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23 Jan 2019

5 Unforgivable Mistakes Students Make When Choosing a Pre-University Programme

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Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes — particularly choosing the wrong pre-university course — can be disastrous, costing you thousands of ringgit, many wasted months and endless nights of misery.

Don’t want to end up with the pain of having to repeat your college years all over again?

Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid when choosing a pre-university course.

#1. Not doing enough research

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You may have just escaped completed secondary school and not want to stress about the next stage of your life, but failing to read up about the courses that you’re planning to pursue could lead you to a dead end. For instance, some pre-university courses may not be recognised by professional bodies (e.g. UEC will no longer be recognised by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board for law).

Schedule a day to yourself where you can think about your strengths, weaknesses and interests. Take a long, hard look at your academic results — you may long to land on the moon but if your mastery of science is poor, a career in a different field would be for the best.

Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred pre-university programmes and their respective course structures, remember to take note of intake dates and the all-important tuition fees. Don’t make the mistake of registering for a programme, only to discover later on about the shockingly steep fees!

#2. Believing myths and rumours

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“Only dumb people study Mass Communication.”
“If you study arts courses, you won’t be able to get a job easily.”
“Studying medicine will guarantee you a successful career.”

We’re sure you’ve heard these myths and more from well-meaning family members and misinformed peers. While they just want to help, it’s always recommended to get trusted, legitimate information from colleges and education websites in addition to their opinions.

Should your chosen path in life lean more to the non-traditional, don’t let rumours stop you from following your passion and working towards your ambition. With plenty of perseverance and guidance from knowledgeable lecturers who will push you to do the best, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to achieve your dreams!

#3. Going wherever your friends are going

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So you and your BFF have been chums since the first day you met in Form 1, and nothing, nothing will separate the two of you. Which is why you’ll be tagging along with them to whichever college they choose because friendship comes first, right?

No — your well-being and future matters more.

While they may be the peanut butter to your jelly and the yin to your yang, you and your best bud probably have different motivations and strengths. For instance, if your friend enjoys the thrill of exams while the thought of it makes you shudder, she’d be more suitable for A-Level while you may be more suited for Australian Matriculation or American Degree Program.

So think about what makes you tick and don’t blindly follow your friends. It may hurt to move to the next step in life without a buddy by your side but you can always maintain that friendship through social media and frequent mamak sessions.

#4. Not getting advice from college counsellors

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So you’ve done your research and think you know everything about the course and college of your choice. You’re ready to register and kickstart your life as a college student, how exciting!

Hold your horses right there. You’ve made the big mistake of not speaking to an education counsellor.

“Pfft, why do I need to speak to someone about a personal matter like my college choice?” you may ask.

Well, the counsellor can advise you on the best college that fits your unique study style, dreams and goals. They can also help you figure out your preferred education pathway and compare colleges and courses for you. In short, they take on the most difficult parts of your college research and present it to you in an easy-to-understand manner.

#5. Skipping the campus tour

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Think about it; if you view a room before deciding to rent it, you quite obviously should be checking out the campus grounds in which you’ll be spending a good chunk of your formative young adult years.

A quick tour of your prospective college should give you an idea of life as a student there. Make sure it has computer labs with comprehensive IT facilities, a well-stocked library with both printed and electronic reading material, conducive lecture theatres and classrooms, parking bays, a cafeteria and more — these are the essentials of an excellent academic institution.

Some places of learning may not be able to serve students well if their facilities aren’t in good shape, resulting in an uncomfortable learning situation which could affect your grades. That won’t happen to you if you go on college campus tours!

If you nearly made any of these mistakes while weighing your pre-university options, it’s okay; you can still mend things by following our advice. Once you’ve avoided doing any of these 5 unforgivable mistakes, you’re all set to begin your brand new life as a college student!

4 Reasons Why You Should Study at INTEC

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