. It was very tough and we ran out of points. Most of us were talking about something else out of the topic but I guess they also judged us based on our ability to talk instead of the content itself. Don’t hesitate to share your ideas during the group discussions as we were evaluated while we were working in the groups.
I think your performance during the interview is more important than your past achievements. Of course having good results and a good curriculum vitae will be an added advantage if they are distinguishing between two students with equal performance during the interview.
I would advise SPM students to put in more effort in their studies (you need six A+ and above for the Korea and Japan program and 8A+ and above for the France and Germany program). They would also request for photocopies of certificates of all the activities that you have participated in. You should also have the mental preparation to learn a whole new language that will be your medium of instruction in your university. Last but not least, learn more about the current policies implemented by the government.
Robert Tieng Shiaw Wee will be pursuing Chemical Engineering in the University of Manchester under the JPA Scholarship although he was also offered the JPA Program Khas Korea Scholarship in 2012. He is a crazy badminton fan and has treated badminton as part of his life, trying to imitate the superb skills from the videos watched but still his skill is just so so. Being born to be a shy person, he may require some time to befriend with strangers and eventually becoming buddies!