Muhammad Fikri bin Haji Ali, who scored four A-levels three ‘A’ plus in Further Mathematics, Mathematics and Physics and ‘A’ in Chemistry, in an interview with the Bulletin thanked the government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for giving him the opportunity to further his studies.
He will be doing BSc Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics at the University of Southampton, UK.
Muhammad also thanked his parents and colleagues, both at Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College (Maktab Sains) and Jerudong International School (JIS) for supporting him over the years.
“I was on the JIS ‘A’ Level scholarship from the Ministry of Education (MoE), and I am truly grateful for being given this opportunity. Before this, I had undergone around seven months of ‘A’ Level in Maktab Sains which gave me a slight advantage before coming to JIS. As part of the scholarship, I lived at the JIS boarding house over my two years of ‘A’ Level and this helped me develop both in academics and life skills.”
“The environment of the boarding house played a pivotal part in the past two years as living with people doing the same courses and subjects, with whom I had already developed strong friendships with, helped me go through tasks over the school year. In addition to this, I also had a lot of support from my fellow classmates and teachers,” he said.
He believes the key to succeeding in ‘A’ Level is to develop a strong interest and to be pro-active in the subjects.
“Throughout my ‘A’ Levels, I was constantly urged by my teachers to explore outside of the syllabus to get a better understanding of the topics,” Muhammad said.
“This is because exams will not always ask you conventional questions found in past-year papers and will instead catch you off-guard with some questions you have never encountered before. This is where the deep understanding of the topics will come in to help you which gives you an edge over other candidates,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zakwan bin Haji Mohd Salleh who scored four ‘A’ plus in Further Mathematics, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry in his ‘A’ Level will pursue studies at Imperial University, UK in Mathematics thanked Allah the Almighty and the government of His Majesty.
He said prayers from parents, teachers and even friends enabled him to reach his goal.
Zakwan added, “Help others because just as yourself, seeking for help, everyone else needs it too.
“Helping others will help strengthen yourself as well. Help people in their studies by guiding or teaching when you can and when doing work, discuss together with them.
“I always say working smart is more important than working hard. Hard work is important but if you read a whole book from the start to the end but you don’t understand or remember much what is its use.”
“My last advice is to know your strengths, and try to balance it with your own interests. This will help you in your studies. For parents, you may try to lead your children on the path that you think is best for them but if they strongly resist or they cannot cope then do not force them as everyone has their own abilities and it just may not be something that you have seen yet.”