Introduction

Welcome! My name is Daniel Lim Jhao Jian. Here is where I share my experience, knowledge and ideas. You are welcome to leave comments and follow my blog. You are free to copy anything from this blog. Please recommend this blog to your friends.


Monday, 3 April 2017

My learning of English language

English is one of the most commonly used international languages in the world. Therefore, it is important to learn English. In Malaysia, English is the second language for many people. Many Malaysians have either Malay, Chinese or Tamil as their first language. However, it is a bit different for my case.

At home, I speak English to almost every one in my family, whether it is my parents, my grandfather, my uncle and aunt or my cousins, except for my grandmother. Many of my family members were English educated. I only speak Mandarin Chinese to my grandmother, because she does not know English. Since when I was still a child, my family had taught me English. Due to the fact that I spoke English with my family a lot, I was quite fluent in English at a young age.

In 2002, I started primary school. My family decided to send me to a Chinese school. My batch was the last batch of students before the Ministry of Education implemented the policy of teaching Mathematics and Science subjects in English. Throughout the 6 years of primary school, I learnt all subjects in Chinese. In the beginning, I actually preferred to be taught in English because I was not so good in Chinese.

For my batch, English was not officially taught in Chinese schools until Year 3. However, my school decided to still provide some English classes for Year 1 and 2. In Year 1, I had just one English class every week. At that time, my English was better compared to many of my classmates. However, for some reason I could not score very well for English in the examinations. My examination results for English was often worse compared to the other subjects, although I still always scored grade A.

In Year 2, I started having several English classes in school every week. My English examination results improved at that time. I was able to score full marks for English in 3 out of 4 of the school examinations. I can still remember that I did not score full marks in one of the examinations because I got confused between 'dress' and 'skirt'. In Year 3, English became an official subject at my school. I continued to score very well for English in examinations, although I was not able to maintain my record of getting full marks.

During primary school, I mostly spoke in Mandarin Chinese to my classmates and teachers. Many of them were not very good at speaking English. When I sometimes spoke a few sentences in English, this was often frowned upon by some of them. I hardly read English books or watched English movies, because I preferred Chinese books and movies, partly due to the influence of my classmates. My family had advised me to read English books and watch English movies because that could help improve my English skills, but I refused to listen to them.

From Year 4 to Year 6, all subjects in the school examinations including English were set according to the UPSR examination format. At that time, I continued scoring excellent results for English in examinations. I was one of the top students for the English subject in my class. My target was to get straight A's in the UPSR, and I considered English along with Mathematics to be the easiest subjects which I was 100% sure of getting grade A.

However, there was a slight problem. For Section C of Paper 2 of the English subject, we had to write 3 paragraphs, each consisting of a few sentences, based on the pictures and keywords given. My teacher had always advised us to write compound and complex sentences instead of simple sentences in that section. However, I never listened to my teacher's advice and I kept writing simple sentences most of the time.

There were a few occasions where my teacher did not give me full marks for Section C even though I did not make any grammatical errors, because I wrote only simple sentences. That was an indication that I needed to improve on my English skills. However, it did not have any impact on my ability to score grade A, so I did not do anything about that. Eventually, I scored grade A for English in the UPSR examination.

In 2008, I entered secondary school. Throughout secondary school, I learnt Mathematics and Science subjects in English and other subjects in Malay. However, many of my teachers explained Mathematics and Science in Malay. I mostly spoke either in Malay or Chinese to my friends and teachers in secondary school, because many of them were not good at speaking English. Sometimes, my friends attempted to speak to me in English, but I found it difficult to speak to them because they were poor in English, so I would often switch the conversation back to Malay or Chinese.

From Form 1 to Form 3, the school examinations for all subjects were set according to the PMR examination format. For English, there were essay writing, summary and literature sections which I had not encountered during primary school previously. At that time, English became one of the subjects that I consider as difficult, along with Chinese and Malay. This was in contrast to during primary school where I considered English as the easiest subject.

I found language subjects including English difficult because unlike subjects such as Mathematics, Science, History or Geography, it is not possible to actually study for the examination, except for the literature section. I aimed to get straight A's in the PMR examination, and I was a bit worried about not being able to score A for English. I was still able to get A for English in every school examination, although my score was not very good sometimes. Eventually, I obtained grade A for English in the PMR examination.

During secondary school, there was not much improvement in my English skills, because I hardly spoke English in school and I still did not like to read English books or watch English movies. I started having internet access in 2009, but I hardly read news or articles online. My family had several times pointed out that my English vocabulary was poor and that I often made grammatical errors when speaking English. I too realised my weakness in English, but I did not feel the need to improve on it. Once, my father bought me a few English novels. I completed one of the novels, but I did not bother reading the rest.

At the beginning of Form 4 in 2011, I felt that the English subject in SPM examination had a low standard because its format seemed so easy, especially for Paper 2. In Paper 2, Section A just consisted of some multiple-choice questions, Section B and C were just about copying the answers from the materials given, while Section D was the literature section which I could study for it. As for Paper 1, we had to write essays which was not something new. In fact, I felt that SPM English seemed to be even easier compared to PMR.

However, I later realised that English wasn't as easy as it seemed to be. The time allocated for Paper 1 was just 1 hour 45 minutes. Having to write 2 long essays within 1 hour 45 minutes was very challenging and I often had to rush a lot during the examinations to finish it on time. Therefore, I started considering English Paper 1 to be quite difficult, but I still felt that Paper 2 was easy. During Form 4, I was still able to score excellent results for English in school examinations. In 3 out of 4 of the examinations, I obtained grade A+.

In Form 5, the English subject became even more difficult. Unlike Form 4, we had to study a novel for the literature section instead of just short stories. The novel was very long and there were a lot of things that I need to study about it, so I found it quite tedious. Somewhere during Form 5, my school changed the English teacher for my class. My previous teacher was not good at teaching, but she was very nice. I preferred to continue to be taught by her, but my school insisted on the change. In the beginning, my new teacher seemed to teach quite well.

The new teacher told us that for Section B and C in Paper 2, our answers had to be very precise and we were not allowed to write more than what was required by the question. This was something I did not know previously because my previous teacher did not tell us about it. I always had the habit of writing very long answers, so this was a new challenge for me. Worst of all, as time went on, it became clear that the new teacher was actually even worse at teaching than the previous teacher. She taught us absolutely nothing about the novel and as a result I had no idea how to answer the literature section.

I started considering English to be one of the most difficult subject in SPM. This was in sharp contrast to what I felt about English when I first started Form 4. My family advised me to attend tuition classes for English, but I refused because that would cause me to have less time to do revision for other subjects. I was aiming for straight A+ in the SPM examination so I was very stressed with my studies during Form 5. In the 1st school examination, I obtained A+ for English but my score was not very good. In the 2nd examination, the essay I wrote went out of topic because I rushed too much in Paper 1, and English ended up being the only subject I did not get A+.

Later, I heard of a rumour from my friend that for the one-word topic in the Continuous Writing section of Paper 1, we were allowed to make that word as a person's name and then write a story about the person. Therefore, it would be possible for us to prepare a well-written story about a person before hand, memorise it and then use it in any examination. I asked my teacher about that and she confirmed that it was true. I was very happy and decided to go ahead with that because it would instantly solve the problem of not having enough time for Paper 1 and also guarantee that I would score well in Paper 1.

I spent some time to come up with a good story about a person and I used it for the first time during the SPM Trial examination in August 2012. However, it turned out that the story I wrote had some grammatical errors so I did not get a good score for that. Besides, I scored poorly in the literature section because I did not add in my personal response. I did not know that a personal response was required since my teacher never taught about that. I also lost a few marks in Section B of Paper 2 for writing too long answers. I ended up getting only 88 marks for English, but I managed to convince my teacher to give me 2 bonus marks so that I could get grade A+.

After that, I showed my grandfather the story. He corrected the grammatical errors in it and also modified some parts of the story to make it more realistic. However, shortly before my SPM examination, my teacher told us the latest update that we were no longer allowed to use the one-word topic as a person's name, which put to an end the practice of memorising a story before hand. As a result, I could no longer use the story I prepared for the SPM and once again I had to actually write the essay during the examination. I was quite disappointed and worried about that.

During the SPM English examination in November 2012, I wrote the first half of the Continuous Writing very well. However, I again ran into the problem of not having enough time. I had to rush the second half so I could not write it very well. I also had problems with the literature section. I knew that I had to add in my personal response, but I was not sure how I should write it. I was still quite confident of getting A+ for English in SPM, although I was not 100% sure. Instead, I was more worried of other subjects such as Biology, ICT and Malay.

When my SPM results was released, it turned out that my results was 9A+ 1A and the only subject I did not score A+ was English. I was really surprised by that and I just couldn't understand why this happened. However, I was very happy that I obtained 9A+ in SPM. Along with my SPM results, I also received GCE O Level grade 2A for English which was awarded by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). I requested a recheck for SPM English subject. Later, the results for the recheck was released and there was no change in my grade.

In January 2013, I started studying A Level at Taylor's College Subang Jaya. All A Level subjects were taught fully in English. My teachers also explained everything and spoke to us fully in English, unlike during secondary school. English was widely spoken in Taylor's College. All my friends could speak English well, due to the fact that they were mostly from Subang Jaya. In the beginning, I only spoke in English with my friends. Later, as I became closer to them, we started speaking a mixture of English and Chinese. I definitely spoke English much more compared to during secondary school.

I also started reading English news and articles on the internet quite often. My first few months of A Level were quite relaxing and I had a lot of free time, so I wrote several posts on this blog, all in English. I was used to having to write long essays with correct grammar during Form 4 and 5. Because of that influence, the blog posts I wrote at that time were much longer compared to my previous posts on this blog and I also made sure that my grammar was correct when writing the posts, which sometimes required me to search on Google. 

Due to the fact that I spoke and had exposure to a lot of English during A Level and that I wrote a lot on this blog, my English skills improved significantly during 2013 compared to previously. In November 2013, I took the Bio Medical Admissions Test (BMAT) as part of my application to UK universities. There was a writing task in Section 3 of the BMAT and I was able to write the essay reasonably well. My results for Section 3 was 4/5 for content and grade B for language. My results was sufficiently good to meet the requirements of the universities that I applied to.

In December 2013, I took the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The IELTS had 4 components, Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. I felt that Reading and Listening were very easy, while Speaking and Writing were quite difficult. Eventually, I obtained a band score of 6.5 for Speaking, 8.5 for Listening, 9.0 for Reading and 7.0 for Writing, while my overall band score was 8.0. This was a great improvement over my results for SPM English one year ago. Although my overall IELTS results was very good, getting 6.5 in Speaking put me at a disadvantage because some universities require a band score of 7.0 in every single component.

When I applied to Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, I had to write a personal statement. I had previously written a personal statement for my UCAS application and I thought of just reusing it. I asked one of my friend who had a lot of experience in writing personal statements for advice. However, she said that my previous personal statement was written very poorly so I should rewrite it completely, and she gave me some tips for that. Later, I put in my effort to rewrite a new personal statement. My friend said that it was a great improvement over the previous one, but there were still some weaknesses. Under her guidance, I modified the personal statement and it was satisfactorily good for the university application.

From March to August 2014, I attended several interviews for my application to medical schools which include University of Hong Kong, Perdana University, International Medical University, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia and SEGi University. The interviews were all held fully in English. It was important for me to be able to speak good English during the interviews. I made preparation for each interview by searching on the internet for tips and practising with my friends. My experience in those interviews helped improve my English skills.

In September 2014, I started studying Medicine at Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia. On the first day, there was an English language proficiency test. The lecturer explained that the purpose of the test was to assess our ability to write in academic writing style which is different from IELTS style and that students who fail the test had to attend English classes throughout the 1st semester. During the test, I had to write an essay and I felt that I did not write it well so I thought I would fail it. Out of my expectation, I passed the test successfully and only 18 out of 120 students in my batch passed it.

Since NUMed is a UK university, English is definitely widely spoken in NUMed. The Medicine course at NUMed is taught entirely in English, so is all the assessments. The lecturers also speak to us fully in English. All students in NUMed can speak English well, since they were assessed on their English skills before they were accepted into the course. I speak to most of my friends in English. I seldom speak in Chinese or Malay because I find it awkward to change to another language after getting used to speaking to them in English.

There are several assignments that I had to do in Medicine course as part of the assessment. Quality of English language is one of the skills assessed in every assignment. In the beginning, I was quite poor at assignments because I had no experience in doing them since I never had any assignments in A Level previously. However, I was still able to get a good score for quality of English which partly helped me in passing the assignment. Later, as I gain more experience, I improved greatly in the assignments.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Thoughts on Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award

For the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) AS and A Level, there are Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards which are awarded by CIE to students who achieved top in the world or top in each country for each subject. Students with the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award will receive a special certificate through a ceremony that is held by their school or college. Many schools or colleges and even CIE often publicly announce about the students who get the award.

As you probably have expected, quite a significant percentage of CIE AS and A Level students aim for the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award. In order to be top in the world or top in their country, they have to work very hard to score as high as possible in the assessments, hoping to be better than all other students. However, this was not the case for me. I never aimed for the award when I was studying A Level. In my opinion, no student should aim for the award. Here, I want to jot down some of my thoughts on the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award so that you may better understand why aiming for the award is a very bad idea. Let me explain.

First, success isn't defined by getting the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award.

The definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim. Our main aim of studying A Level is so that we can get into the university and degree course of our choice. In order to achieve that, our A Level grades just need to meet the entry requirements. So technically, meeting the entry requirements is already considered success. Of course, getting just the minimum grades required won't make us feel very good, so we probably want more than that. It is definitely good for us to aim for reasonably better grades than the minimum required.

But whatever our aim is, it should all be about our own performance and not about performing better than other people. It is what we ourselves do that determines success, not what others do. If we aim for Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award, we will need every other student to perform less well than us in order to achieve the aim. Whether or not we get the award is determined by other students' performance which we have no control on, so it is wrong to define success as getting the award. Also, by defining the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award as success we are essentially saying that almost all students taking A Level will be failure no matter what, since only the top student can get the award even if every one aims for it. This is definitely not right.

Second, Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award doesn't mean better student in university.

The study style in university is quite different from that of A Level. Unlike in A Level, lecturers in university may not teach us everything that we need to know so we may have to do our own readings. We also have to use several different reference books in university because there is not a single book that can be used throughout the entire course. There are also assignments which involve doing research, unlike A Level which is fully examination based. It is important for us to be able to adapt to the university study style as soon as possible after starting university.

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award only indicates that the recipients have excellent knowledge in the particular subject, but not anything else. There are some students with the award who end up failing in university, because of their inability to adapt to the study style despite having a lot of knowledge. On the other hand, many students who never obtained the award are able to adapt well and pass their course in university. Also, the award indicates nothing about the students' aptitude or attitude, which are very important. Therefore, getting the award or not does not determine whether one will be a good student in university.

Third, aiming for Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award causes negative attitudes.

We should always be willing to share our knowledge with our friends. This is part of team working which is especially important when we study in university. When we share our knowledge, apart from our friends benefiting from the additional knowledge they gain, we too benefit because we often understand something better when we explain it to and discuss it with others. Indirectly, the society will benefit as well because there will be more people with more knowledge to contribute to the society in the future.

Unfortunately, when we aim for the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award, we become less willing to share our knowledge with others. Since the award requires us to be in the top of all students, we have to make sure that we are better than others. We are worried that if we share our knowledge, others may become better than us causing us to not get the award. This kind of attitude is known as 'kiasu', a term which originates from the Chinese word 怕输 that means 'scared of losing'. 'Kiasu' is a very negative attitude associated with selfishness, we definitely should not have this attitude. In contrast, the world would be a better place if every one is willing to share knowledge with others.

Fourth, aiming for Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award makes life harder for other students.

The grade thresholds for each subject in CIE AS and A Level is not fixed, it changes from one session to another. CIE determines the grade thresholds based on the difficulty of the questions and the performance of students in the examination. The grade threshold will be set higher if the questions are easier or if the students performed better. Every student must get a score higher than or equal to the threshold for a particular grade in order to get that grade. Ideally, the threshold should be around 80% for grade A* and 70% for grade A.

However, for certain subjects particularly Mathematics and Further Mathematics, the grade thresholds are usually very high, sometimes exceeding 93% for grade A*. One of the reasons this happens is because of the students who aim for the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award for these subjects. To get the award, they try to score as high as possible in the examination. Due to their high scores, the grade thresholds are being shifted higher. Because of the high thresholds, some students fail to get the grade required by their university and have to either give up on their aim or resit the A Level. To prevent excessively high grade thresholds, we should not aim for the award.

Fifth, aiming for Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award brings unnecessary stress.

Studying A Level can be quite stressful for some students. Sometimes, even if we are just aiming for the minimum grades required by our university, we still feel stressed because we are worried that we can't even achieve that. When we are very stressed, we probably won't find A Level as interesting as it actually is. Too much stress can also negatively affect our health and social life. So, we should always try to relieve our stress. Apart from studying, we should have reasonable amounts of free time for leisure activities such as video games, sports, movies, hanging out with friends etc. This is a very good way of relieving stress.

If we are aiming for the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award, since we need to be better than all other students, we can never be certain whether or not we can achieve our aim until the results is released. We may have revised very long hours daily, but there may still be someone better than us. The uncertainty will increase our stress. In addition, after revising long hours every day, we will only have little time left for leisure activities. The lack of leisure activities will definitely make our stress worse. Why should we let ourselves face additional stress when we could have avoided it simply by not aiming for the award?

Sixth, there is no good reason to aim for Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award.

There are a few common reasons given by students on why they aim for the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award, but I think none of them are good reasons. Some students aim for the award because they want to be more famous, since the public will know if they get the award. I have to say, we study A Level because we want to get into the university and degree course of our choice, not because of fame. If we are looking to be famous, then we probably shouldn't be studying A Level.

There are also students who think that getting the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award will improve their chances when applying to universities. This is not true. Universities assess the applicants' academic abilities only based on the A Level grades. Some universities also require applicants to attend an interview, write a personal statement or take an admissions test to further assess their suitability on the course. Getting the award or not will have no effect on the application.

Conclusions.

As you can see, aiming for the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award has many negative effects and it gives no advantage at all. This is why I never aimed for the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award and why I think nobody should aim for the award. Since its existence does nobody any good, I believe that CIE should abolish the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award completely. If you have not been aiming for the award, that's great and hope you don't change. If you have been aiming for it, I hope you will reconsider that aim after reading this.

Of course, even if nobody aims for the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award, it will still be awarded to the top student in the world and in each country, unless it is abolished. In the case where we are awarded Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award without aiming for it, this doesn't matter actually. As long as we don't aim for the award, there won't be any negative effects. Lastly, I would like to apologise if you feel offended by this article. I do not intend to offend any one, I just want to give my opinion about the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award.

If you liked this article, you may want to read this too:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2017/02/thoughts-on-mbbs-merit-award.html

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Thoughts on MBBS Merit Award

At Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia where I am currently studying MBBS, there is a Merit award which is awarded every year to students who are in the top 10% of a particular batch based on the assessment scores. Students who are awarded Merit will receive a 10% refund of the study fees for that year, and their Merit status will be stated on the pass list which is accessible by all students. Apart from NUMed, some other universities also have similar awards, though it may or may not be called Merit.

As you probably have expected, quite a significant percentage of students in NUMed aim for the Merit award. In order to be in the top 10%, they have to work very hard to score as high as possible in the assessments, hoping to be better than 90% of the students. However, this is not the case for me. I have never aimed for the Merit award since my first day in NUMed, and I will never aim for it. In my opinion, no medical student should aim for Merit in NUMed or similar awards in other universities. Here, I want to jot down some of my thoughts on the Merit award so that you may better understand why aiming for Merit is a very bad idea. Let me explain.

First, success isn't defined by getting Merit.

The definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim. Our main aim of studying Medicine is so that we can become a doctor. In order to achieve our ambition of becoming a doctor, we need to pass all assessments in NUMed and that's all required. So technically, passing is already considered success. Of course, getting just a minimum pass won't make us feel very good and it may indicate that we are at risk of failing our next assessments if we don't work harder, so we probably want more than a minimum pass. It is definitely good for us to aim for a reasonable higher score than pass.

But whatever our aim is, it should all be about our own performance and not about performing better than other people. It is what we ourselves do that determines success, not what others do. If we aim for Merit, we will need 90% of the other students to perform less well than us in order to achieve the aim. Whether or not we get Merit is determined by other students' performance which we have no control on, so it is wrong to define success as getting Merit. Also, by defining Merit as success we are essentially saying that 90% of students in NUMed will be failure no matter what, since only 10% of the students can get Merit even if every one aims for Merit. This is definitely not right.

Second, Merit doesn't mean better doctor.

All medical students should aspire to become good doctors. There are certain qualities that good doctors have. While having good knowledge and clinical skills is important, what's more important is to have good attitude towards patients and have a genuine intent to help the patients. This kind of good doctors is what the society needs now. Just having good knowledge without good attitude is useless. For example, a doctor who knows a lot about Medicine but is money-minded and never respects the patients is definitely not a good doctor.

When determining the students who get Merit, NUMed takes into consideration the written examinations and the OSCE. The Merit award only indicates the recipients' excellent knowledge and clinical skills, it doesn't indicate anything about their attitude. The OSCE can't actually assess the students' attitude because it is just a snapshot of the clinical encounters and any student can just act with good attitude in the OSCE. Also, if we are awarded Merit, we probably spent a lot of time studying for the examinations. If we only study all the time, we probably won't have good communication skills. Therefore, getting Merit has nothing to do with being a good doctor.

Third, aiming for Merit causes negative attitudes.

As doctors, we should always be willing to share our knowledge with our colleagues. This is part of team working which is an important quality every doctors should have. When we share our knowledge, apart from our colleagues benefiting from the additional knowledge they gain, we too benefit because we often understand something better when we explain it to and discuss it with others. Indirectly, the patients benefit as well because there are more doctors with more knowledge to treat them better.

Unfortunately, when we aim for the Merit award, we become less willing to share our knowledge with others. Since Merit requires us to be in the top 10% of students, we have to make sure that we are better than others. We are worried that if we share our knowledge, others may become better than us causing us to not get Merit. This kind of attitude is known as 'kiasu', a term which originates from the Chinese word 怕输 that means 'scared of losing'. 'Kiasu' is a very negative attitude associated with selfishness, we definitely should not have this attitude. In contrast, the world would be a better place if every one is willing to share knowledge with others.

Fourth, aiming for Merit makes life harder for other students.

The pass threshold for the written examinations in NUMed is not fixed, it changes from year to year. The examiners determine the pass threshold for each examination based on the difficulty of the questions and the performance of students in the examination. The pass threshold will be set higher if the questions are easier or if the students performed better. Every student must get a score higher than or equal to the pass threshold in order to pass the examination, otherwise they will fail. Ideally, the pass threshold should be around 50%. However, the pass thresholds for the past few years have gone very high, sometimes exceeding 60%.

This happens mainly because of the students who aim for the Merit award. To get Merit, they try to score as high as possible in the examination. Due to their high scores, the grade thresholds are being shifted higher. In my opinion, a pass threshold of 60% or higher is definitely way too high. For the 2015/2016 batch of Stage 3, the pass threshold for the written examination was as high as 65%, and many students failed just because of that and have to repeat the entire year as the final attempt. Many of them scored between 60 and 65% and they are quite knowledgeable from what I see. It is unfair to not let them pass. To prevent an excessively high pass threshold, we should not aim for Merit. As doctors, we should think of others as well instead of just ourselves.

Fifth, aiming for Merit brings unnecessary stress.

The difficulty of Medicine course means that it can be quite stressful. Sometimes, even if we are just aiming for a minimum pass, we still feel stressed because we are worried of failing. When we are very stressed, we probably won't enjoy the course as much as we should. Since we have decided to study Medicine, it is important for us to ensure that we really enjoy the course. Too much stress can also negatively affect our health and social life. So, we should always try to relieve our stress. Apart from studying, we should have reasonable amounts of free time for leisure activities such as video games, sports, movies, hanging out with friends etc. This is a very good way of relieving stress.

If we are aiming for the Merit award, since we need to be better than 90% of the students, we can never be certain whether or not we can achieve our aim until the results is released. We may have revised very long hours daily, but others may still be better than us. The uncertainty will increase our stress. In addition, after revising long hours every day, we will only have little time left for leisure activities. The lack of leisure activities will definitely make our stress worse. The course is already stressful, so why should we let ourselves face additional stress when we could have avoided it simply by not aiming for Merit?

Sixth, there is no good reason to aim for Merit.

There are a few common reasons given by students on why they aim for the Merit award, but I think none of them are good reasons. Some students aim for Merit because of the money, they want to get the 10% refund of the study fees. Some aim for Merit because they want to appear on the pass list with Merit status, which will probably make them more famous among students. I have to say, we study Medicine because we want to help the patients with genuine intent, not because of money or fame. If we are looking to be rich or famous, then we probably shouldn't be studying Medicine.

There are also students who think that getting Merit will improve their chances when applying for specialist studies in the future. This is not true. As I have stated in my second reason above, Merit doesn't mean good doctor. In specialist studies applications, the admission team is looking for qualities of good doctor, and interviews often play a major role in assessing this. Getting Merit or not will have no effect on the application.

Conclusions.

As you can see, aiming for the Merit award has many negative effects and it gives no advantage at all. This is why I don't aim for Merit and why I think nobody should aim for Merit or similar awards. Since its existence does nobody any good, I believe that the Merit award should be abolished completely. If you have not been aiming for Merit, that's great and hope you don't change. If you have been aiming for Merit, I hope you will reconsider that aim after reading this.

Of course, even if nobody aims for Merit, it will still be awarded to students in the top 10%, unless it is abolished. In the case where we are awarded Merit without aiming for it, this doesn't matter actually. As long as we don't aim for Merit, there won't be any negative effects. Lastly, I would like to apologise if you feel offended by this article. I do not intend to offend any one, I just want to give my opinion about the Merit award.

If you liked this article, you may want to read this too:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2017/02/thoughts-on-outstanding-cambridge.html

Thursday, 5 January 2017

800,000 pageviews for this blog

This blog has just hit a total of 800,000 pageviews. Thanks to all readers of this blog for your support!

Thursday, 29 December 2016

My experience during Foundations of Clinical Practice (FoCP)

Foundations of Clinical Practice (FoCP) is the 1st semester of Stage 3 of Medicine course at Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia. FoCP lasted for about 15 weeks from 29 August 2016 to 14 December 2016. During FoCP, I lived in Horizon Residences, Bukit Indah which is accommodation managed by the university. Even though now I have completed FoCP, I can still remember it very well. Here, I am writing about my experience during FoCP.

Week 1 (29 August - 3 September):

On 28 August, I moved into Horizon Residences. My parents drove me from Subang Jaya back to Bukit Indah. Then, FoCP began on 29 August. It was a bit earlier compared to the previous years where the FoCP used to begin on 1 September. This marked the end of my 3 month summer break. I felt quite sad about that because this was the last long break in my life. At that time, I was still in holiday mood. Week 1 was the introduction week. We did not go to hospitals on this week. There were introductory lectures on 29 and 30 August. 31 August was a public holiday for the National Day of Malaysia. Then on 1 September, there was a history taking practice session. During the session, I was introduced to Clinical Group (CG) 3. One of my close friend in my Stage 2 seminar group was in CG 3.

Week 2 (4 September - 10 September):

Week 2 was the critical illness week where we learnt about critical care and emergency medicine. I was in Critical Illness Group (CIG) O for this week. We again did not go to hospitals on this week. On 5 and 6 September, there were lectures and clinical skills sessions. I fell quite sick on 5 September, where I experienced tiredness, headache and back pain. I slept for a long time and managed to recover on 6 September without having to consult a doctor. On 7 and 8 September, there was a case-based group discussion on sepsis and shock. I worked with my group mates to solve the questions. Then, there was a debriefing lecture for the case-based group discussion on 9 September.

System Based Weeks (Weeks 3 - 9):

Weeks 3 to 9 were the System Based Weeks. During the System Based Weeks, I was in Clinical Group (CG) 3 every Monday to Thursday and in Simulation Group (SG) D2 every Friday. Every one in CG 1 to 4 were assigned to Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail (HSNI) in Batu Pahat for the System Based Weeks. We learnt about a particular system of the human body every week. On Mondays and Tuesdays, there would be lectures and clinical skills sessions at NUMed. After class on Tuesdays, we would travel to Batu Pahat by bus. We would stay overnight at Crystal Inn in Batu Pahat on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. On Wednesday and Thursdays, we would go to the hospital. After class on Thursdays, we would travel back to NUMed by bus. On Fridays, there would be various sessions depending on the week.

Week 3 (11 September - 17 September):

On Week 3, we learnt about the cardiovascular system. 12 September was a public holiday for Hari Raya Haji. On 15 September, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail (HSNI) in Batu Pahat for the first time. The environment at HSNI was quite nice. There was a seminar room there specially for NUMed students. On that morning, we had to listen to talks by the nurses about the rules at the hospital. Then in the afternoon, I and two of my friends clerked a patient in the ward. Because we still did not have experience, we took the history in a very unorganised manner. After that, we walked around the hospital just to have a look. Since we only went to HSNI for one day, we did not stay overnight in Batu Pahat. 16 September was a public holiday for the Malaysia Day.

Week 4 (18 September - 24 September):

On Week 4, we learnt about the respiratory system. On 20 September, I and CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat. We stayed at Crystal Inn for the first time. The hotel was small but comfortable and I was in the same room with two of my friends. At that time, I started becoming close to my CG 1-4 group mates. On that night, all of us went to Selera Rasa Aelynaz near Crystal Inn and had dinner together. Then on 21 September, I and a few of my friends had dinner at Crystal Cafe in Crystal Inn. At HSNI this week, I again clerked patients with two of my friends. This time, we followed the normal structure of history taking and managed to take a better history. On 23 September, there were seminars on dermatology and antibiotics.

Week 5 (25 September - 1 October):

On Week 5, we learnt about the gastrointestinal system. I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat on 27 September. Throughout the journey, the engine of the bus kept emitting some strange noise, so I had the feeling that there was some problem with the bus. On 28 September, I and a few of my friends walked to Dataran Penggaram Batu Pahat to play frisbee. I was quite poor at frisbee, but my friends taught me how to play it. After that, we had dinner at Rex Food Junction. On the morning of 29 September, we waited at Crystal Inn for the bus to take us to HSNI, but the bus never arrived. Initially, the bus driver kept saying that he was on the way, but later he stopped answering our phone calls. After waiting for 2 hours, we decided to take taxi to HSNI because we did not want to waste time. We had to call several taxis because there were 28 of us. We also had to bring all our luggage to HSNI and put them in our seminar room. At HSNI on that day, I had my 1st Formative MOSLER. I performed poorly in the MOSLER, because of my lack of experience. After class on that afternoon, I and my friends in CG 1-4 had beriani rice at McBeriani. Then, we again waited for 1 hour before the bus came to fetch us. The bus driver told us that there was some problem with the bus. We requested him to change another bus because we were worried that the bus might break down during the journey back to NUMed. The driver took us to Batu Pahat Mall and we stayed there for another hour while he went to change the bus. It was already 9PM when we arrived at NUMed. On 30 September, there was a simulation session as a revision of what we learnt during Week 2. I was given a scenario where I was a house officer and I had to provide care to a patient that was in critical condition. There was a mannequin to act as the patient. I did not perform well due to lack of preparation.

Week 6 (2 October - 8 October):

On Week 6, we learnt about the central nervous system. 3 October was a public holiday for Awal Muharram. I experienced vomiting and diarrhoea on 4 October after eating fried noodles at the NUMed cafeteria. However, I recovered quite quickly without having a consult a doctor. On 6 October, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to HSNI in Batu Pahat. We did not stay overnight at Crystal Inn since we only went to HSNI for one day. On 7 October, there was a hospital session at Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) with Simulation Group (SG) D. Because I was still not close to my SG D group mates at that time, I could not find a friend to clerk patients with. As a result, I had to clerk patients by myself, for the first time. It turned out that I could actually do it quite well. The lecturers had always encouraged us to clerk patients by ourselves, and now I realised the benefit of that.

Week 7 (9 October - 15 October):

On Week 7, we learnt about the musculoskeletal system. On 11 October, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat. After arriving at Crystal Inn, we had a birthday celebration for 2 of our friends at the lobby of Crystal Inn. We bought a cake and ordered pizza. The management of Crystal Inn was happy to let us celebrate there, as long as we cleaned up the place after the celebration. On 13 October, I and a few friends went to the outpatient clinic of HSNI to practise drawing blood from patients. I was a bit slow when performing the procedure, so the doctor there kept asking me 'Do you know how to draw blood?' On that afternoon, an incident happened. The students in CG 1&2 decided to have lunch at a restaurant near HSNI together with the lecturers, but they did not invite me and other students in CG3&4. When I told them that I wanted to join them, they also did not seem to welcome me, so in the end I chose not to join them. I felt upset because of this incident. Later, my friends in CG 1&2 told me that they did not invite us for the lunch because we had different timing and different lecturer for the afternoon teaching session. Therefore, I no longer blamed them over the incident. On 14 October, there was a case presentation session, where we presented interesting cases that we came across in the hospital.

Week 8 (16 October - 22 October):

On Week 8, we learnt about the special senses which include eyes, ears, nose, throat, breast and skin. On 16 October, my parents came to Bukit Indah to visit me. Since 2 years ago, I had itchy rashes on my neck. On that day, my father noticed that the rash was getting worse, so he took me to consult a doctor. The doctor diagnosed me with psoriasis. He said that there is no cure for psoriasis because it is an autoimmune disease, but it won't be serious. He prescribed me with betamethasone cream for the rash. Coincidentally, I learnt about psoriasis on 17 and 18 October. In the evening on 18 October, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat. I decided that starting from this week, I would clerk patients in the hospital by myself instead of clerking with my friend. On 19 October, I and a few friends went to the radiology lab of HSNI. There, we observed the procedure of taking an X-ray. I and my friends in CG 1-4 had dinner together at Crystal Cafe in Crystal Inn on that night. On 20 October, we took group photos in front of HSNI. After returning to Bukit Indah on that day, I and a few of my friends celebrated someone's birthday at a Nasi Lemak stall in Jalan Indah 16/12. We bought a cake for her. On 21 October, there was another case presentation session. This was my last session with my SG D group mates, so we took group photos together at the end of the session.

Week 9 (23 October - 29 October):

On Week 9, we learnt about the endocrine and genitourinary system. On 25 October, a fire occurred at Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA). I was at NUMed at that time and no NUMed student was injured in the fire. On that afternoon, there was power failure at NUMed, causing the lectures to be cancelled. Later, there was a heavy thunderstorm and the lightning kept striking. I dared not walk to my car in the car park to get my luggage because I was afraid of being struck by lightning, so I had to ask a security guard to help me. In the evening, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat. The bus driver dropped us at Old Street Commercial Centre in Batu Pahat for half an hour. It was a very nice place and I took photos with my friends there. After that, the bus driver took us to Crystal Inn. On 26 October, I and my friends in CG 1-4 planned to have steamboat at Glow Park, but it was closed. Therefore, we went to Leezo Restaurant for western food instead. My last session with my CG 1-4 group mates was on 27 October and that was the end of the System Based Weeks. We again took photos and I felt sad about having to separate with them. After returning to NUMed on that day, I drove two of my friends back to Horizon Residences. At that time, looking back at the System Based Weeks, I realised that while I was very close to some of my CG 1-4 group mates, I was not close to the rest of them. Unlike me, my best friend was close to every one in CG 1-4. I regretted this mistake very much, but unfortunately I would not be able to correct it as I would no longer be with CG 1-4.

Hospital Based Weeks (Weeks 10 - 15):

Weeks 10 to 15 were the Hospital Based Weeks. During the Hospital Based Weeks, I was in Hospital Based Group (HBG) B1. We were assigned to a different hospital every week. We had to integrate everything that we had learnt during the System Based Weeks previously. Every Monday to Thursday, we would go to the hospital. Every Friday, there would be lectures at NUMed.

Week 10 (30 October - 5 November):

On Week 10, I and my HBG B group mates went to Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI) in Johor Bahru. On 31 October, we went to the pathology lab of HSI. There, the doctors explained and demonstrated to us the procedure of carrying out tests on specimen such as blood and urine. We also had the opportunity to perform antibiotic resistance tests. There were self directed learning (SDL) sessions at HSI on 1 and 2 November. Many of my group mates went home, but I stayed in the hospital. It was difficult to find a place to sit down and rest in HSI. While HSI had a nice library, I did not know where it was located. The environment in HSI was not very nice and I preferred HSNI Batu Pahat much more. At that time, I was still not close to my HBG B1 group mates and I missed by CG 1-4 group mates very much. On 4 November, there was a lecture on career guidance and a formative professional assessment. During the assessment, the lecturer looked at my logbook for FoCP. I had still not completed many parts of the logbook and the lecturer reminded me to complete it by the end of FoCP.

Week 11 (6 November - 12 November):

7 November was a public holiday for the Hol Day of Johor. On Week 11, I and my HBG B group mates were supposed to go to Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) in Johar Bahru. However, due the fire 2 weeks ago, NUMed reduced the number of students going to HSA on each day. Therefore, we only went to HSA on 8 November. I did not like HSA because the environment there was worse compared to HSI. On that day, a few of my group mates made some cakes and they gave the cakes to every one in HBG B1. We had to go to HSI on 9 and 10 November and join other groups. On 9 November, I joined HBG F2 for the teaching session. On 10 November, I wanted to join HBG F2 again but there were too many students, so I joined HBG F1 instead. I followed my friends in HBG F1 for lunch at Restoran Anisofea Asam Pedas near HSI. On 11 November, there was a lecture on Malaria, Dengue, Typhoid and Leptospirosis.

Week 12 (13 November - 19 November):

On Week 12, I and my HBG B group mates went to Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail (HSNI) in Batu Pahat. We travelled to Batu Pahat on 13 November and stayed overnight at Crystal Inn on 13 to 16 November. I stayed in the same room with two of my friends. I was very familiar with HSNI because I was there during the System Based Weeks. At that time, I started becoming close to my HBG B group mates. On 14 November, we had dinner together at Restoran Nikmat Tandoori. On 15 November, we had wan tan mee for dinner. We were not full after eating, so we went to Seventy Two Foodcourt for more food. At HSNI on 16 November, we went to to the Emergency Department. There, we observed doctors providing care to patients in critical condition. My friends had dinner together again on that night and they phoned me to invite me to join them. However, I was sleeping at that time so I did not answer the phone. Eventually, I had dinner myself at Crystal Cafe in Crystal Inn. We travelled back to NUMed after class on 17 November. On 18 November, there were lectures on Alcohol Misuse and Gastrointestinal System. On that day, we received a call from HSNI because we did not return the key for our seminar room in the previous day and the door was left unlocked. What happened was that someone had placed the key on my chair in the room with the intention of passing it to me, but he did not tell me about that so I did not know the key was on my chair. Luckily, the staff at HSNI later found the key on the floor in the seminar room so the problem was resolved.

Week 13 (20 November - 26 November):

On Week 13, I and my HBG B group mates went to Hospital Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom (HEBHK) in Kluang. We travelled to Kluang on 20 November and stayed overnight at Ailang Hotel on 20 to 23 November. Only me and 3 of my friends took the bus to Kluang while the others drove there. During the journey, the television on the bus was showing the movie Skiptrace and I watched it. It was a funny and interesting movie. Ailang Hotel was not so nice compared to Crystal Inn, but it was still comfortable. I had the room by myself because my roommate went to stay at his relative's house. I had never been to HEBHK previously. The environment there was quite nice and I felt that it is even better than HSNI Batu Pahat. On 21 and 22 November, we went to the outpatient clinic of HEBHK. There, we had a lot of opportunity to draw blood and measure vital signs of several patients. The nurses were friendly and they taught us a lot. It was a great experience and I felt like a doctor. I and my friends in HBG B went to Gwee Lek Assam Pedas for dinner on 21 November. We had dinner at 128 Restaurant on 22 November. After that, we went to Kluang Mall to buy gifts for the nurses at the outpatient clinic. On 23 November, my friends had dinner together again at 128 Restaurant and they invited me to join them, but I declined because I wanted to eat something different. I had dinner myself at a burger stall in front of Ailang Hotel. At HEBHK on 24 November, I had my 2nd Formative MOSLER. This time, I performed much better compared to the previous time. We travelled back to NUMed after class on that day. On 25 November, there were lectures on Endocrine System and Clinical Chemistry.

Week 14 (27 November - 3 December):

On Week 14, I and my HBG B group mates did not go to hospitals. We only had sessions at NUMed. On 28 and 29 November, there were a revision sessions for the WriSkE (Written Skills Examination) and SBA (Single Best Answer) Paper. Then, there were clinical skills revision sessions on 30 November and 1 December. During the session, I volunteered to let 9 of my friends practise performing ECG on me. On 2 December, there were induction lectures for the Essential Junior Rotations (EJR) next semester. EJR seemed to be quite difficult and stressful. The student group list for EJR was released at that time. Most of my CG 1-4 group mates were assigned to Group 1, but I was assigned to Group 2 instead. Only 2 of my CG 1-4 group mates and 2 of my HBG B group mates would be in Group 2, and I knew very few students in Group 2. I really wanted to be in Group 1 instead, so I requested the lecturer in charge to switch me to Group 1. Unfortunately, the lecturer told me that it was not possible to switch groups because it had already been finalised. I felt very sad and disappointed about that. For a few days, I kept ranting on Facebook and I even created a Hitler Rant video. Some of my friends gave me words of encouragement to help me get over that.

Week 15 (4 December - 10 December):

On Week 15, I and my HBG B group mates went to Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI) in Johor Bahru. At that time, my friends showed me the way to the library of HSI. I went to the library to do revision for the oncoming examination during the Self Directed Learning (SDL) time on 5 and 6 December. On 7 and 8 December, one of my friend in HBG D1 joined my group for the teaching sessions. He was supposed to go to HSA but he came to HSI because NUMed reduced the number of students going to HSA due to the fire previously. The hospital visit of the Stage 2 students were also on 7 and 8 December. We were in charge of the Stage 2 students who came to HSI. I found patients for them to clerk and had a discussion with them about the patients' case. Then, I took them around the hospital and also gave them some tips for the Stage 2 assessments based on my past experience. On both days, I and my friend went for lunch at Bharat Curry House near HSI. There, we met some students from HBG C1 and D1. On 9 December, there was a summative professionalism assessment. The lecturer again checked my logbook for FoCP during the assessment. I had completed the logbook at that time so I passed the assessment.

Week 16 (11 December - 14 December):

Week 16 was the examination week. Since the examinations were just formative, I took it easy and did not feel too stressed. I prepared for the OSCE and SBA Paper but not the WriSkE, because unlike OSCE and SBA, the WriSkE would be summatively tested only in Stage 5. On 13 December, it was the OSCE. I felt that I performed reasonably well and better compared to the Stage 2 OSCE. On 14 December, it was the WriSkE and SBA Paper. The WriSkE started first, followed by the SBA. The WriSkE was quite easy and I could answer reasonably well even though I did not prepare for it. The SBA Paper was not too difficult, except that I had to rush to finish answering all questions within the time limit. After that, it was the winter break which would last about 2 and a half weeks until 2 January 2017. This marked the end of Foundations of Clinical Practice (FoCP). This was the first time since I entered NUMed where the examination was scheduled before the winter break instead of after it, so I could fully enjoy the winter break. I took a flight back to Subang Jaya on 15 December.

Conclusion:

I definitely had a great experience during FoCP which I will never forget. Initially, I was unhappy that I was assigned to HSNI Batu Pahat for the System Based Weeks and I preferred HSI or HSA instead, because I didn't like the idea of having to travel to Batu Pahat and stay overnight there. It turned out that I enjoyed Batu Pahat a lot. My experience definitely wouldn't be that good if I was assigned to HSI or HSA. In the past, I had always thought that FoCP would be very stressful. It turned out that FoCP wasn't stressful actually, because all the assessments were just formative. Instead, Stage 1 and 2 were more stressful. FoCP was very interesting. In fact, I think it is the most interesting semester in MBBS. During FoCP, for the first time I felt that I am really studying Medicine, unlike Stage 1 and 2. My awesome friends in CG 1-4 and HBG B made my FoCP experience even better. We had a lot of interesting activities together. In particular, we were very close whenever we were in Batu Pahat or Kluang, which is why I like these two places a lot.

If you find this story interesting, you may want to read this too:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2016/12/my-2nd-year-of-medicine-course-at-numed.html

Saturday, 17 December 2016

My 2nd year of Medicine course at NUMed

The 2nd year of my Medicine course at Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia lasted for about 9 months from 29 September 2015 to 1 June 2016. In NUMed, 2nd year is known as Stage 2. During Stage 2, I lived in Horizon Residences, Bukit Indah which is accommodation managed by the university. Even though now I have completed Stage 2, I can still remember it very well. Here, I am writing about my experience when I was in Stage 2.


September 2015:

On 26 September, I moved into Horizon Residences. My parents drove me from Subang Jaya back to Bukit Indah. My housemates also moved in on the same day. Then on 27 September, I and my housemates had dinner together at a Chinese restaurant in Skudai. Stage 2 of Medicine course began on 29 September. It was about a week later compared to the previous years. This marked the end of my 4 month summer break. At that time, I felt that the summer break seemed to pass so quickly and I felt sad because I would not have any more 4 month break in the future. For the 1st semester of Stage 2, I would be studying Thoughts, Senses and Movement (TSM) which comprises the nervous system and musculoskeletal system. For Stage 2, I was assigned the same seminar group as during Stage 1. All my group mates also remained in the same group. I was very happy about this.

October 2015:

In early October, I was still in holiday mood so I did not start doing any revision. My next examination would be the Progress 1 examination in January 2016 which was still a long time away. On 6 October, NUMed distributed the assignments for Stage 2 which are Patient Study and Student Selected Component (SSC). The SSC had 2 parts, Literature Review and Oral Presentation. I expected that the SSC would be quite difficult while the Patient Study would be easier. I planned to do a part of the assignments in November and continue with the rest after the Progress 1 examination. I and my friends went to the EduCity Stadium near NUMed to play badminton on 7 October. As NUMed students, we could access the stadium for free. I was quite poor at badminton and I knew only the basics, but I still enjoyed playing badminton with my friends. This was my 2nd time playing badminton.

I and my friends celebrated the birthday of someone in our group on 12 October. We went to AEON Bukit Indah to buy the ingredients, then we prepared the food for the celebration at Horizon Residences. Since I do not know how to cook, I only helped with the preparation of the drinks. The birthday celebration was held beside the swimming pool of Horizon Residences. We surprised our friend with the celebration. During the celebration, we entered the swimming pool. It was really an interesting birthday celebration. On 14 October, I and my study partners visited our patient for the Patient Study assignment. Then, I submitted my proposal of my choice of topic for the SSC assignment on 18 October. On 19 October, I started creating the notes for AS Level Physics, Chemistry and Biology based on the 2016-2018 syllabus, after receiving numerous requests from my blog readers. I finished creating the notes and uploaded them to this blog on 22 October. On 23 October, I was informed by my lecturer that my proposal for the SSC had been approved.

Around that time, I was thinking back of Stage 1 and I realised that I had not obtained excellent results in examinations ever since the Stage 1 Progress 1 in November 2014. I felt sad about it and as a result I set myself the target of getting at least 80% for the Stage 2 Progress 1 examination. To achieve it, I decided to start revising very early. This got me out of my holiday mood. I began my revision for the Progress 1 examination on 26 October. On 28 October, I and my study partners followed our patient to visit his GP as part of the Patient Study assignment. We had to skip a few lectures in the morning for that. After returning to NUMed, I was very tired, causing me to fall asleep for a few minutes during a lecture. One of my friend took a photo of me sleeping and sent it to our WhatsApp group with the words 'Thug Life'. On that afternoon, there was a formative anatomy practical test. I and my friends decided to not write our names on our answer sheets, instead we all wrote someone's name. However, our lecturers were upset when they knew about that. They said that if we didn't want to write our actual names, we could use our initials, but we should not use another student's name. We eventually apologised to our lecturers over this incident.

November 2015:

Throughout November, I was doing revision for the Progress 1 examination. A large proportion of TSM is anatomy, which was my weak point at that time. Therefore, I put in more effort to revise anatomy in greater detail. Soon, I began to feel that anatomy isn't that difficult actually. Because there was still a long time until the Progress 1, I did not study very long hours every day, so I was not too stressed. Earlier, I had planned to do a part of the Patient Study and SSC assignments in November. However, I changed the plan and decided to do the assignments only after the Progress 1, because I wanted to focus on revising for the Progress 1 and there would still be a lot of time to do the assignments after the Progress 1. On 13 November, I and my study partners carried out our 3rd visit to our patient for the Patient Study assignment.

December 2015:

In early December, I started feeling more stressed and I revised longer hours daily, because the Progress 1 examination was approaching. On 4 December, there was a cultural fest at NUMed and I attended it for the first time. The fest presented several cultures, particularly food and games, from different parts of the world. It was quite interesting. I and my study partners carried out our 4th visit to our Patient Study patient on 5 December. On 10 December, it was the 1st Hospital Visit for Stage 2. We went to Hospital Sultan Ismail. At the hospital, I and one of my friend clerked 2 patients. We also had a discussion and conversation with our Stage 3 seniors. Then on 14 December, I and my friends visited Diabetes Malaysia at Hospital Sultanah Aminah as part of the Patient Study assignment. The 2nd formative anatomy practical test was on 17 December. This time, I and my friends wrote the initials of our names on the answer sheets.

The winter break started on 19 December and it lasted for 3 weeks. The break used to last for 4 weeks in the previous years, but it was shortened to 3 weeks for this year. I could not enjoy the winter break at all, due to the fact that the Progress 1 examination would be immediately after the break and I had to revise for the examination during the break. This is something that I really dislike, because I think that breaks should be for students to rest and relax. Unfortunately, many students preferred to have the break to study, which was why NUMed scheduled the Progress 1 after the break. My parents fetched me back to Subang Jaya on 20 December. I had dinner with my Taylor's College friends on 22 December. Then, I had lunch with them again on 23 December. On 26 December, I went to Kulim for 1 week. During that time, I was very busy revising for the Progress 1 and I felt very stressed.

January 2016:

On 2 January, I returned to Subang Jaya. I met one of my Taylor's College friend again on 7 January. We watched the Hong Kong movie Anniversary at GSC Cinema in IOI Mall, Puchong. Then, my parents drove me back to Bukit Indah on 8 January. On 11 and 12 January, it was the Progress 1 examination. The examination questions were very difficult because they tested on a lot of fine details, some of which I did not pay attention to during my revision. As a result, I could not answer well in the examination despite having done a lot of revision. After the Progress 1 ended, there were about another 2 weeks of break. I relaxed for a few days before starting the Patient Study assignment. On 14 January, I and my friends went to Cat's Cafe in Johor Bahru for lunch. I drove my friends there. In the cafe, there were many cats walking around. They were very cute and were always kept clean by the staffs. It was truly an interesting experience. I and my study partners visited our Patient Study patient for the final time on 16 January.

On 17 January, I started writing the Patient Study assignment. This assignment is similar to the Family Study assignment in Stage 1. I had to write a report based on the information gathered when I and my study partners visited our patient previously. I referred to the assignments done by my seniors as a guide. Most students wrote the assignment by dividing it into several subheadings. However, I wrote the assignment as a single continuous essay because I preferred it this way. Just like what I had expected earlier, the Patient Study was not difficult and I did not feel stressed doing it. On 18 January, the results for the Progress 1 examination was released. My score was 71.86%. Although I did not reach my target of 80%, I was still happy because it was still a good score and there was a slight improvement compared to the Stage 1 Progress 3 examination. The 2nd semester of Stage 2 began on 26 January. For this semester, I would be studying Clinical Sciences and Investigative Medicine (CSIM) which comprises pathology, immunology and microbiology. The lecturers told us that CSIM would be quite difficult.

February 2016:

The deadline for the Patient Study assignment was on 12 February. However, I had completed and submitted the assignment on 5 February. With this, I could celebrate Chinese New Year without having to worry about the assignment. This was the first time where I submitted an assignment before its deadline. The Chinese New Year was on 8 February. NUMed had 4 days of holidays from 6 to 9 February. I decided to skip classes on 10 to 12 February so that I could have one whole week of holidays. On 6 February, I took a flight back to Subang Jaya. I flew by Malaysia Airlines and it was the first time I flew alone. Then, I and my parents went to Kulim on 7 February to celebrate Chinese New Year. My cousins' family also went to Kulim and we all stayed in my grandparents' house. It was an interesting Chinese New Year. I and my parents returned to Subang Jaya on 11 February, then my parents drove me back to Bukit Indah on 12 February.

I relaxed for a few days before I started writing the Student Selected Component (SSC) Literature Review on 15 February. This assignment is similar to the Critical Appraisal and Literature Review assignment in Stage 1. I had to find relevant articles for the title I chose, then write a review of the articles followed by a conclusion. I again referred to my seniors' assignments as a guide. Contrary to my expectation earlier, I did not find this assignment difficult or stressful. Unlike the Stage 1 Critical Appraisal and Literature Review, this assignment was not boring because I chose the topic that I was interested in. On 18 February, there was a wet teaching session on microbiology. We had the opportunity to produce bacteria cultures and look at specimen of bacteria using microscope. On 24 February, when I was sleeping, I had 3 strange dreams. The 1st was about me trying to find a burger shop in SS2, the 2nd was about me and my cousins going to Pakistan for holidays while the 3rd was about me experiencing ear pain while taking a submarine ride.

March 2016:

The deadline of the SSC Literature Review was on 10 March. By 6 March, I had largely finished writing the assignment. Then, I submitted it on 9 March ahead of its deadline. I decided to fully relax for 2 weeks before I start revising for the Progress 2 examination. There was a solar eclipse on 9 March. Strangely, the sun seemed to look normal, except that the sky was not as bright as usual. I sent my Acer laptop for repair at the service centre in AEON Bukit Indah on 10 March because it broke down shortly after I completed the assignment. I was told that the hard disk was damaged so it had to be replaced. Therefore, I would lose all personal data and programs in my laptop. Luckily, I had backed up my personal data to the cloud. On 14 March, my laptop was ready and I went to collect it. After that, I started reinstalling the important programs on my laptop.

On 15 March, it was the 2nd Hospital Visit for Stage 2. Once again, we went to Hospital Sultan Ismail to clerk patients. On 17 March, I had an outing with my friends. We had lunch at Indian Kitchen which is located not far away from NUMed. After that, we went to Puteri Harbour. There, we had desserts at Starbucks. We took a look at Jen Hotel, where the NUMed Prom Night would be held in the following month. When we came across a Toy'R'us store, we decided a get a toy car for every one of us as a symbol and memory of our friendship. This outing with my friends was really interesting. I went to Columbia Asia Hospital on 18 March to get vaccination for chickenpox which is compulsory for all medical students. This was arranged by NUMed because my health report showed that I was not vaccinated against chickenpox.

On 20 March, I played the video game Braid and successfully completed all levels for the first time, with the help of a walkthrough on the internet. On 21 March, my HTC One E8 mobile phone received the upgrade to Android Marshmallow, which I had been waiting for months. Later on that night, I watched the launch of the iPhone SE and 9.7 inch iPad Pro live online. My 21th birthday was on 23 March 2016. Many of my friends wished me through the internet. I had dinner at Nando's which is my favourite restaurant, then I had cake at Secret Recipe. On 24 March, I decided to create a 2nd Facebook account specifically for keeping in touch with my close friends, while my 1st Facebook account would still continue to be in use. NUMed had an Easter break which started on 26 March and lasted for 2 weeks. On 26 March, I took a flight back to Subang Jaya. I flew by Firefly this time. My parents then drove me to Kulim on 27 March. At that time, I started revising for the Progress 2 examination which would be in May. However, as I was in holiday mood, I did not put my full attention in the revision.

April 2016:

On 2 April, my cousins came to Kulim. On that night, I watched the movies Bad Neighbours and Interstellar with my cousins. Then on 3 April, my parents drove me back to Subang Jaya. However, in the journey my father's car broke down due to a problem with the alternator. Luckily, that happened when we were at Tapah rest area. We called a tow truck and had to wait hours for it to arrive. We then sat the tow truck to Subang Jaya. On 5 April, I met up with one of my Taylor's College friend. We went to watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at GSC Cinema in IOI Mall, Puchong. I flew back to Bukit Indah on 9 April. NUMed reopened on 11 April. On that day, the results for the Patient Study assignment was released. My score was 37/50 for Skills and 38/50 for Knowledge. Although not as good compared to the Stage 1 Family Study, it was still a good score and I was quite satisfied. At that time, I started preparing for the Student Selected Component (SSC) Oral Presentation, so I temporarily stopped my revision for the Progress 2 examination. For the oral presentation, I had to present on a topic of my choice using PowerPoint slides.

On 15 April, it was the NUMed Prom Night which was held at Jen Hotel, Puteri Harbour. I drove one of my friend there. When I arrived there, the prom night had not yet started so I walked around the hotel. Many Stage 2 students and some lecturers attended the prom night. 7 out of 10 of my group mates attended it. I was in the same table as many of my friends. During the prom night, food was served and there were many performances on the stage. The food was quite tasty and the performances were interesting to watch. There were also lucky draws, but unfortunately I did not win any of them. Towards the end of the prom night, I and my friends began taking photographs. I took group photos with my group mates and with my friends who sat in the same table. I also took two-person photos with many of my friends. There was also a dance but I did not take part as I do not know how to dance. We spent more than an hour taking photographs before leaving. The prom night was really interesting, especially taking photographs with my friends.

I finished preparing the PowerPoint slides for the SSC Oral Presentation and submitted it on 18 April, one day before its deadline. I practised the oral presentation with my friends quite often at that time. The GP Visit for Stage 2 was on 20 April. I and my group mates went to Klinik Kesihatan Mahmoodiah. There, we observed the patients' consultation with the doctors. On 21 April, it was the SSC Oral Presentation. I performed quite well in the oral presentation, due to the fact that I had practised a lot. I felt that this was the easiest assessment in Stage 2. After that, I relaxed for a few days. I went to Columbia Asia Hospital on 22 April to get a booster dose of vaccination for chickenpox. On 25 April, I started my revision for the Progress 2 examination. I had forgotten most of what I had revised a few weeks earlier since I wasn't revising wholeheartedly, so I needed to revise them again. I expected that the revision would be stressful. There was a formative anatomy practical test on 28 April. That was also the last anatomy session for Stage 2.

May 2016:

On 6 May, it was the last lecture for Stage 2. There was a formative OSCE on 7 May. I performed poorly because I was not well prepared for it. On 9 May, there was a clinical skills revision session. After that, we had a 3 week study break. There was a clinical skills session on knee examination on 20 May. This session should have been scheduled previously before 6 May, but our lecturers forgot about it. This was the final clinical skills session for Stage 2. Throughout May, I was very busy revising for the Progress 2 examination. I had to revise very long hours every day and I felt extremely stressed. There was a lot that I had to revise because the examination would test on both semester 1 and 2 topics. The topics for CSIM were also quite difficult. I was worried that I would not have enough time to finish the revision. To save time, I ate just 2 meals every day, one of the meals being instant noodles. I always longed for the examination to end and for the summer break to begin. I was definitely just hoping to pass Stage 2 and nothing more than that.

On 22 and 23 May, I temporarily stopped my revision for the Progress 2 and I practised the OSCE with my friends at Horizon Residences. The End of Stage OSCE was on 24 May. During the OSCE, I could not perform well in the first few stations, even though I thought that I prepared well for the OSCE. It affected my confidence, causing me to not perform well in the remaining stations too. I felt that I had screwed up the entire OSCE and I was really worried that I would fail it. I was prepared for having to resit the OSCE, but I told myself that I must try my best to pass the Progress 2 examination. After the OSCE, I continued my stressful revision for the Progress 2. The Progress 2 examination was on 31 May and 1 June. It turned out that the Progress 2 was actually not very difficult because the questions were quite direct. After all my hard work, I could answer it reasonably well and I was confident of passing it.

June 2016:

After the Progress 2 examination, it was the summer break which would last about 3 months until 28 August. I could finally relax after more than 1 month of stressful revision. However, I was still quite worried because of the the OSCE. On 2 June, I and my friends went to TGV Cinemas in AEON Bukit Indah to watch X-Men: Apocalypse. My parents drove me back to Subang Jaya on 4 June. I left some of my personal belongings at Horizon Residences because NUMed allowed me to do so with no extra charges. On 8 June, the Stage 2 Pass List was released, along with the results for SSC assignment, Progress 2 and OSCE. I was so nervous that I dared not check the pass list first. Instead, I checked my SSC results first, followed by the Progress 2 and finally the OSCE. For the SSC, my score was 44.5/60 for Skills and 38/50 for Knowledge, while for the Progress 2, I obtained 64.65%. I was quite satisfied with the results. Then, I was so happy to know that I passed the OSCE, though it was really a narrow escape. My percentage was 74.28 while the pass threshold was 73.12, and I failed 3 out of 10 stations which was the maximum allowed. With that, I passed Stage 2 successfully and could continue on to Stage 3. This marked the end of Stage 2.

Conclusion:

Overall, Stage 2 was quite interesting. It was about as interesting as Stage 1. I am glad that I no longer had problems with the assignments during Stage 2, unlike in Stage 1. The most stressful thing about Stage 2 was doing revision for the Progress 1 and 2 examinations. My greatest weakness for Stage 2 was the OSCE, which I performed badly and nearly failed. This is definitely something that I need to work to improve on in Stage 3.

If you find this story interesting, you may want to read these too:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2016/12/my-experience-during-foundations-of.html
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2015/09/my-1st-year-of-medicine-course-at-numed.html

Friday, 2 December 2016

27 October 2016 Incident

The System-based Weeks was the first phase of Stage 3 of my MBBS course at NUMed, which was followed by the Hospital-based Weeks and then the Essential Junior Rotations.

During the System-based Weeks, I was in the group CG 3. But on a wider sense, I was in CG 1 to 4. CG 1 to 4 was the collection of the 4 groups of students who were allocated the Batu Pahat hospital. All of us in CG 1 to 4 went to Batu Pahat together, stayed in the same hotel and we often had outings together. But during the teaching sessions, it was just CG 3 & 4.

27 October 2016 was the last day of the System-based Weeks. When we were on the journey back from Batu Pahat to NUMed, my best friend sat at the back of the bus and surrounding him were a few students from CG 3 & 4. He was talking to them happily and obviously they had a very close relationship. Looking at that, I felt envy.

I started thinking, why my best friend was so close to them while I was not? Then, I realised something - I was being antisocial. In the past, I was once quite antisocial during my early days in Taylor's College. It was the incident on 31 July 2013 that brought me much closer to my Taylor's College friends, and since then I was no longer antisocial. Unfortunately, I just repeated the same mistake during the System-based Weeks.

(Read about the 31 July 2013 incident here: http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2014/06/31-july-2013-important-day-for-me.html )

Before Stage 3, I had known many students in CG 1 & 2. My best friend in NUMed happened to be in CG 3 with me and I was glad about this. However, I did not know the other students in CG 3 & 4. At the start of the System-based Weeks, I naturally became close to those in CG 1 & 2. However, I did not attempt to get to know my CG 3 & 4 group mates, so I was not close to them.

As time went on, nothing has changed. I kept staying in my comfort zone by talking only to my friends in CG 1 & 2. I hardly talked to my CG 3 & 4 group mates (apart from my best friend of course), even though they are actually quite nice. Whenever I was with CG 1 to 4, I talked a lot and I seemed to be quite sociable. But whenever I was just with CG 3 & 4, I became very quiet and antisocial.

This was not the case for my best friend. He too did not know any of our CG 3 & 4 group mates earlier. But the difference was that he took the step to get to know them. Soon, he became very close to them and they liked him a lot. For sure, if I was willing to get out of my comfort zone, I too could have a good relationship with them. No doubt, without that I still enjoyed the System-based Weeks very much, but I was missing something that I shouldn't have missed.

I really regretted the mistake of being antisocial during the System-based Weeks. I should have gone forward to get to know and be friends with my CG 3 & 4 group mates. Sadly, I could no longer correct the mistake, because for the Hospital-based Weeks, we were all redistributed into different groups, so I was separated with my CG 3 & 4 group mates.

Soon after I started Hospital-based Weeks, I heard of rumours that the grouping for the Essential Junior Rotations would be the same as that of the System-based Weeks. I felt quite hopeful about that and I told myself that if I could be ever in the same group with my CG 3 & 4 group mates again, I would definitely put in my effort to build a good relationship with all of them.

On 2 December 2016, the group list for the Essential Junior Rotations was released. The Essential Junior Rotations grouping was largely based on that for the System-based Weeks. However, there were changes in the grouping for a few students, and unfortunately I was one of them. While most of my CG 1 to 4 group mates were allocated to Group 1, I was allocated to Group 2 instead. 

I requested the lecturer in charge to switch me to Group 1. Unfortunately, the lecturer said that it was not possible to switch groups because the grouping had already been finalised. Therefore, I could not be in the same group with my CG 3 & 4 group mates, so I once again lost the opportunity to correct the mistake and it is likely that I will never get to correct it.

This is definitely something that I feel very sad and regret.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Newcastle University UK / NUMed Malaysia MBBS Stage 1 and 2 Assignment Samples

If you are studying Stage 1 or Stage 2 of MBBS at Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia or Newcastle University UK, there are a few assignments that you have to do as part of the university assessment. Are you looking for good samples of the assignments? Here, I have uploaded a copy of my assignments that you can use as a sample.

NOTICE: 
1. These samples are only intended as a guide for you to complete your assignments. Please note that PLAGIARISM IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you submit an assignment with plagiarised work, this will cause you to fail your assignment and professionalism.
2. My assignments are definitely not perfect. I have highlighted the weaknesses of my assignments in the comments' section. You should try to avoid these when doing your assignment.
3. The instructions and guidelines for every assignment may change from year to year. The way the assignments should be done may be different for your year compared to my year. You should ensure that you follow the instructions given to you.
4. I uploaded the assignment samples as PDF files. However, you have to submit your assignments as Microsoft Word documents (Microsoft PowerPoint slides for the SSC Oral Presentation).

If you are studying Medicine course at any other university, it is possible that you may have to do similar assignments. You can also use my assignments as a guide, but please note that your university may have different instructions and guidelines for the assignments and you should follow them.


STAGE 1 NEWSPAPER ARTICLE & REFLECTION

Link: Not available
My Score: Skills - 14.5/25 (58%, Amber), Knowledge - 13.5/20 (68%, Green)
Comments: I did this assignment very poorly because I had no idea how to do it. The reason was that this was my first assignment after starting university and I had no experience in doing assignments. Therefore, I will not upload this assignment as it will not be a good guide for you. Sorry about that.


STAGE 1 CRITICAL APPRAISAL & LITERATURE REVIEW

Literature Review Title: Evaluate The Benefits And Risks Of Statin Treatment With Respect To Both Cardiovascular Disease And Diabetes
My Score: Skills - 27/45 (60%, Amber), Knowledge - 25/35 (71%, Green)
Assignment Date: January 2015
Comments: The greatest problem with this assignment was that I made very few citations, especially for Part 1. I was very stressed when doing this assignment, and as a result I left out the citations. I lost several marks for Skills due to that. Besides, the weaknesses in Part 2 were that I did not have any subheadings and I reviewed the articles one after another rather than in an integrated manner. 


STAGE 1 FAMILY STUDY

My Score: Skills - 43.5/50 (87%, Green), Knowledge - 42/50 (84%, Green)
Assignment Date: March 2015
Comments: I obtained an excellent score for this assignment, which was much higher than the average score of all students. The way I presented the assignment was significantly different compared to that of many other students, but this was not an issue because I still followed the instructions of the assignment. The only weakness was that there were very few subheadings in my assignment.


STAGE 2 PATIENT STUDY

My Score: Skills - 37/50 (74%, Green), Knowledge - 38/50 (76%, Green)
Assignment Date: February 2016
Comments: I scored quite well in this assignment, but there were some weaknesses. My explanation was incomplete in some areas. Besides, some of the sources that I used as references were not professional sources. I also used very few subheadings, tables and graphs in my assignment.


STAGE 2 STUDENT SELECTED COMPONENT

Link (Literature Review):
Literature Review Title: Is Mirror Therapy An Effective Treatment Option For Phantom Limb?
Oral Presentation Title: Treatment Of Phantom Limb
My Score: Skills - 44.5/60 (74%, Green), Knowledge - 38/50 (76%, Green)
Assignment Date: March 2016 (Literature Review), April 2016 (Oral Presentation)
Comments: I obtained a rather good score for this assignment, but I had some weaknesses. For the Literature Review, my explanation was not very detailed and I did not integrate the articles well when reviewing them. For the Oral Presentation, the text in my presentation was a bit small and I used very few pictures.


To download the assignment samples, open the download link above. After that, click the Download button at the top of the page to start the download. The downloaded file is in PDF format. To open the file, you need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Monday, 12 September 2016

The 3 eventful months between 1 June 2016 and 29 August 2016

For the year 2016, the most interesting period of time was my 3 month break between 1 June 2016 which was the last day of my 2nd year of MBBS course and 29 August 2016 which was the start of my 3rd year of MBBS. Several interesting incidents happened during that 3 months. Now, I still remember those incidents very well, and I am going to write about them here.

Before that, I was already longing for the 3 month break to begin. Throughout May 2016, I experienced extreme stress while I was revising for the Progress 2 examination as there was a lot to revise. The break allowed me to fully relax myself after having gone through the stress. This is the last long break in my life. In 2017, my break will be only 1.5 months; in 2018, my break will be only 1 month.


1 June 2016 (Wednesday):
- Completed Paper 2 of Progress 2 examination
- Had dinner at Nando’s, AEON Bukit Indah

2 June 2016 (Thursday):
- Watched X-Men: Apocalypse with my friends at TGV Cinema, AEON Bukit Indah
- Had lunch with my friends at Stonegrill

4 June 2016 (Saturday):
- Went back to Subang Jaya

8 June 2016 (Wednesday):
- Passed 2nd year of MBBS successfully

11 June 2016 (Saturday):
- Went back to Kulim
- Had dinner at Fettes Park, Penang with my parents and grandparents

14 June 2016 (Tuesday):
- Watched Apple WWDC Keynote online

26 June 2016 (Sunday):
- Returned to Subang Jaya
- Had dinner at The Ship with my parents

27 June 2016 (Monday):
- Went to a book fair at One City Mall with my mother
- Learnt new attack strategy for Clash of Clans - GoVaHo

28 June 2016 (Tuesday):
- Uploaded notes for A2 Level Physics based on the 2016 syllabus to this blog

30 June 2016 (Thursday):
- Uploaded notes for A2 Level Chemistry based on the 2016 syllabus to this blog

2 July 2016 (Saturday):
- Had lunch with my friends at Home Made Restaurant, SS15
- Had desserts with my friends at Fatbaby Ice-cream
- Played board games with my friends at Meeples

3 July 2016 (Sunday):
- My 1st Clash of Clans account upgraded to TH10
- Had buffet dinner at Melting Pot, Concorde Hotel with my parents

5 July 2016 (Tuesday):
- Tried to renew my passport but had to give up as there were too many people

6 July 2016 (Wednesday):
- Had lunch with my friends at Archana Curry House, Klang
- Played board games with my friends at Meeples, SS15
- Had dinner at Sri Petaling with my relatives

7 July 2016 (Thursday):
- Had dinner at Red Lobster with my parents

8 July 2016 (Friday):
- Took the LRT for the first time with my mother

9 July 2016 (Saturday):
- Uploaded notes for A2 Level Biology based on the 2016 syllabus to this blog

10 July 2016 (Sunday):
- Had lunch at Yut Kee Kopitiam with my parents

11 July 2016 (Monday):
- Successfully renewed my passport

14 July 2016 (Thursday):
- Had lunch with my friend at Raj’s Banana Leaf, Bangsar
- Went shopping with my friend at Reliance Optical Centre

15 July 2016 (Friday):
- Had dinner at Plan B with my parents

16 July 2016 (Saturday):
- My 2nd Clash of Clans account upgraded to TH9
- Had dinner at Cheras with my family

17 July 2016 (Sunday):
- Had dinner at Pavilion Mall with my family

19 July 2016 (Tuesday):
- Had dinner at Sri Petaling with my relatives

21 July 2016 (Thursday):
- Watched Bad Neighbors (2014) online

22 July 2016 (Friday):
- Went to IPC Mall with my mother
- Met my friend there by chance

25 July 2016 (Monday):
- Uploaded e-books for A Level Mathematics to this blog

29 July 2016 (Friday):
- Updated my Acer laptop to Windows 10 Anniversary Update

30 July 2016 (Saturday):
- Had lunch at Nandos, USJ Taipan with my mother

3 August 2016 (Wednesday):
- Went to a sports fair at USJ 19 Mall with my mother

5 August 2016 (Friday):
- Had dinner at Fatty Crab Restaurant with my parents

6 August 2016 (Saturday):
- Attended my grandfather’s birthday dinner in Penang
- Went back to Kulim

8 August 2016 (Monday):
- Joined NUMed confession page

11 August 2016 (Thursday):
- Reached Arena 7 in Clash Royale

12 August 2016 (Friday):
- NUMed confession page was shut down

14 August 2016 (Sunday):
- Retuned to Subang Jaya
- Had dinner at The Ship with my parents

17 August 2016 (Wednesday):
- Watched Captain America: Civil War online

18 August 2016 (Thursday):
- Created a fixed deposit account at my bank

19 August 2016 (Friday):
- Had dinner at Morganfield’s with my parents

17 August (Wednesday) – 21 August 2016 (Sunday):
- Watched Rio 2016 Olympics

24 August 2016 (Wednesday):
- Watched Nerve movie with my friend at GSC Cinema, NU Sentral
- Had dinner with my friend at Chili Espresso

27 August 2016 (Saturday):
- Played badminton with my friends at Taman Megah Badminton Hall
- Had lunch with my friends at Ming Tien Food Court
- Had dinner at Fuego, Troika Sky Dining with my parents

28 August 2016 (Sunday):
- Moved into Horizon Residences

29 August 2016 (Monday):
- Began 3rd year of MBBS at NUMed


If you find this interesting, you may want to read this too:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-4-eventful-months-after-my-1st-year.html