UPU Online

upu onlineWhat are the common mistakes students tend to do when applying their courses via UPU?

The most common mistake made by the students when they are applying for course can put into 4 areas which are:

    1. Lack of information on courses
      • Many students make mistakes by applying the majors they do not understand, and because of this, many students who have fallen at the beginning of the semester of study which causes them to repeat the semester, or worse, failing and being stopped.Information’s are right on the finger tips, but who will assist and ensure them having the right information for them?. Some students when asked, they don’t even know what are the available courses are there available at the university. It is not enough by just asking ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ its more than that. Ask ‘how do you want me to help you to achieve your desired dream career?’
    2.  Unable to recognize their own interest
      • What happen to students when they cannot recognize their interest in the field of study is that they will tend to follow their friends. Following friend’s choice are not always bad but it can be worst when their friends also unable to recognise their own interest.
      • Interest can sometimes be difficult to recognise especially when they are studying just for the sake or getting straight A’s. Their future does not depends on how many A’s they got, but how well do they understand about life and future career.
      • For example a best SPM candidate from rural area, listen to what they say during interview with the reporters, ‘I love to teach and i want to be the best teacher for my community, and help them build a better life for their family’. They are very clear with their interest hence their preparation and study are towards that ‘Big Why’.
      • So the inability to recognise their interest towards any field of study will result in poor performance and may contribute to university drop outs.
    3.  Not considering the industrial needs.
      • Many student tends to forget when choosing the course, its not only about considering their own interest, but it is also about considering the needs of the industry and community.
      • Many university graduates are now struggling to get a placement for jobs, having to compete with other graduates or even layoffs are not easy for them and furthermore the courses that they had follow having a low demand from the industry. It gets tougher when there are offered with job which are not related to their field of study.
      • Many graduate fails to place themselves in the industry after their study due to their ignorance of the industrial needs, which results from inaccurate course selection.
    4.  Applying ineligible major/course
      • Another common mistake made by the students are; applying for ineligible majors or courses. This requires the students be clear from the beginning (at form 4). They need to identify what subject that they need to score in order to make them eligible for the selected course. They may not have enough information in order to help them to choose the subject to score, and that’s why they need guidance from everyone to help them.
      • Everybody are not excluded to play their parts. What happen if they apply for ineligible course? Obviously their application are being wasted. Its true nowadays that they don’t need to worry about application since opportunities are huge, but consider this; why must they waste their chance to study at a low fee or even almost free, When every parents are struggling to control family budgets and so?

2. What are the issues face by students? For eg. when their courses dont match with their results.

No 1. Their result does not match the preferred course of choice.

Certain courses offered by the college /university have a certain minimum requirement that had to be fulfilled by the students. For example; if a students want to pursue in a Matriculation of Science course by KPM, they will need to at least fulfilled the minimum requirement of ‘C’ for Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Unable to fullfill so will have the tendency for the application to be rejected.

No 2. Quota for each courses.

Let say the quota for foundations program is 5000 seats, the 5001th students who apply for the course may not be accepted, and are opted to look into other programs offered by other institutions, and there a still hope whereby they can appeal in any case of turning down offer by selected candidate.

No 3. The duration of the offer letter of the course it was received.

There is a study center that sends the offer letter early and the student without research and consideration has received the initial offer. It is not possible once the entry form is completed, the registration fee has already been paid, they receive another offer that may be more interesting to them.

They may wanted to go for the new offer, which will in turn repeating the same scenario as it were before. No students would wanted to miss the opportunity of furthering study.

3. What tips and advice can you give for SPM school leavers before they attempt to fill their application via UPU?

Here are the tips which I can give for the students before filling up the UPU form using the acronym S.M.A.R.T:

S – Study the courses that meet their interest – this is very important for them to maintain their performance in their study.

M – Match the courses that are suitable (according to their interest) and eligibility (course requirements) for them, and not just ‘following’ friends

A – Acquire more information about the course from seniors and the industrial needs especially from the industrial experts.

R – Re-evaluate the thoughts that may comes from parents, teachers, friends and others. It will help in making the study pathway clearer on which course, college, and university to choose. Choose wisely.

T – Timing is very important, never be late when applying for courses. Never wait until the last minute to apply as the system may be jammed due to many applications.

4. Some students insist on applying their favourite courses but their results said otherwise. Does this will affect their chances to go into the university? Why so? And what do you recommend.

Its true that SPM results does affect on which university will deserve for them to apply especially when they wanted to apply for entry to a renowned university.

The selection of students are SPM result oriented whereby they were filtered and selected by systems.

Even thou they may not be selected by that respective university, it does not mean that the opportunity for them to pursue their studies in the field they are interested in is gone. They may appeal or even select other institutions or university that offer tha same course

Many more institutions are providing the same course and opportunities for study and may be better than the one that there are hoping for.

What is important is that they need to have a deep interest in the next course of study so that their studies become easier and more successful.

If they are still aspire to study at a renowned university of their choice, they still have the chance for pursuing their Degree, Masters, and even PhD there.

There are still a lot of chance for them, have patient and looks things from a different perspective.

As I always advice student, ‘The path to college and universities are many, choose your path wisely’.




The Career Expert Nik Faiz expert input featuring in the New Straits Times higher education sections – 28 March 2018.

Thank you New Straits Times.

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