I know, I know I’m con­tra­dict­ing myself. I am indeed head­ing the Swin­burne way. Despite reli­giously pro­mot­ing form 6 pre­vi­ously.. Okey, maybe not reli­giously, but I did, right-o?

So here’s to why I finally chose this path. Come on, we all know that form-6-is-all-so-good post is largely just for self-satisfaction. To con­vince myself by writ­ing a bunch of good stuff about form 6, so that I won’t feel that bad in school.

So is form 6 really worthwhile?

It is unde­ni­able that form 6 is a tougher choice. With all that hype we’ve heard about form 6 stan­dards since those pre-SPM days, who wouldn’t know? That said, stay­ing in form 6 and sit­ting for STPM would be a strug­gle. It is here where the ques­tion arises, are all that strug­gling worth it? I’m not talk­ing about a bit of strug­gling, such as you might go through play­ing a game at the Par­ty­Poker site or on your con­sole, this isn’t a game. It’s your edu­ca­tion and future on the line.

The daugh­ter of my dad’s friend who scored an amaz­ing 4 flat in her STPM was only offered a dis­ap­point­ing Edu­ca­tion course in a local var­sity. So was the case of few of her friends. Hear­ing such news are indeed de-motivational to form 6 students.

Why strug­gle your ass off going through STPM when you end up get­ting a course you can so eas­ily get after form 5 — by apply­ing into a teach­ers train­ing col­lege? And I’m talk­ing about STPM can­di­dates who scored a per­fect 4 flat.

why strug­gle?

Of course, I heard you. There are lucky asses who got engi­neer­ing courses despite only scor­ing 2A and 2B’s. There are peo­ple who got their share of the cream of the cake. But the risk of get­ting an unpop­u­lar course is there, no mat­ter how hard you strug­gle, no mat­ter how well you score. Period.

Qual­ity Control.

It may be too early to talk about stan­dards since I haven’t started classes in Swin­burne yet. And even if I’ve started, there is no defin­i­tive way of gaug­ing which course is of higher stan­dards, because the both courses cover a totally dif­fer­ent array of top­ics and sub­jects. It’s like com­par­ing a bowl of laksa and mush­room cheese spaghetti.

Note here that I’m talk­ing about the Swin­burne Engi­neer­ing foun­da­tion course and form 6.


Talk to any Swin­burne scholar and they’ll tell you loads about how tough the foun­da­tion course is. Of course, as you may think, that’s just them think­ing that the grass is greener in form 6. I have a rea­son to think that would be a rea­son too, but some­thing led me to believe otherwise.

When I went for Swinburne’s info day last Sat­ur­day, there was this talk on engi­neer­ing, given by a female Russ­ian lec­turer. With a seri­ous tone in her voice, she said some­thing along the lines of “You now must really study hard if you are to go through study­ing in Swin­burne. It’s no honeymoon.”

She might have scared off a few would-be Swin­burne course appli­cants, but she just deliv­ered the bla­tant truth. Per­haps it’s their mar­ket­ing strat­egy, for at least now I’m con­fi­dent that I won’t be lack­ing in par with my form 6 coun­ter­parts. QC passed?

How use­ful is form 6?

My form 6 math teacher, knowl­edge­able and humor­ous Mr Fong whom I highly respect, was explain­ing that other day about how form 6’s Pure Math­e­mat­ics sub­ject is of lit­tle use for engi­neer­ing courses.

In the past, pure math had this topic on Mechan­ics, which, accord­ing to him, was really help­ful in build­ing a foun­da­tion for engi­neer­ing stu­dents head­ing for a degree in that field. But it was later com­pletely removed and replaced with Prob­a­bil­ity, which was pretty much use­less for engi­neer­ing. In the end, he said, form 6 stu­dents only got to study mechan­ics through a chap­ter in Physics, which is insuf­fi­cient for the degree course.

Well, I’m not say­ing that form 6 doesn’t help at all, in help­ing engi­neer­ing stu­dents in their degrees later on. I’m sim­ply imply­ing that form 6 is not sufficient.

It does help build a strong base in your math and physics, there’s no ques­tion to that, but it isn’t as spe­cific as what you learn in the engi­neer­ing foun­da­tion course.

So why not con­cen­trate your brain juice and efforts onto a foun­da­tion course that actu­ally specif­i­cally pre­pares you for the engi­neer­ing degree from A through Z? Instead of loi­ter­ing in form 6, which prob­a­bly only reveals a bit of B and parts of Z.

The teach­ing force.

Another rea­son why I wouldn’t con­tinue form 6 is — teach­ers, right. They say hav­ing a good teacher makes all the dif­fer­ence. Look­ing at my class as it is now, my Gen­eral Paper teacher is a freshie, my MUET teacher is so so, but I could live with­out him.

We don’t have any Chem­istry teach­ers as of now, our pre­vi­ous one was uh, well, piti­ful in her com­mand of eng­lish. Note that I didn’t use the word hor­ri­ble. Which adjec­tive implies greater empha­sis on the hard truth, You decide.

Well she left, so we’re now doing math home­work dur­ing chem­istry lessons.

And our Physics teacher. My my. He could have been read­ing the Bible in his hands and we wouldn’t know it. (read: hear)

Only our math teacher, Mr Fong whom I men­tioned ear­lier, is depend­able. But he’s retir­ing mid next year. So what the hell.

Then again, I’m not expect­ing Swinburne’s lec­tur­ers to be extremely depend­able. At least I won’t be fol­low­ing a bunch of un-dependable teach­ers while strug­gling in form 6.

I admit, this entry is start­ing to sound like another self-convincing post. As a mat­ter of fact I think it is an effort of self-convincing. XD Heh, I just can’t start some­thing with­out get­ting all men­tally pre­pared for it can I?

Dis­claimer: The above argu­ments should only apply if you are really sure of your inter­ests, there­fore which spe­cific field you would want to pur­sue. If you’re still unsure, it’s form 6 by all means. That said, I can’t be held respon­si­ble for dis­cour­ag­ing any­one from con­tin­u­ing form 6. Nor is that my inten­tion. No ani­mals were harmed in the process of cre­at­ing this entry.

Edit: By the way, look what I’ve just found: 70% pub­lic uni­ver­sity grad­u­ates job­lesss?!. Uh, oh. Bad, bad.

by shenghan in Life, School on 18th June, 2007 at 6pm, Monday, June 18th, 2007 06:52 pm GMT +8


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  1. tay said

    can i buy your books? XD

  2. Hui Ting from Kay Eal said

    F6 is def­i­nitely a tough course, but it’s a very good train­ing. All of my teach­ers said so. Time man­age­ment, effort, self-discpline… Besides, STPM is the 2nd tough­est exam in the world. Sur­vive these years, no other courses in the whole world will scare you. To enter local u.…ahah…the chances are very slim. Yep, basi­cally I agree with what you have wrote. If you have the money, go for pri­vate u. For peo­ple who are poor like me, f6 will be the cheap­est choice. About the future in local u? Decide it 1 1/2 year later.….

  3. ember said

    tay, I already have a wait­ing list of peo­ple eye­ing to buy my books. XD sorry mate. :p though it kinda sucks when the first thing your friends say upon hear­ing that you’d be leav­ing for swin­burne is “aha! sell me your books then.” :\

    hut ting, yeah. I’ve heard from some­where that it is. That’s why I called f6 the gem-making pro­gramme. XD but in my opin­ion, what use would that gem be of when it can’t be prop­erly appre­ci­ated and be truly made use of it’s value? (Read: high-scoring form 6 stu­dents not offered good courses in local U’s.)

  4. wying said

    lim sheng han is a trai­tor!
    cheh~ who says that UF6 is the best among all?
    alah, u can say change and just change because u’ve got MONEH in ur pocket.

    but i like being tor­tured in form 6 lol.
    any­way, good luck to you.
    any road would have its own future, seri­ously.
    no mat­ter what u choose.

    man, another Swinby.*sigh*

  5. ember said

    First off, I did not say form 6 is the best. :\ As you said, every path has it’s own pros and cons and I agree with that.

    Sec­ondly, under­stand that I did not choose to enter Swin­burne just because I got too much money to spend. FYI, i’ll be get­ting a PTPTN loan once i’m in Swin­burne. And you know it’s so hard to decide to go or not because it’s no small bur­den on my family’s finan­cial sit­u­a­tion. Some­times I’d feel like giv­ing up the swin­burne way and stick to form 6, since it’ll be such a bur­den. It’s expen­sive, yet there so many other fac­tors to con­sider other than finan­cial reasons.

    And indeed, every road has it’s own future. But what the future holds is another ques­tion. And of course it’s not for me to say which one is better.

    As i said above, my argu­ments may only apply to me and me alone. I wrote just merely to con­vince myself.

    By the way, what do you have against Swin­burne? Peo­ple have their own rea­sons as to which path they choose.

  6. wying said

    good then. what­ever deci­sion you make,
    remem­ber just don’t give urself any chance to regret.
    don’t look back and think ‘what if i didn’t chose this’..
    choose what you like, like what you chose.

    for me, i dont want to just stay in Kuch­ing and fin­ish my college/U life here.
    form 6 would give me more alter­na­tives.
    good luck to you.
    you’ll be some­one one day. XD

  7. ember said

    Well i cer­tainly hope they’ll be no regrets. :\

    Yeah, lol. it does bug me a lit­tle think­ing that i’ll be stuck in Kuch­ing for a good 5 years ahead. The cost fac­tor is the only thing keep­ing me from study­ing across the south china sea. it’s all about the money isn’t it? :|

    Form 6 does opens up chances for plac­ings in local U’s in West m’sia. So maybe you’ll try your luck on those. XD

    As for me. It’s gonna be swin­burne in Kuch­ing for some time. Unless my dad strike 4D some time within these 5 years. XD off I am to Mel­bourne! XD

    what? I AM already some­one. XD Thanks by the way.