Saturday, January 27, 2007

More on Pre-U ASEAN Scholarship

Ah... the Scholarship post has obviously attracted a fair bit of attention, with many giving their diverse opinions on the matter. I can only say that while Charlotte's and the posts by the bloggers' here did give a positive slant (and it is largely positive) to the scholarship experience, there are of course niggling negatives which I dare say, all of us have experienced. However, both ends of the experience certainly gives me a better perspective to the world, hence I am who I am today. ;)

Anyway, here's another article hosted at written by another Asean Scholar, currently pursuing his degree in Dartmouth College. Unlike many of the earlier batches of Asean Scholars who were sent to the "top" junior colleges like Raffles or Hwa Chong, Benjamin Lo did his at Andersen Junior College (AJC) under the pre-university scheme.

In contrast to Charlotte's post which was more experiential, Benjamin gave a thorough account on the specifics of Junior College life, the hostels as well as the system in general. He emphasised specifically on the fact that enrolment into different colleges may result in distinctly different experiences, and as such, scholars should pay attention to the JCs allocated before deciding on the acceptance of the scholarship.
Know your school well, and know your own goals before accepting the scholarship. Recognize that the school you are placed into is highly important; good schools will provide you with a wealth of opportunities and further scholarships to go to top schools abroad, while giving you the connections to make successful applications. Mediocre schools will turn you into what’s derided as a “mugger” – A student who merely can work and memorize, devoid of any spark of creativity because it was burned out by Singapore’s harsh fires.
The ASEAN scholarship scheme has obviously evolved since my days (I was a scholar back in 1985 as a secondary 1 student) where students were largely sent almost exclusively to the Raffles schools. However, I'm just glad that despite the years of difference, those who still managed to gain entry into Raffles like Charlotte still shared largely the same experience, which I hope many more will get to enjoy. ;)


Anonymous said...

During my time, secondary schools that have ASEAN scholars, that I know of, include :-
- Raffles Institution
- Raffles Girls School
- Victoria School
- Chinese High
- St Joseph Intitution
- Anderson School

While I acknowledge certain good aspects of the ASEAN scholarship like being in the English medium, I am still of the opinion that the ASEAN scholarship has more disadvantages than advantages. I've blogged it here.

Mark Eleven

Anonymous said...

Chinese High, Raffles do not accept that many scholars as they used to now.

Secondary schools that accept ASEAN MOE scholars now include XinMin , SCGS , Temasek secondary , CHIJ schools (not sure whether it's TP , Katong or St nicks) , TKGS , MGS , NYGS (not very sure) , Bukis Panjang Government HS , Cedar GS , Dunman High (not sure also)

Some schools have their own school based scholars : RI , ACSI(Malaysians can apply though application date is very vague)

To Tony, the underlying suggestion in your post is still to go RJ and RJ alone. Not everybody can go there. That is the reality.

Golf Afflicted said...

Hi Lalaland,

No, I'm not suggesting that one should only go to RI/RJC. I do however, admit/agree that the choice of school may make a difference in one's overall education experience in Singapore.

I've cited RI/RJ, mainly because my friends, Kian Ming and Charlotte have all seemed to enjoy similar experiences.

;) Tony

Anonymous said...

haha rafflesians..well I do agree with you that raffles does have its own advantages, just that the Choice may not be ones to make.

Shall send you a mail in the future detailing my adventures in Singapore. Perhaps it can change your view on what you see of Singapore, particularly my school. haha .

Anonymous said...

Singapore now has this programme called Integrated Programme where "talented" Sec 2 students go straight to selected JCs to do a 4 years IP course which enables them to bypass the O level..
Since RJC now has this programme..the places for JC1 students have diminished quite a lot..
so now..
most of the direct ASEAN scholars..
(direct=come straight after SPM)
will go to this 6JCs
National Junior College
Victoria Junior College
Temasek Junior College
Anderson Junior College
Saint Andrews Junior College
Anglo Chinese Junior College

only like 1% of the scholars actually go to RJC or HCJC(dunno how they select)

my 3 cents on this topic
If u planning to study in NUS or NTU( both are good unis), then this ASEAN scholarship is really good for you.

If u are a high achiever planning to go Harvard, MIT..
then my advice is that u see which JC u are sent to when u are given the scholarship letter..

Although the letter won't tell u which JC u are going..
they'll tell u which hostel u'll report to..
so be smart and ask your seniors which hostel corresponds to which JC(each hostel corresponds to a particular JC)

This is because there is really a big difference between JCs like Raffles Junior College,Hwa Chong Institution, with the likes of Temasek Junior College, and with the likes Saint Andrews Junior College..

the difference is the student body..In Raffles and are surrounded by all potential have competition..
the school has a just need to follow the flow..

In Temasek..which is supposedly ranked 5..ask around and most of the students just want to make it into NUS..Alot of students don't really want to study...and generally there is only this competitive atmosphere among the top maybe 50 students.. When the school send students for competition( Maths, Phyics Olympiad etc) will be this same few ppl again and will have to do alot of things on your own...if u are planning to go Harvard and stuff like that..

and for Saint Andrews JC..
generally the competition is just between the direct scholars..
thats how bad the student body is..

Andrew said...

Aww. JC. Those were the good times. Simply because student life beats working life any day!

Great post by all, good effort in trying to get the information out to upcoming Malaysian students, even Mark Eleven who insists that it's all a trap!

My take on the whole thing: it is a trap by and large. You do get "stuck" in Singapore. On the other hand, the alternative of being "stuck" in Malaysia might or might not be a better one.

True the Pre-U scholarship isn't worth much in monetary terms, but it does open up other opportunities. Mark Eleven compares the paltry allowance with his RM48k "real scholarship". It's apples and oranges really. A full undergrad scholarship from any Singaporean company makes the sizeable RM48k (annual I hope) look like "peanuts".

On the other hand, such scholarships come with a 6 year bond that throws a wrench into your potential future plans. I should know I'm serving my bond. You think you know what you want in life at 19 but you really don't. :)

The talk of high flyers and over achievers and lesser JCs need addressing. True there are rankings, and certain JCs do open up different opportunities. But ultimately it's not that different once you're done with studying. Education is only one, albeit important, facet of life. Perhaps more sinisterly, despite what (high) opinion you have of yourself, most of us are average simply because that's the definition of average. :P

I'm not saying you shouldn't do your research, please do. Every comment and every post has a valid point, or at least a valid point of view. But even as you reach of the stars don't miss out the journey. Remember to enjoy life, have fun, and make a difference where you are. Friends and family beat the "which top JC/Uni did you go to?" competition any day. Wishing you all the best in your pursuit of higher education.

Anonymous said...

hey guys.
hmm, new around here but I really have a lot of questions. Since most of you are ASEAN scholars here aite, hope you guys might help. I've applied for the pre-u scholarship under ASEAN and the website and office tell me that they will only inform me if I'm shortlisted 1 week before the selection tests which are in early June '07. I live in KL by the way but I haven't received anything yet from the Singaporean Ministry and it is at the end of May already. Just wanted to know how they normally inform you and when. Perhaps, if you are reading this post and also similarly applied for the pre-u ASEAN scholarship, could you tell me if you've received a letter or something?? Also, if you don't get shortlisted, do you still get a letter saying you aren't chosen? Please help, it's really much appreciated. Stressing out like hell here. Thanks man.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tom

We applied for the Form 3 scholarship for our daughter and we have just received the selection test letter you should be receiving yrs soon either way. The test date is 8th June 2007.

Can past Asean scholars here please, please tell me how my daughter should prepare for this test...and what is General Ability test???? Math and English? Our Malaysian syllabus is different so how? We are really freaking out here!

I would be much oblighed if some past scholars can email an shed some light on

Thanking you all in advance.


Anonymous said...

Firstly, to mark eleven, ben lo, charlotte and those who've written about their experiences in Singapore thanks for the insight. It certainly was helpful, even if they were rather contrasting;)

Hey there. I am a scholarship applicant myself. Yes, you do receive a letter to notify you if you're shortlisetd for the selection test or not. I just received mine two days ago. Am living around KL too, so hope to see you at the selection test:)

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for the replies but yes, I have also received the letter two days ago. 8th ? I thought it was scheduled to be on the 9th and 10th of July instead. Guess I gotta check it out again. Thnks again, cyaz

Unknown said...


Received my letter for Sec 1 scholarship last Tuesday.Not sure how to prepare for tests...or it is too late????????????Especially this psychometric test (???) ie GAT

Anonymous said...


I just received the ASEAN letter and I'm shortlisted for the interview! Does anyone here knows what the interview will be like? I've never been to one before and it's really making me nervous.

Anonymous said...

Hey, i got shortlisted for the interview too!!! Sweet!!! Will be going for it at KL this Sun (09 Sept).. About the interview, I'm not so sure whats going to come out because I've never been for an ASEAN Scholarhip interview. However, I've been for the SJI Secondary Three Scholarship interview. During that interview, they asked me:

1. Why do you want to study in Singpore?
2. What makes you think the Singapore educaion system is better than that of Malaysia's?
3. How can you contribute back to SJI?
4. How will SJI benefit from giving you this scholarship?

Thats the gist of it. It was a pretty informal interview. And don't worry about getting nervous 'cause they asked you plenty of 'random' questions to keep you clam. eg. 'what do your parents work as' etc etc.

My advice would be to try your best to 'predict' what the interviewer might ask and prepare accordingly. Also, if you're asked a question you're not sure the answer to, take a few seconds to think. An immediate reply doesn't determine whether or not you're intelligent. Your answer does...

But hey, its my first ASEAN Interview too. Any tips, esspecially form those who have been for one, would be greatly appreciated..

Anonymous said...

Hi! I am shortlisted for the asean interview as well this thurs. I tried to enquire to the moe about the interview but no reply. I was wondering if the non-english documents must be translated into English? Please reply asap to those who knows! thanks !

Anonymous said...

I'm also called for interview.
Eastin hotel.
Can anyone tell me what do they ask during the interview?

How do i prepare myself to give a good impression?

What are the questions to expect?

Anonymous said...


So to those who went for the interview, when will we know if we are selected or not? That's the one thing I forgot to ask.

Anonymous said...

i'm also waitin for the results T.T

very nervous. when will we receive the letter? i thought some people have to go through bridging stuff in october

Anonymous said...

bridging course is only for indonesians and taiwanese who can't speak english. its an intensive english drilling course. so most likely anyone who can read this post won't have to go for it. LoL.. anyways, the results should be out this week, according to the Head Of Scholarships. If you're anxious and can't stand suspense, email them and request for the results at

Lastly, all the best to all of you. and if you don not get the scholarship for whatever reason, don't feel too discouraged. remember, God has a plan for everyone; nothing happens by coincidence.

Anonymous said...

YES!! I got it. awesome dude. stil don't noe which hostel/JC i'm going to though. Can i try persuading or enquiring at the MOE?

Anonymous said...

omg. i recently just bumped into this lil forum..

anyways, TOM! i made it too! hahaha!!! i'd see you there then..

p/s: damn i still needa study fer my spm..

Anonymous said...

yea i got it too =), but anyone has any idea how to find out bout the list of JC for asean scholarship? it'll help a lot,thx...

congrats tom and matt!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to those who got it! I got it too! Any girls who got selected?

Anonymous said...

me! faxed my letter of acceptance... but we are going to get another letter with further details right..?

Anonymous said...

yep... wonder when we'll get it.. btw where are you from? i'm from penang

Anonymous said...

Congrats to all.
I just wanna ask that do we need to submit our report slip to the MOE to ensure that our scholarship will still continue next year ?
I'm a ASEAN merit-scholar , currently studying in sec1 , i got only half of the consessions that a regular ASEAN scholar will have.
so.......yeah, no big deal !
Can someone please reply ASAP ? THANKS.

Anonymous said...

Wow.... you guys hav real smart brains....Congrats to who got the scholarships.. Umm I really want to get the ASean too but I don't have that much of info like u guys

hope u guys can email all u knw about me at
p/s I need it quick please

Anonymous said...

Hey, for those who have gotten the ASEAN Scholarship and are currently studying in Singapore, i'd like to ask you-

1. What is the medical exam like? My dad says i'll have to strip in front of the doctor while he checks me up (its more like check me out...) and i'm getting kinda freaked out...

2. what are some of the things that we'll find out only when we start studying in Singapore?

3. what would be the main categories of our 'bring along' checklist?

4. any tips on how we can make our stay in Singapore a little more comfortable and enjoyable considering the likes of me who is used to the easy life of being cauffered from door to door and having the privacy of my own room..?

5. any advice on how we are to cope and exceed the academic expectations?

6. is there any sort of student exchange program with any european countries that we can attempt to obtain?

Thx for all the help in advanced..

and btw, to all those scholars who are to be posted to SJI next year or will be staying in CJC Hostel, i guess we'll meet there.. hehe...

Anonymous said...

Help: Any Scholars

which school/jc are you headed to if you are posted in these hostels.

Anglican House

Dunman High School Hostel - TJC

Victoria Hall

HCI Boarding School

Nanyang Girl’s Boarding School

Macnair Lodge - Saint Andrew’s JC

Oldham Hall

NUS High School Rssidence - ACJC, right?

How about the rest ?? please help

Anonymous said...

HCI boarding school- HCJC... right..?

i really hope so.. i'm in HCI boardin school

Anonymous said...

Anyone got Anglican House? I heard that the corresponding college is Temasek.

Anonymous said...

neyhehe.. try checking the singapore map

and well, search your hostel, and the junior colleges to see how near u are! VJC and TJC are kinda near =.="

i'm in dunman btw!

Anonymous said...

dunman? wow.. that hostel looks really 'nice' (nothing beats my own room...) on the internet pics.. i got CJC.. anyone else got CJC??

Anonymous said...


i'm posted to Anglican House.

which JC does Anglican House correspond to ?

or you can add me up and talk more !

thanks ;D

A little black sheep. said...

If I'm not mistaken, Anglican House corresponds to Temasek or Victoria. I got Anglican House too! Hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

Wow.. next Wed officially reporting in.. Look forward to seeing all new comers like myself!!!

yoonghm said...

I stayed in Anglican House in 1991. Is Mr Wong still the warden now? Have a nice stay.