SPM top scorers preparing for scholarship interviews

Dharshini found it tough preparing for SPM during the pandemic.

SIJIL Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2020 top scorers in Johor are eager to take on new challenges and step into the next chapter to achieve their dreams.

SMK Taman Pelangi Indah student S. Dharshini, 18, who obtained 11A+, is busy making preparations for scholarship interviews.

“Each time an announcement was made that SPM was being postponed, I got anxious as it created uncertainties about my future.

“Going through a major examination during the pandemic was tough and I have broken down several times.

“Thankfully I was able to pick myself up each time with the support of family, friends and teachers.

“I cried when I finally saw my results on June 10. I could not believe it. I had to refresh the result page several times to really believe it,” she told StarMetro.

The eldest of three children, Dharshini wants to be a doctor, particularly an obstetrician-gynaecologist and hopes to get a scholarship to further her studies in the field.

“My name has been listed as among the 200 top scorers for SPM 2020 in the country and this may give me better chances of getting a scholarship under the Public Service Department (JPA).

“At the moment, JPA offers scholarships for only medical courses in local universities, both government as well as private.

“Now I am trying to find out about universities that offer medical courses,” she said.

Dharshini said she had been communicating with a friend, a fifth year medical student, regularly in preparation for the course.

Another top scorer who aspires to be a doctor is Sekolah Tun Fatimah (STF) student Dhiya Yasmin Ahmad Rahimy, 18.

“I wanted to be a lawyer but changed my mind last year because of the pandemic.

“I think medicine is my calling and I have since shifted my focus to pursuing a career in medicine.

“I have been reading up on medicine as I wanted to get updates on Covid-19. This has developed my interest in medicine,” she said.

The youngest of two children hopes to get a JPA scholarship to study medicine and has also started preparing for interviews.

“Four of my mother’s siblings are doctors and I have been seeking their advice on what to expect once I enter medical school,” said Dhiya, who scored 9A+.

SMK Yong Peng student Ng Ker Jing, 18, who achieved 12A+, wants to continue her studies in computer science and learn more about artificial intelligence (AI).

“I find AI fascinating and my interest in it has grown so much over the years.

“I also believe that computer science, particularly those relating to AI, is a field that will lead to a promising future.

“My parents have been very supportive of my choice and have encouraged me to pursue my dreams,” she said.

Ker Jing said that she had applied for at least four scholarships since receiving her results on June 10.

“Some of the scholarship applications require essays and I am now busy writing them and preparing for interviews.

“I am also looking out for other scholarship opportunities,” said Ker Jing, who has an older sibling.

State education, information, heritage and culture committee chairman Mazlan Bujang said out of the 49,472 SPM 2020 candidates in Johor, 88.13% qualified to receive their certificate.

“The percentage of those who qualified to get their SPM certificate in Johor increased by 1.7% from 86.43% in 2019 to 88.13% in 2020.

“The average national grade (GPN) for Johor remains at 4.68, which is better than the nationwide GPN of 4.80,” he said.

Mazlan, however, said the number of students who received all A+ dropped from 56 in 2019 to 22 in 2020.

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