Shinary's Guide to UPU and USM Application 2012
Your dream to study at a local university, starts with the knowledge of the UPU and USM systems.
UPU application processing is based on computerised algorithms. It is a partial meritocracy based selection (separating applicants between bumiputera and non-bumiputera before going through the merits). Bear in mind that you are competing with Matriculation students and STPM students of the same category with NO QUOTA.
I'll do a simple illustration of the selection process
Step 1: Collection of Pilihan 1 into the selection pool
Everyone, along with their first choice, is thrown into the pool. Eg: 1000 students choosing UM Medic as their first choice are thrown into this big pool.
Step 2: Verification of Minimum requirements and Recommended Requirements
Always follow and verify the minimum and recommended requirements listed in MOHE website. This is the first step of kicking people out of the selection pool.
Step 3: Ranking is sorted only with the 4 BEST subjects in STPM/Matriculation.
In the event that you have a semi-godly mind to take 5 subjects, the last subject will not be taken into account.
Step 4: Tie-Battle 1 - CGPA
After going through the initial sorting, the applicants will have to go through another round of CGPA battle. If you take 5 subjects and accidentally die in 1 of the subjects, you're pretty much screwed in the Malaysia applicants ranking.
Step 5: Tie-Battle 2 - CGPA of Particular Subjects
Basically a useless sorting, but somehow will severely kick those taking 5 subjects further behind the ranks.
Step 4: MUET Grade
As usual, band 6 comes first before band 5, then only band 4. You're pretty much screwed if you get a band lower than band 4.
Step 5: Extra-Curricular Activities Marks
The ULTIMATE killing step which basically wipe out most STPM students and those Matriculation students with low koko marks. For detailed guide on ECA marks, please refer below.
Step 6: 5 main SPM subjects
The main subjects are different for different courses. I'll take medic UM as example again. If coincidentally this year, 300 students get a extra-curricular activity marks of 95 and above, then they will look at your SPM result. Anyone not getting A+ in Biology is pretty much screwed at this point.
Step 7: Winners of Hunger Games, Losers to the next pool
Winners are granted their choice, while those who do not meet the ranks are thrown out of the pool and re-entered into 2nd choice selection pool. The whole process repeats.
Calculating Merit Marks
Merit marks are based on 90% Academic and 10% ECA.
Academic: (CGPA) * 0.25 * 90 = x
ECA: (CGPA of ECA) *0.1 = y
(x + y) determines your ranking in the UPU Application system
Extra-Curricular Activities Marks
The main determinant of your success or failure is usually ECA marks. STPM students and Matriculation students getting 4 flat (4.00) will automatically be granted 90 marks in academic. Now here comes the part where most STPM students die: STPM students IS IN THE SAME POOL.
Basic calculation of GPA
Take 2 of highest categories (among Sports, Clubs and Uniform) divide by 2 grants you (a)
Bonus marks (eg: PROGRAM NILAM grants you 5 marks) (b)
(a) + (b) becomes your GPA
The calculation for STPM ECA CGPA marks are as follow:
(form 1 + form 2 + form 3 + form 4 + form 5 + lower 6 + upper 6) / 7 = y
Whereas calculation for Matriculation students are as follow:
(form 1 + form 2 + form 3 + form 4 + form 5) / 5 * 0.5 = a
Matriculation Extra Curricular Activities marks * 0.5 = b
(a+b) = y
From 2012 onwards
ECA marks are purely counted from Matriculation only.
This illustrates the main difference. The cumulative grade point average of secondary school marks of Matriculation students is reduced to just 50%, while the another 50% is supplied by their performance in Matriculation. For STPM students, it's a division by a whopping 7 years.
The system does not recognise your black belt in Taekwondo, it only recognises your marks. So be smart in your participation in ECA. Quantity does not equal to quality. And quality must be translated into MARKS. Black belt in Taekwondo only gives you 10 marks. Whereas those who are active in international events get 20 marks, and winning an event grants another 20 marks.
Those with leadership should definitely join International Students Camps, Youth Leader Summit, Commonwealth Essay Competition, National Videography Competition and etc. They give you a large sum of ECA marks.
Be a smart guy with leadership, not an active guy who participates a lot. The system does not recognise active participation. It only recognises MARKS.
Autonomy of Research Universities
RUs are granted autonomy to add in additional criterias for selection. For example they may extend MUET grade to minimum band 5, or extend ECA marks to minimum of 95 marks, or get rid of bumiputera and non-bumiputera category (free selection without race-based), etc.
The exact details are not known by anyone except those who administer the criterias. It's a power of all universities around the world, and you will never know
1. Abraham is interested in medicine. He placed the following choices. He scored 4.00 with 92 marks in ECA.:
RU1 - MM00
RU2 - KM00
RU3 - MK23
RU4 - MF00
NU1 - WM00
NU2 - HM00
NU3 - DM00
And so on...
Since he placed non-medical courses as his Research University choices, they are taken into active consideration BEFORE looking at non-RU choices.
He was awarded MK23 - Electrical Engineering at UM. Ambition shattered.
Moral: Do not place courses not of your interest on RU choices even though they are empty.
2. Lincoln is a non-bumiputera who dreams to become a doctor or dentist with 4.00 and 91 ECA marks. He placed the following:
RU1 – MM00
RU2 – KM00
RU3 – MD00
RU4 – KD00
NU1 – ZM00
NU2 – EM00
NU3 – ED00
NU4 – EF00
NU5 – EM04
NU6 – DM00
NU7 – DM05
NU8 – RK85
He was awarded DM05 - Dietetic in UniSZA. Since both UM and UKM Medicine require0 ECA marks more than 90 (exact value not known), and UM and UKM Dentistry requires ECA marks more than 95 (should be 98 and above), not sure citations needed, all hopes of getting into Research University is shattered. ZM00 (UPNM) is a military university which requires interview, and he did not attend, automatically cancelled his chance of getting a placing. For (NU2 until NU5), his status as a non-bumiputera automatically cancelled his chance of securing the choices. When it comes to NU6, UniSZA medicine is already full.
- Strategically place your choices in accordance to your ECA marks. Do not waste your choices by putting something which is even more competitive than your top choices.
- As a non-bumiputera, do not waste your slots on UiTM (E) as your application will automatically be disqualified.
- Do not hesitate to put Sarawak and Sabah, these states are not as bad as you hear them. Go ahead and give UniMAS and UMS a try.
3. Jack scored 3.96 CGPA and 95 ECA marks. He placed the following:
RU1 - PM00
RU2 - KM00
RU3 - MM00
RU4 - KD00
NU1 - HM00
NU2 - WM00
NU3 - DM00
NU4 - EM00
He failed to obtain any placing.
Moral: It is impossible to obtain a medicine course if your CGPA is below 4.00 unless you apply for USM
4. Sparrow applied both USM and UM. When his UPU result is released, he received the following:
Tahniah, anda berjaya mendapat tawaran di USM (SD00 - Doktor Pergigian)
Moral: For medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, only UPU or USM will give you an offer. You will not receive double offer. (EXCEPTION: USM-KLE India Medicine Programme)
5. Harry applied both USM and UPU for his favourite accounting subject. He obtained both offers.
Moral: USM and UPU will give double offer for non-critical courses. It is a lie spread on Facebook that only single offer is given. Has proof for that too.
6. Potter scored 3.74 CGPA and is very sad that he might not get anything for UPU. He placed the following courses carefully:
Pilihan 1 UE02 SARJANA MUDA PERAKAUNAN DENGAN KEPUJIAN UUM
Pilihan 2 UE17 SARJANA MUDA PERAKAUNAN (SISTEM MAKLUMAT) DENGAN KEPUJIAN UUM
Pilihan 3 UE07 SARJANA MUDA KEWANGAN DENGAN KEPUJIAN UUM
Pilihan 4 UP10 SARJANA MUDA PENGURUSAN PERNIAGAAN ANTARABANGSA DENGAN KEPUJIAN UUM
Pilihan 5 UP35 SARJANA MUDA KEUSAHAWANAN DENGAN KEPUJIAN UUM
Pilihan 6 HE02 PERAKAUNAN UMS
Pilihan 7 WE02 IJAZAH SARJANA MUDA PERAKAUNAN (KEPUJIAN) UNIMAS
Fortunately he obtained his first choice!
Moral: Do not place competitive universities (UM, UKM, UPM) as top choices. Opt for other universities like UUM. (UUM is quite good also what!)
7. Hermione scored 3.93 CGPA and 95 for ECA. She is afraid that she might not be able to become a doctor anymore. All hopes seemed shattered when UPU did not offer her anything (because 4.00 is the requirement to enter medicine faculty), but alas! USM offered her SM00 Doktor Perubatan!
Moral: USM is kind enough to accept non-4 flatters into medicine. Other universities are not so kind though…
Last edited by shinary; 07-08-2012 at 11:46 PM.