Why does anyone wanna get 15A1?

Before I dwell on this little piece of writing, I should tell you about my own education. I grew up in Germany and completed primary school there before moving to Malaysia and completing my SPM at MRSM Pengkalan Chepa. I did well in school, mostly As, was awarded multiple scholarships with my trial-SPM results, and graduated with honors in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Economics from Northeastern University, Boston Massachusettes, USA. But I had a good balance growing up – sports, friends, and was not what you would call a “skema” kid.

Belajar, belajar, belajar

That’s pretty much the call (direct or indirectly) from Malaysian teachers throughout someone’s education here in Malaysia. So much pressure is exerted on academics, that extracurricular activities are often overlooked and are merely “cukup syarat”.

Although people talk about developing your social and soft-skills, where can a kid actually develop the skills? From books? Hardly.

On a positive note, there’s no doubt that Malaysian graduates are book-smart but if you sit down a top-student Malaysian SPM grad together in a room with, say American grads with average grades, that Malaysian kid will probably not contribute much to the conversation because he/she probably lacks certain street skills that overseas kids learn throughout their lives.

Education is important but not everything

Sure education is important but it definitely is not everything. Good grades will carry you through school/college/university until you get a job interview. This is where the problems for most local Malaysian grads start.

They tend to lack confidence, have little actual experience, and have no idea how to sell themselves.

In reality, no one will hire you if you can’t give them enough reason to hire you. Working life is not about solving book problems based on the theory. It ought to be about solving problems based on a combination of theory and real (practice). You need both!

Get a balanced education

If you are in school now and reading this, please do not throw away your books. You need balance. The balance between academics, grades, sports, social life, and be happy. You are only going to be this young once. Don’t “waste” it.

Know your strengths

Look at the jocks and the “lazy kids” that seem to have a lot of fun in school. Think they will not succeed in life? It depends. They perhaps may lack perfect grades but they sure have a lot of drive, drive and sure enjoy life. They are risk-takers and perhaps someday will make a good businessman or be able to lead people with their drive, easy-going spirit, or charisma.

Study Smart

Study Smart. Don’t merely go with the flow. Don’t be afraid to be different and find yourself. We are all different. There are 1001 ways to succeed in life, getting A1’s in an exam doesn’t mean much…failing to do so also doesn’t mean much.

End of the day success or failure is in your hands NOT in an exam or test! Most importantly, you define your own definition of success. It is your life. Is it Suka Hati Kau.

0 Shares:
0 comments
  1. a good one, kev! why on earth parents today want their children to excel only academically when god knows their children have other gifted talents that should be polished???

  2. a good one, kev! why on earth parents today want their children to excel only academically when god knows their children have other gifted talents that should be polished???

  3. You are so right Kevin! Unfortunately my parents still think that good grades and study hard are the ways to succeed in life. Maybe. But it’s not the only way. Good post!

  4. You are so right Kevin! Unfortunately my parents still think that good grades and study hard are the ways to succeed in life. Maybe. But it’s not the only way. Good post!

  5. Problem with todays system is if you get good grades then many doors open for you.Bottom line is these top students have managed to memorise the syllabus…but do they truly understand what they’ve learnt?I think not hahahahaa!So 15 A’s mean nuthin is you ask me.LOL!

  6. Problem with todays system is if you get good grades then many doors open for you.Bottom line is these top students have managed to memorise the syllabus…but do they truly understand what they’ve learnt?I think not hahahahaa!So 15 A’s mean nuthin is you ask me.LOL!

  7. my grades are not the best in the world. but because i was very active in extra-c activities in school and college, (i just lurve charity projects) i landed myself a kick-ass internship in l’oreal. life is good.

  8. my grades are not the best in the world. but because i was very active in extra-c activities in school and college, (i just lurve charity projects) i landed myself a kick-ass internship in l’oreal. life is good.

  9. ur right. in fact i could be the example. i got good grades in school but i didn’t play any sport. i just study,get excellent SPM result and got offer to study overseas (at that time getting involve in sport,etc was not so important to JPA). now i truly regret it. i know i lack of confidence and other soft-skills. even in the evening i dunno what to do here! i feel so damn boring. i wanna play sport but i just don’t have the confidence (or shy) bcos i never play anything. i really want to feel the sweat and talk to others. right now i’m applying for a gym nearby. i trully regret for not taking any sport…

  10. ur right. in fact i could be the example. i got good grades in school but i didn’t play any sport. i just study,get excellent SPM result and got offer to study overseas (at that time getting involve in sport,etc was not so important to JPA). now i truly regret it. i know i lack of confidence and other soft-skills. even in the evening i dunno what to do here! i feel so damn boring. i wanna play sport but i just don’t have the confidence (or shy) bcos i never play anything. i really want to feel the sweat and talk to others. right now i’m applying for a gym nearby. i trully regret for not taking any sport…

  11. hands on, hands on, hands on! good at book does not mean that you can do well in real life. look at the statistics now…how many malaysian grads are still unemployed? scary to look at those numbers. I believe in anything will happen if we work on it regardless your accademic quo. It doest mean that education is bad but rather as an excuse for most of us to many opportunity out there. but when we think again, why do we need to attend an interview session when resume shall do enough to represent us? how we carry ourself n that matter!

  12. hands on, hands on, hands on! good at book does not mean that you can do well in real life. look at the statistics now…how many malaysian grads are still unemployed? scary to look at those numbers. I believe in anything will happen if we work on it regardless your accademic quo. It doest mean that education is bad but rather as an excuse for most of us to many opportunity out there. but when we think again, why do we need to attend an interview session when resume shall do enough to represent us? how we carry ourself n that matter!

  13. IMHO, the problem with Malaysian teenagers especially the Malays can be traced back from the way we were brought up. You know la kan, like how we are taught to respect the elders(which of course is a good thing), jangan membantah cakap orang tua & things like that. So, when the kids start asking question, they will simply say, “Ish, budak-budak tak boleh campur. Ni hal orang besar..” or something along that line. So, as these kids grow up, they become uncomfortable to ask question because they feel like their voices are not important enough to be heard. Therefore, I think confidence have to be instilled by the parents in their kids by allowing them to ask questions & try their best to answer them. No matter how trivial the question is. We just want to make sure that they get used to that kind of behaviour so that once they get into real life, they won’t have problem standing up for themselves. Because survival in real life is not about how many As you can get during high school, but it’s more about how you use your soft skills to get what you want. And of course our Emotional Quotient have to be in tip-top condition as well in order for us to hold our head high when life’s not going too well for us.It’s all about playing with the kids’ psychology, don’t you think so Mr Kevin? 🙂

  14. IMHO, the problem with Malaysian teenagers especially the Malays can be traced back from the way we were brought up. You know la kan, like how we are taught to respect the elders(which of course is a good thing), jangan membantah cakap orang tua & things like that. So, when the kids start asking question, they will simply say, “Ish, budak-budak tak boleh campur. Ni hal orang besar..” or something along that line. So, as these kids grow up, they become uncomfortable to ask question because they feel like their voices are not important enough to be heard. Therefore, I think confidence have to be instilled by the parents in their kids by allowing them to ask questions & try their best to answer them. No matter how trivial the question is. We just want to make sure that they get used to that kind of behaviour so that once they get into real life, they won’t have problem standing up for themselves. Because survival in real life is not about how many As you can get during high school, but it’s more about how you use your soft skills to get what you want. And of course our Emotional Quotient have to be in tip-top condition as well in order for us to hold our head high when life’s not going too well for us.

    It’s all about playing with the kids’ psychology, don’t you think so Mr Kevin? 🙂

  15. yeah well said irma.. the cultural influence has a lot to do with ones personality. Its something that will not change but the students have to understand what is required once they start their own lives.

  16. yeah well said irma.. the cultural influence has a lot to do with ones personality. Its something that will not change but the students have to understand what is required once they start their own lives.

  17. Hurm,Kevin Zahri,baru bacer about you in newspaper just now.I’m 16 and gonna seat for my SPM this coming Novemeber.I agree with you!And i already told my parents,but they said….aper salah nyer kalau dapat str8 A!!I think they are right as well….But i dun wanna be like people mentioned in newspaper today..dapat 5A1 tapi menteri pelajaran pon tak tau siape…I think i don’t need A’s untuk berjaya…my dad didn’t go to university,but his family eat more than 3 times a day.Anyway..esok ader exam Sejarah dgn Agama…and I tak bacer aper2!heheheheh…WISH ME LUCK!chow~

  18. Hurm,Kevin Zahri,baru bacer about you in newspaper just now.I’m 16 and gonna seat for my SPM this coming Novemeber.I agree with you!And i already told my parents,but they said….aper salah nyer kalau dapat str8 A!!I think they are right as well….But i dun wanna be like people mentioned in newspaper today..dapat 5A1 tapi menteri pelajaran pon tak tau siape…I think i don’t need A’s untuk berjaya…my dad didn’t go to university,but his family eat more than 3 times a day.Anyway..esok ader exam Sejarah dgn Agama…and I tak bacer aper2!heheheheh…WISH ME LUCK!chow~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like