Life @ MCKL as an A-Levels Student

When we talk about A-Levels, one of the least mentioned college names is Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL), especially compared to the likes of more reputable colleges like KYUEM, KTJ or even Sunway College.  I was fortunate enough to come across this name while I was studying in my high school – Methodist Boys’ School KL (MBS). Being a student in MBS, it was a common notion that MCKL was kind of a ‘feeder college’ to us.  In addition to this, when I was in Form Four, I was given the opportunity to take Bible Knowledge (BK) and in Form 5, my partner (who also went to MCKL) and I won first place in the National SPM BK Quiz 2016, and as MCKL was one of the sponsors, we both got ourselves a 100% Special Scholarship to study in MCKL. I was elated but at the back of my mind, this was more of a back-up option in case I couldn’t get any other scholarships to study in those aforementioned reputable institutions. 

Post-SPM, true enough, I was largely unsuccessful in my scholarship applications and there I was, ready to enrol myself in MCKL in July after taking months off having a ‘post-SPM study break’.  Nevertheless, I still had a scholarship which would cover 100% of my tuition fees albeit not the conventional ones. Not bad after all right? I learnt to be content and to be grateful for what I had.

One major pulling factor I felt was that MCKL was very generous with their scholarships (to be checked for the latest updates) especially since they are merit-based and as long you have obtained the required grades in your SPM or IGCSE, the scholarship is kind of in hand already. Not to mention also the strategic location of MCKL situated in the heart of KL Sentral, making it easily accessible via public transportation. 

I still remember feeling the jitters on the first day of College, a.k.a the Orientation Programme. New experiences, new friends to meet, and new surroundings, all of which I had no clue on what to expect. But as the first few weeks of college passed, I was settling in nicely to the new environment, meeting friends who would then go on to be my close friends till this day, and being exposed to the ‘challenging’ nature of A-Levels. 

Rules and Guidelines

I think if there was a ‘pushing factor’ which MCKL is known for, is its rigidity and ‘strict’ discipline, especially for college attire.  While the rigidity aspect is up for interpretation, yes, there are certain guidelines/restrictions as to what you can wear to College, among other rules too. While some may find this restrictive, I find it helpful as it prepares you to dress appropriately when you go to work later on in the future. It still amuses me to think that wearing shoes, long pants and just a mere t-shirt to college is considered to be ‘rigid’ for some.  As long as you are fine with not wearing slippers and shorts [this is for the guys], you should be ok in MCKL.

Beyond Academics

In my opinion, something which makes MCKL stand out from the rest is that the students have to do 2 extra modules in their first semester of A-Levels which are Character Formation and Service Learning.  These are not heavy modules per se but just 2 hours per week and they are just a pass or fail module. In the Character Formation, you will learn how to, literally, build your own character by helping you think on critical issues in today’s world while in Service Learning, you will be introduced to community work and get some experience actually doing it.  I can’t speak for other colleges but I think MCKL is actively bringing out the best in their students through the appreciation of these modules and to give back to the community we are serving.

If you are wondering about extracurricular activities, oh, you should be pleased to know that there are a plethora of clubs and societies that you are able to join in your time in MCKL.  Some of the more popular ones include Frisbee, Model United Nations, Student Union, Engineering Club, Foosball and much more. You will have a fun [and hard] time exploring and deciding which clubs to join but be rest assured that there are more than enough activities to keep you busy throughout your time in MCKL.

That’s enough for the supplementary things. Let’s come back to the main part of A-Levels:

Academics

During my time there, I took Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Economics. For many, this was an odd combination as it was not specialised to a certain pathway but for me and some, this was a safe pathway to decide on a degree later. However, I never once regretted my subject choices. I had really top-notch lecturers during my time here in MCKL. All subject lecturers that I had were fantastic and they knew how to make the syllabus easily understood and aced. It was all thanks to them and I am still very grateful to each lecturer that my academic life in MCKL was smooth and pleasurable despite everyone saying that A-Levels is a killer and such. Another thing I also noticed, with my lecturers as well as other lecturers, was that they care a lot about their students to the point that they will hold extra classes to help struggling students, which I applaud them for. Another noteworthy thing I should point out is that the staff in the University Placement Office will go all out in terms of helping you in your university application (as long you consult them early enough) and they definitely helped me get into my current university.

All in all, I had a really memorable time in MCKL and I just learnt so much each day. I still keep in touch with my friends, MCKL staff and the lecturers who have guided me along the way. MCKL may not be as big in terms of student population but the upside of being in a small, close-knit community is the sense of belonging and home with each other, even with students from other programmes as well.  If you are looking for a decent college with a promise of a wholesome experience, do pay MCKL a visit to see it for yourself and I can assure you will not be disappointed.  You will also develop a strong affinity for the three words the college operates on and I will leave this with you:

Veritas Vincit Omnia

(Truth Conquers All)



Wilfred Ang is an MCKL alumni currently reading Economics at the University of Warwick, Class of 2022. An anger inducing fact about him is that he eats a lot but does not get fat.
If you intend to contact the author, feel free to contact the CollegeLAH Team at contactus@collegelah.com.

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