Friday, December 26, 2014

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Hi! My name is Sidi Muhammad bin Azli Shah, Batch 30 and I am currently in the International Baccalaureate program in Kolej MARA Banting. My story is so long but there’s one tip I want to share with all of you; please make sure you do know something about the program you are applying. At first, I was enrolled to the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak for a month. Some people might be wondering; why I applied for the furthest corner university in Malaysia? First of all, I like adventure and being far from home is very exciting for me. Secondly, I am very interested to further my studies in medicine overseas and not many scholarships offered opportunities to pursue medicine overseas, there was only one I think. As far as I know, there was only the MARA scholarship who offered scholarship in medicine overseas, which I was rejected. Long story cut short, I was accepted as MARA scholar-the second intake.

So, what is International Baccalaureate program?

I knew nothing at all regarding the program and this is very risky-and irresponsible too- for not doing any background research for the program you are applying. The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a one-way path, you survive the program or if you fail (which was very rare), you have to apply for local universities using your SPM results, but most of them will reject you because they have already their own students in their foundation programs or you’ll have to use your own money to continue your studies overseas. Believe me, if you are a medic student, you must be very rich to use your own money as medic courses in Ireland costs about 1.5 million for 5 years.

But, no worries as IB program are acceptable globally; they will kill to get you if you have marvelous results.

So, IB program is an international program, and in Malaysian context, IB program was pretty similar to SPM. In Malaysia, we need to take SPM to apply university, but in international countries, they use IB results to apply universities according to their own choices of field.

1. IB is an international program and selling like hot cupcakes in international countries.

2. It is an exhausting 2-year program, but no worries, the hustles and struggles in the program will make you feel the 2 years pass like a fine morning breeze. If you lucky. So, if you pass the MARA requirements, you’ll have a guaranteed ticket to pursue overseas. But, if you fail, you’ll waste the 2 years and have to restart all over. Back-breaking, it is.

3. IB is a holistic program. In here, you will not only be trained academically, you will also have 3 additional requirements to get the IB Diploma. The CAS, Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay.

i. CAS is more like a social service program which consists of three parts, Creativity, Action and Service. You’ll have to spend a compulsory 150 hours in the 2 years range doing community services or join any activities that can be inserted in the hour count. Finding 150 hours of action services alone can kill you, but here in KMB, our CAS coordinator kindly arranged programs so the 150 hours can be filled by just attending to the programs. No sweat, but of course there are some lazy bones who reluctant to join the program and they have their diploma suspended.

ii. The Theory of Knowledge is a subject (but no examination, thank God) that taught us to seek the answer for the great question “how do we know that we know something?” In this subject, you’ll have your mind ripped to its core, teach you to question everything so you will not blindly accept things. I really love this subject; it helps me to view the world in a wider scope.

iii. The Extended Essay is a mini-thesis which you can explore any subjects of your choices and write your findings in an essay of 4000 words. You can explore the topics under your subjects, or World Religion or World Studies. I have done my Extended Essay; it’s about the characteristics of ancient religion.

4. All of the subjects are divided into 2 categories; Standard and Higher Level. Each IB students will take 3 Higher Level and 3 Standard Level Subjects. For Medicine students, you will take 3 Higher Level Subjects which is; Biology, Chemistry and English and 3 Standard Level Subjects; Malay Literature, Mathematics and 1 Social Studies Subjects that you can choose either, Economics, Business Management or IT Global Studies. The subjects are very splendid and give you more chance to explore to a wider horizon.

5. Normal universities use pointers but in IB, we use the points system. The full score is 45 points, 7 for each of the 6 subjects and 3 extra points for your cumulative score for CAS< Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay.

6. MARA requirement for each IB students is a minimum of 35 points, but certain top universities wanted more than that. We, the students of Medicine are bounded to Ireland. You can choose one out of the 5 universities offered. I think I’ll go for the Trinity College. And, we also obliged to take the IELTS, similar to MUET-but MUET is a lot harder- and we must get 6.5 above for the test. We must also score minimum of 6 in each subject and undergoes an interview session.


1. Our subjects are quite “easy”.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Our subjects indeed are easier, relatively with the subjects of other courses. I mean, we don’t have any killer subjects-such as the Mathematics Higher Level- but traditionally all medicine students (except the gifted ones) have some problems in Mathematics. One of the seniors said, “Malulah kalau budak Medic ta dapat fly”. Yupp, but believe me, this program will shred you to pieces and if you are strong enough, you’ll emerge as someone new and fabulous. That’s why those who succeed in IB are called as “IB survivors”. Yes, I am not pulling your legs, buddy.

2. Tempoh waktu untuk bertaubat is panjang

IB program is very long, 2 years. It’s like masuk SAMURA balik. We have 4 semesters here, so if somehow you do not excel in the first semester, you can try again for the next semester as the one really counts is the final semester results. Just like SPM. But, believe me, if you main-main, you’ll have some serious problems. Almost every year, we send people to psychiatrists.

3. No (read: minimum) Competition.

What I mean is, if everybody passes the requirements, everybody will fly. You don’t need to compete with the other people like in SPM for placements. But, of course, we have the interview so you are alone in that. Generally, we can help each other without fearing your friend will backstab you. I myself am creating an online note application so everybody can read my notes.

4. More exploration

If you are those who love exploration, IB might be the best program for you. Each subject has its own assignments. In Malay Literature, we have multiple oral tests and written assignments where you’ll read many novels in various cultures and analyze them. English subject are much cuter in IB program. Biology, Chemistry, the Social Studies subject and Mathematics have their own Exploration where you can research about new thing. As for myself, I am currently doing a research about perfume making and a search for new anti-coagulant agent that can help hemophilia patients. No more constraining. Your creativity is unleashed.

5. Life-long Lessons

You’ll be assigned to various locations for the social services. For my group, we were assigned to the Kajang Old Folk’s Home. It was a new lesson for us; you can inquire our report on our visits at me. And, there was a Class-Based Project; where you will undergo your own fund-raising program and embarked on a mission to places like Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia or even in local locations to help them. Some of the previous batches have even helped in constructing a school in Vietnam.

And there’s a lot more advantages but I can’t narrate all of them, right? You can experience them here! :D


1. Trained procrastinators

Even though the IB Organization has enlisted 8 benevolent traits that each of the IB students should cultivate but nope, we are a new breed of trained procrastinators. It is because the program is 2 years, and it is completely back to school again. The class ends at 3.15 and you’re free until the night. Imagine how many DOTA games you can play? Imagine how many drama or Korea dramas episodes you can see for the rest of the night. While our friends out there have extra classes during the weekends, we don’t!

2. A Chance to go Loonie

I don’t want to scare all of you but yeah we have records sending people to psychiatric wards for overstress. But I would like to emphasize that all those people were mostly slackers, truants and procrastinators. If you be a good person, don’t need to be a nerd or bookworm, but you only do what the teachers asked and left the things that are forbidden; you are good to go

Now, I’ll only give you 2 of the hustles being in the IB program so you will not wet your pants. Just kidding, now as the post is already excruciatingly long, I’ll proceed to the lifestyle here.


Believe me; KMB is another clone of SAMURA but KMB comes with a complete set of gym. The rest of it is wickedly the same as our old and glorious school; the schedules (but here you can overslept a bit; class starts at 8), the lifestyle (you still have the orang agama giving advice here and there for you to come pray congregationally) and the teachers (like SAMURA, the teachers are super-cool and you can consult them anytime).

So, when I entered the college, I did not experience massive culture shock as it was like re-entering SAMURA but I am wearing shirts and slacks instead of the green military pants. KMB congregates the cream of the cream of student in Malaysia (that’s what they say) but don’t put your hope too high, ok sweetie? In here, you can literally spent a massive chunk of your daily time watching Korea, DOTA-ing, sleeping and other unimportant things as class ended at 2 pm and you are free till the night.

KMB also have very strong religious ethos but not as brilliant as in KMS, frankly speaking, believe me even I don’t mix well with them. I’m kinda lone ranger there but that’s fine by me. We have the usrah, and the IKRAM or ISMA will occasionally bring you outside for outdoor activities such as hill hiking, recreation at nearby swamp area or camping. All activities are voluntary, you can choose to participate or not. Moreover, you can choose to pray or not as nobody will scold you (except the Tabligh guys which I believed they will give you nice advices) but believe me, you need God to survive in this place.

Each MARA scholar will get 100 bucks each month and this amount is quite small compared to the other institutions. Why? Because in here, you are fully sponsored for your daily meals, 5 time a day. You literally don’t need to spend a dime for food, except you are too hungry so you can spend in our very own KFC (Koperasi Food Court mwehehe) or our cooperatives. You can go home every week if you want except when there are college programs during the weekend. The problem is KMB is located in the middle of nowhere. You need to pay 15 bucks for taxi to get to the Putrajaya Central or burn yourself in the heat waiting for the bus.

So, I thank that’s all, folks! Don’t be shy to ring me whenever you got problems. Here’s my number;

017 251 2160

Good luck and may the odds be in our favor

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  1. Thank you for sharing. You don't know how important it is to me. Because I've read a lot of other peoples' experiences doing a level, matriculation and whatnot but IB is a mysterious programme to me haha thnk you, i'm really interested in this programme

  2. Thank you for sharing and i'l give you a ring whvr i need some helping hand. Gd bless xx

  3. hello. i'm just wondering that this programme was based on spm results right? how to apply this kind of course? i mean like, ais this course are available at any ipta or only certain universities offer it? and lastly, is IB the same level with matrix or foundation?

  4. Hello tanpa nama, I'm replying as I'm also one of the kmb-ib-medic student, which I'm currently studying at Ireland. Some other private universities such as KDU n Taylor's uni also offered IB. Also, there are some other institutions such as MCKK n RMC(if I'm not mistaken) that now offered IB for spm leavers. However, if u want to pursue IB in KMB, usually u must be sponsored by either JPA/MARA/TNB/Peneraju. Thus, u need to apply to the sponsors for their scholarship. This is solely based on your sponsor on which institution that they will place u in. However, if u want to pursue in medicine,the only way to enter KMB n doing IB is by applying to MARA. N Yes, IB is same level with matrix and foundation but are more and very accepted world wide. It's more toward the level of A-level if u want a comparison. If u have any other question, u can ask me at

  5. hi!! What are the requirements to get mara scholarship? Is it straight A's in spm?

  6. It depends based on the course you would want to further in

  7. got B+ for bios but others were As. any hope for pursuing my dream in medic?

  8. My chemistry and biology both got A-.. But physics and addmath got there any hope?

  9. Got a B+ in Chemistry and B in Add Maths......any hope?

  10. Do you got straight A's to get this scholarships. Thanks

  11. For Mara scholars, u can check the requirement t Mara web. They already put things up there

  12. Salam, nak tanya. All 22 articles ni guideline utk buat choices dalam upu ke?

  13. Salam, nak tanya. All 22 articles ni guideline utk buat choices dalam upu ke?

  14. Salam, macam mana abam masuk sebagai second intake punya scholar

    1. wasalam. kalau mara ade rayuan kalau tak dpt biasiswa. Make sure ur result is 9A+ k

  15. Thanks gor sharing the info. It helps me to understand the program. My son is in the 2nd semester, last result was not good. That worries me a lot... Just wanted to ask why last year student result is quite bad..? 20% confirmed fly, 30% 50-50 chances & another 50% their points is not allowed for them to fly...?

    1. ouh i heard that from one of kmb teacher as well

  16. Nak tanya. Ada tak any of your friends yang dpt scholarship JPA-mara? Time dia panggil interview tu, ada ujian fizikal jugak eh? Ada kena lari lari gak eh? Bcs i heard from some friend.

  17. Assalamualaikum. baru2 ni saya semak keputusan temuduga utk perubatan for jpa mara tp saya x berjaya. any tips utk tlis 100 words for rayuan

  18. Hi Tanpa Nama- I am a kmb student and was once rejected by MARA as well. I too wrote an appeal letter. Just include your basic info pertaining to your student-life background when you were still in high school including your extra-curricular activities as well as why you would really appreciate it if u would be given another chance to join their programme. I applied for IB prog and not the JPA-MARA prog but I hope that you'll be able to appeal the decision so that it is in your favour. All the best

  19. assalamualaikum,honestly,i'm not good enough in english,,,i think i've no prob with eng writing, but the matter is i think i'll hardly speak in's fine for me to adapt myself to speak in english within 1-2 months in kmb orrr maybe i should quit if it would take longer timeframe? please give me some advice or encouragement since i'll go to kmb for the next 2 weeks

    1. Salam, I am one of KMB alumni as well, no worry dear, it is usual for people coming to KMB without the ability to speak English fluently. Give yourself the whole 2years to adapt yourself. The teachers will help you to familiarize yourself with the language and you will find friends who speak fluent English. Try to mingle with these people. Talk in English as much as you can. Watch good English movies (Inside Out, Limitless etc) Do some homework, sharpen your grammar skills, idioms (the teachers will help you with this ones since they have to help you prepare for oral tests as well) My advice, enjoy & indulge yourself into IB. Give it chances to change you into a better student. Carpe diem :)

      Lots of love from England :)

  20. Nice info sir...Wanna share mine..visit my blog..

  21. so kmb and kms are basically same as MRSM lol... kolej mara kan

  22. Jappp recently mara said there will be giving no more sholarship but only loans. So basically how is this program handled this year? Do they provide sholarship for those yg nk pursue dlm bidang medic? Im spm 2015 candidate who recently got my result.

  23. Assalam owner of the blog. Thank you for a very long description of IB programme. I'd just got an offer from MARA recently for SPC programme. I'd been offered for IB programme (Applied Science) at KMB. So, persediaan 2 tahun di KMB sama saja ke utk semua kos ? Thankyou in advanve (:

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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