Friday, 24 January 2014


Salam and good day readers!

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is an English test which widely used to assess the English proficiency of those who thought of studying abroad i.e UK, Canada, New Zealand and Aussie.  Sometimes, Immigrants who thought of applying a work visa in these countries also requires IELTS.

During my application for my masters, I took IELTS because I wanted to study in the UK. I took the test around February 2013. Back then, the fee was only RM596. But now, i think it has gone up to more than RM600+.

If I'm not mistaken, there are two places where you can sit for IELTS exam. I registered at IDP. The other one I think is at Cambridge English Institute.
Some people told me that the marking in Cambridge is more strict and would be difficult to get above 6.5. But I'm not sure how far this is true.

To register for an IELTS exam, you just need to go to the IDP office either on Jalan Ampang (Same Building as British Council - Wisma Selangor Dredging Building) or at Wisma MCA (the same place to do your VISA).

IELTS exam consists of four parts. Reading, Listening, Writing (Written exam which will be together) and Speaking. Speaking sessions are sometimes arranged either on the same day as the writing exam or on a different day. Writing exam usually will be held at Wisma MCA while the speaking exam sometimes are held at the IDP office at Jalan Ampang.

After you're done with the exam, it'll take a few weeks to wait for the result. You need to pick up the certificate at the office as it will be sent there. The cert will look like this:

The result will be stated below for each section of the exam and the overall score. The scoring is just like MUET system. Most universities that I apply in the UK require a score of either above 6.0, 6.5 or 7.0. Alhamdulillah, I've managed to get 7.5 on my test. Allah had helped me a lot. I just studied during the weekend before the actual exam. So, don't do that if you want a better grade. 

You can actually get a book of sample questions for the IELTS at any local book stores. They will ask questions just like the one in the real exam. You can also attend English classes at the British Council. Just know that the British Council no longer in charge with the IELTS exam. You need to go to IDP.

IDP actually also offers counselling if you need help with your university application...VISA or anything in particular with your study application process. They can even help you to apply...FOR FREE!!

I think that covers everything that I can think of IELTS. If there's any questions, you're welcome to ask. 

Until next time....

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Postgrad Step-by-Step: Sponsor

Salam and good day all!

I've talked about applying to university before, after that is to find a scholarship to sponsor your study abroad.

If you choose a non-science based course, there are plenty of corporation and companies that offer scholarships for students to further studies abroad. There's only a few government scholarships that sponsor for various courses such as MARA (more like a loan), JPA (only to those who are bonded with JPA during their previous studies), Khazanah (under GLC) and Yayasan (depends on your state).

Engineering courses could get sponsors from companies like Petronas, Shell, Sime Darby etc. Business and Accountancy can get sponsors from National Bank, all types of banks really...

If you plan to become a lecturer one day, the best thing that will suit you is a fellowship programme. A fellowship programme (different university may have a different name) is a contract between you and a local university (UM, UKM, UIA etc) where the university will sponsor you to study full-time. After you've finished, you have to serve the university as a lecturer. So, it'll be a win-win situation.

But, renowned universities such as UM, UKM, UIA, usually are lacking in placements for new lecturers. New and younger universities such as UMP or other college universities might have more placements for lecturers and you might have a better chance.

If you're thinking of applying to MARA like need to always..always...always check their announcements on their web. 

Usually for MARA, their application for postgrad sponsor is during March of each year. If you succeed in your application, they will call you for a psychometric test. During the test, you need to fill in a form (which they email beforehand) and provide some documents. 

The test is quite simple. It's just the time constraints that's difficult. Because you will have 100 questions to answer in one hour. Some questions you may need more than 1 minute to answer. The questions are divided into two parts, Part A: Malay, Part B: English. The questions will consists of grammar, math and reasoning. grammar and reasoning is quite simple, but math, for me it's quite complicated because you need to calculate. Unless you're a math wiz, then you're fine.

After the test, you will need to always check on the application page for your result. If you passed, the message would say...Congrats! Sometimes, you've passed, but the university that you got is not on the list. So, they may ask you to change uni (like my case) or you can try to plead. 

For me, pleading takes more time and resources than to apply for a different uni. So that's what I did, and Alhamdulillah...I got an offer from Imperial. 

After you've received the offer from MARA, there are still more requirements you need to fill. For example the medical examination (private hospitals will take shorter time to give the result), the agreement form which you need to get signatures, the revenue stamp from Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN) and make 5 copies. 

Most of the times, the university that you applied to require the financial affidavit to confirm that your sponsor will pay the tuition fees in full. 
After you've settled all the documents, only then you will receive the official offer from MARA and the financial breakdown that you are entitled to. 

So now, you're set for your sponsorship. The next step would be applying for VISA. 

Until next time. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Postgrad Step-by-Step: Applying

Salam and good day readers!

Sorry that it's been a while. I've been under the weather lately.

So, this post is about the process of furthering your study. I'm just going to share what I've been through. Basically, there are 4 steps that you need to go through:

1) Finding the right course at the right University
2) Finding Scholarship
3) IELTS (universities in UK, Canada, Aussie may need this)
4) Student VISA


It's not really that hard. You know the course that you took before (undergrad), so it's just finding the right one that are either related or specialising on the same course.

For the university, most scholarships nowadays prefer to sponsor students who received an offer from top ranked universities in the world. For example:

This is an example from MARA. You need an offer letter from top world rank uni. How to find them? Use the links that stated. One of them as shown:

Now, these ranks are not based on courses. This is a general rank which includes administration other than academic level. Sometimes, the uni may be ranked lower in this list, but in certain course such as science, they could be better. But, sponsors don't think about those things. So, just to be safe, apply to the top uni. It won't do you any harm for sure.

How to apply? It's simple. find the uni's website.

You can just Google them. Once you've found the web, of course, choose the icon to study. Unless you want to do something else, which will not be related to this post.

 After that, search for list of courses as shown in the picture.

Then, just select which course that you're interested in. Now, most people don't know this, but MRes means masters by research based, MSc is course based, MPhil is masters in philosophy (don't get confused with PhD).

Follow the arrow, click to apply online. After that, just follow the required fields that they need you to fill in. There'll be documents that you need to provide such as your academic transcript, passport, referral letter (best from a lecturer or any academician) and personal statement. 

A personal statement is just a little bit of your background (not personal) and your motivation to study that course. 

Usually the university will determine how many words that they require you to write. Mostly, 500 words. Once you've completed all the required documents, you're all set to go.

The next step would be to wait a reply from the university. Most universities, they will email you if you've received an offer or if you have any outstanding documents. But for my uni (Imperial College), everything is in the application system. So you need to check them constantly to know what is the progress of your application.

My experience in applying to 7 different universities in the UK, Alhamdulillah I received an offer to all. So, don't limit yourself to only certain university. Apply to a hundred if you must. But then, it will be difficult to decline the rest after you've chosen which uni to go to.

Good luck to all those applicants out there. You can find out how to apply for sponsor here.

Until next time...

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Winter Wonderland + New Year Celeb

Salam and good day y'all!

A wonderful thing to share with all of you this time. From before Christmas up to after new year, there's a theme park at Hyde Park called Winter Wonderland.

See the rides inside the red circle. Those are the most thrilling ones. 

I went together with my bestie during New Year's eve. The plan was... go to WW, have fun for a couple of hours, then head off to Central London for New Year's countdown.
The tree talks!! hahaha...

As we arrived, we changed to some tokens for the rides. There's plenty of thrilling rides, but because of the cold weather and my condition being under the weather, I didn't want to take the chance. I might hurl on the rides...(@_@)

This ride surely will make you hurl. urgh~

This looks just like the one in Roller Coaster Tycoon...(^_^)

The first ride that we went on was the wild mouse XL. The ride don't have any loop that'll make you hurl, but it was wild enough to make you feel like you're about to be thrown off. Enough to get your adrenaline pumping. It was my friend's first time riding a roller coaster, she just kept her head down. But where's the fun in that, you shout your lungs out. That's what I did, until my throat fell like it got thrown off. Haha...

Then we went to try our luck at the 'hook a bag' booth because that's the only booth that ensures you get something. Luckily, my bff hooked a bag with a silver star in it which gave her a bigger price, hence the huge teddy.... lucky girl!

Santa's Toy Factory

After that, we went on the Haunted Mansion ride that my friend insisted on going. Around the rides, there's this guy walking around scaring people off. i asked him to make a scary face...not so scary after all..

The ride was ok. I just hate the part where these guys follow you on the back carriage and kept scaring you from back to side. Stop it!!! See the red circle? I kept shouting and hitting them every time they tried to grab the teddy.

We became friends after that. Hahaha... no hard feelings.

I tried to show off my 'skills' at the archery game. Surprisingly, I suck! heh~ 

I did managed to hit one balloon though. tadaaa...

They have mobile cash machines here, which is very convenient. 

After we had our fun, we head off to the viewing area for the Annual New Year Fireworks Display at the London Eye. It's said to be the best and biggest display in the world.

From the web, it said to be at the viewing area b4 10pm. We got there before 9 and it's already full!! There were still tens of thousands of people still didn't get a chance to get in. The guards told us we may be able to see from the city, so we took our chance because we've walked that far.

Alhamdulillah, luckily we found a spot that we can view the firework clearly (even though quite far). We arrived at the spot at 10.30, so we have to sit and wait for 1½ hours with the cold. Just before midnight, it rained...

For the sake of these fireworks. It was worth it! Enjoy....

Until next time..


Salam and good day readers!

Winter Walk for Gaza is an annual event organized by a charity organization called Muslim Hands. This year, the event will take place at four different locations:

This is my first time joining this event, so I'm quite excited.

Those who registered need to raise a sum of minimum £100. I can't achieve that without your gracious help. It's very easy actually. If you want to make a donation, just click on this link and you will be reverted to my fundraising page.

Once you're there, just click on the donation button on the top right hand corner(the red circle)

 Then it'll take you to this page  

Choose the amount that you wish to donate and the currency. You may choose to be anonymous or not and whether you want your donation to be displayed or not. Then click continue, you will see this page:

Here you just need to fill in your payment option. Rest assure any information given is highly confidential. The page will keep your info secured.

After that you will go to this page where you need to fill in your address. Your address is needed for the gift aid that I will explain after this.

After you key in you address and click continue, this page will appear. Make sure the Gift Aid box is ticked.

Gift Aid is a UK government scheme. It's like tax return, allowing charities to claim back 25% from every donation. How does it work? Well, if you donate £100 and tick the Gift Aid box, the charity (in this case Muslim Hands) will receive £125 without you having to pay more. Neat right!

For the past few years, this event has helped Ad-Durrah Hospital to treat children in Gaza, provide mobile medical clinics and psychosocial centre support. With a few contributions from you, children in Gaza have a chance to live a normal and healthy life.

Piece of cake right? A small act of kindness really can make a difference.

I thank you in advance for your contributions. May Allah repay you for your kindness.

Until next time. 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Car Boot Sale

Salam and good day readers!

Have you heard of car boot sale before? I have, but never really knew what it was until I came to London. It is actually a sale where stuff sold by other people (2nd hand things) and sometimes, they sold them directly from their car boot, hence the name. (^_^)
See...I told ya...
But, not all items are sold this way, obviously... If you think of saving a few bucks and don't mind using other people's leftovers, this is the place to be.  

The sale usually held either at an open lot or an empty warehouse. Battersea held one of the biggest car boot sale. To enter, you need to pay. The rate is different according to the time. For example, if the entrance fee from opening time (let 10am) is £3, at 11am, the fee is dropped to £1 and on 1pm it'll be 50p.

I arrived around 12.30, so we waited for half-an-hour. When I arrived, there's only 2 person ahead of me. As the time goes by... look at the line... 
There's an incident while we were waiting. You know when we queue, usually we will 'chop' a place for a friend or family. There's this lady saved a place for her family (I'm assuming), and the guy behind her got so angry and won't let her family queue in front. He kept saying, everyone else waited, they didn't (while pointing at the women's family), it's not fair.

Drama... drama... drama...

So far, my perception of car boot sales, if I want stuff like toys, electronics which are other than clothings, I wouldn't mind buying them here. It'll still be value for money.

All in all, it was quite the experience.
Until next time, I bid you farewell.


On the first day of Xmas...

Salam and good day!

You know that I've only recently started writing. So I've been piling every story..every experience that I've had previously. Some may be backdated, but, you may find them interesting.

So this time, I want to tell you about my experience attending a Christmas Party. heeee~~

The party was organized by my department (Dept. of Surgery and Cancer). It was held on the last day before the Christmas break (13th Dec if I'm not mistaken). I was excited because this would be the first time I'll be attending a Christmas party. The theme was 'Nightmare Before Christmas'. You know the story right? This is just a way to recycle Halloween deco and minimize Christmas deco. Smart eh?

I didn't get a chance to dress up because I have class on the same day. Which turned out to be good as well because I can just stay until the party starts. The party was not grand, it's just to mingle with other people in the department. It was humbly decorated. Tit bits is a must in a party.

Some people took the trouble to dress up. Like the lady inside the red circle, very creative. She used the bio-disposal bag from the lab. Hahaha... Some are more impressive. But I didn't get their pics.

Me, Sandra, Zahirrah..p.s: the presents are empty..

 Oh Christmas tree..oh Christmas tree...lalalala~

  Ignore that silly ghost at the side

 Simple but nice deco right?

After the party, Zahirrah and I had to be ready to go to Manchester. It's the beginning of our holiday.... and we're off to Spain!

More about that in other post.

Until next time.